Saturday, May 4, 2013

Bodywatching at 30,000 ft

Maaan; flying is not good for the tension levels in the physical body.  Every time in the past, that I have had a flight over 3hrs in length, I have felt ill effects from it.  There are many aspects to this, to name a few: the cramped, movement preventing, and hip flexor spasmin', seats (in economy at least); the recycled, dehydrating air-conditioned air; the particles of other people's illness floating around in the cabin. 

Having recently flown to Chicago (from Sydney) and back; I used the experience to, among other things, to continue my exploration of how tension builds in the body during flight.  Luckily, too, I found a bar about a foot and a half above head height outside one of the toilets; to do some mid-flight hanging RollStretch style fascial lat stretching, with breathing enhancers to create additional vectors (more details soon).

Between this, and standing up every 1hr or so to do some limbering, joint mobility or other tension release practice; I no doubt looked quite odd to whoever was awake/sober enough to notice.  On an unrelated not, I watched The Hobbit on the plane at about 2am after a rushed, and stressful day and some red wine and was wiggin' out during the movie (something appeared oddly surreal) - later I checked and found it had some new semi-controversial frame rate.

During one of the legs of the flight, in the wee hours when hardly anyone was awake, I was playing with mobility exercises for the jaw.  Some of them felt quite nice (though look quite foolish), and I'm hoping to film them soon, to post up. 

I normally spend about an hour post 3hr+ flights in the hotel ironing the kinks out of myself via: various types of stretching & re-patterning work; joint mobility; relaxation and rolling around on tennis balls.  A lot of the awareness of how out of whack my body is comes from the enhanced sensory awareness of my internal landscape gathered through various practices and refining the embodiment of the Stretch Therapy approach over the years.

I actually get my old lower back pain back if I sit for more than 3hrs (sometimes driving Sydney - Canberra does it).  Something that used to cause me a fair amount of grief takes one Stretch Therapy style hip flexor stretch to remove completely - kinda cool. 

It also makes me wonder what ends up to all the neuromuscular tension gathered by people who are, for the most part, bodily unaware and do not do any specific movement practices for their bodies pre-flight; during flight and post-flight..

On a positive note, having my 1 year old daughter with me allowed me to get the seats the row behind premium economy, that have extra leg room (as the bassinet inserts into the 'wall of segregation' between the seating classes).

You can also get a nice neural flossing position by placing your feet flat on this wall, and using cervical and capital flexion-extension and spinal wave motions to mobilize the nervous system (practice very gently and low volume if you can figure it out) - don't fall asleep in this position!  

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha - just read this (

    Seems others dislike what flying does to the body.


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