Mindful Monday: ChiFlying
This week's Mindful Monday question: What do you do in your everyday life to keep your chi flowing? Here's how you can make travel easier on your mind and body.
I'm writing this week's post while flying from Asheville to San Francisco. My cell phone is turned off and there's no FaceBook to distract me. So, I thought I'd write about how I keep my chi happening while flying cross-country.
It starts while packing. Good reading material for the plane is a must. I'm meeting with George, my t'ai chi master, in San Francisco so I packed his book on t'ai chi to prepare for our session.
Then, I packed enough home-made cold cereal for a few breakfasts. I'd rather go running/exploring first thing, than worry about where I'm going to eat breakfast. Fruit and other healthy snacks are packed to eat on the plane because most airplane food seriously lacks chi in any recognizable form.
I left myself plenty of time to get to the airport this morning, so I wouldn't be stressing about any logistics. I got there early enough to loosen up with a nice round of t'ai chi before boarding.
The worst part of air travel is sitting on a plane. In this case it's 6 ½ hours. So, I've taken to adjusting my seat. I pull the in-flight magazine out of the pocket in front of me and fold it in half lengthwise. Then, I lift up the front edge of the seat cushion and tuck the magazine under it (with the folded side out) so that it raises the seat-front up. Doing this prevents me from constantly sliding forward out of the seat. I then roll up my jacket and make myself a lumbar support to change the shape of an otherwise concave seatback. Now, it feels more like a bucket seat and less like a park bench. I've basically got a first-class seat back here in 14A.
I set my watch to beep every hour to remind myself to get up and do Body Looseners back in the galley. They always look at me weird, but my chi totally gets going when they ask me what I'm doing.
When I get back to my seat I feel great; my circulation is happening and I'm ready for another hour. I try to keep up my posture, breathe deeply and drink plenty of water (airplanes are incredibly dehydrating).
I've done this routine for so many years that I know I'll get off the plane in SF feeling the same as I did getting out of my car this morning at the Asheville airport… like I just drove across town.
My favorite tag line for ChiLiving has always been, "Create the conditions for energy to flow." And, when I take the time to set myself up right, and make the right choices, I can keep my energy flowing, whether I'm flying, running… or writing a blog.
Hope this helps you fellow travelers. Have a great week.