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yoga notebook

fly the blissful skies

Sherry Roberts

I am not afraid to fly. However, I admit to white knuckling it through take-offs and landings. At those moments, there seems to be so much stacked against a being in a frail human body. Amid the roar and shuttering, you know there is a battle going on between the gods of control and the imps of chaos - and you are just so much skin flapping in the wind.

On a recent trip to Minnesota, I tried some yoga and deep breathing to energize my tired mind and limbs during an excruciatingly boring layover in Newark. And in the process, I discovered a way to make take-offs and landings easier to bear.

In the lounge, I tried to unobtrusively go through a few yoga moves: a modified downward facing dog in the back corner, a back twist while sitting in my seat, and some shoulder stretches. I felt energized almost immediately and decided to go through another round of stretches - despite the strange looks of my fellow passengers. Why should I care what they thought? I didn't know any of them.

On board the airplane, while waiting for everyone to get buckled in and the pilot to receive the thumbs up from the tower to fling us into the sky like a rock from a rubber band, I began to slow and deepen my breath. I don't know how long I counted and breathed. The next thing I recall was the attendant asking if I'd like a sandwich. I'd slept through take-off and felt completely refreshed and calm. I smiled at the attendant. Even lousy airplane food couldn't spoil my bliss.


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