I’m confess, I’m a travel junkie. Give me a reason to hop a plane or take a road trip and I’m packing before the itinerary’s settled. Recently I had a chance to hone my fledgling diving skills in the turquoise waters off Fiji’s Astrolobe reef. Little did I know those skills would come in handy when I needed to deal with airplane stress later.
There’s a buddy system when you dive, for safety and many reasons, but especially in case you’re having trouble getting enough air. Each diver has a separate mouthpiece for buddy breathing from one tank.
I was reminded of buddy breathing during the bumpy flight back home from Fiji, when I started doing a little Pranayama (Yogic breathing techniques) to help me stay calm. It always works and before I knew it, my seat mate joined me. It was a buddy breathing of sorts, a simple travel stress relief technique. Both of us were rattled but soon felt better.
Here’s the simple technique anytime anxiety is a concern, as long as you safely have one hand free.
- Use your thumb to gently close one nostril and breath out the other – deeply and slowly.
- Then inhale through the same open nostril and close it with your middle finger as you release the opposite nostril and exhale fully.
- If you continue that rotating breath in and out, slowly and deliberately for a few minutes, you’ll trigger your body’s natural relaxation response and feel more balanced.
- On a plane it’s great, but while driving, I only do it if I’m seriously agitated. Pretty soon I almost forget what upset me on the road.
I hope that little technique helps you calm your nerves and find a little peace wherever you may be traveling.
There are many more techniques and little stretches for travelers in my award-winning Drivetime Yoga and in the little Flytime Yoga booklet. They’re available at Drivetimeyoga.com