Health and wellness

The Best Inflight Stretches According to Pure Yoga’s Patrick Creelman

Simple stretches and exercises that don’t require much space on your next flight

What’s the perfect pre- and post-flight yoga routine?

Exercises that twist the spine and rib cage are perfect for countering stiff back muscles. Another excellent move is to lie on the floor face down, then lift your chest off the floor while stretching your arms and legs. Finally, combat swelling in the feet, ankles or knees by adopting a pose with your feet raised above the heart.

What are good in-flight stretches for Economy Class?

Simple stretches that don’t require much space. Raise your arms over your head a few times and gently twist your core from side to side. For the lower body: lift your legs and hips off the seat, walk around, and bend over while standing up.

How many times should you stand up and move around in-flight?

A little walk can dramatically reduce our recovery time back on earth. I tend to stand up every hour on short-haul flights, every two to three hours for long-haul. Even a short walk to the bathroom and a few stretches against the wall is beneficial.

Why is sitting for the whole journey a bad idea?

The more sedentary we are – sitting still and not moving – the more the body atrophies and the mind becomes dull. Even just 10 minutes of gentle exercise can reduce the suffering of fatigue, stiffness and poor digestion, while improving mental clarity.

Tips for a Comfortable Flight

Illustrations: Bay Leung
  • Visit The Sanctuary by Pure Yoga at The Pier Business Class lounge – the first dedicated yoga and meditation space at Hong Kong International Airport. It provides the perfect place to stretch, relax and rejuvenate body and mind before flight.

  • Dress in comfortable, stretchy fabrics for the plane. If you have to go straight to a meeting, bring a change of clothes. This will also help to keep you feeling fresh.

  • Sleep with your head in a neutral position to guard against a stiff neck – travel pillows help.

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