Travel Well: Practice Family Yoga at the Airport

As multicultural families, many of us will likely be traveling this summer.  Airport waits, security clearances, restless children, jetlag, and lack of exercise lead to stress and anxiety.  The ancient philosophy and practice of yoga has been proven to increase health and wellness. Integrate yoga into your travel plans to enjoy a happy, healthy, and relaxing experience.

Family Yoga at the Airport| Multicultural Kid Blogs

Why practice yoga at the airport?

Yoga is a lifestyle.  It is a way of life that brings lasting benefits to many people around the world. Practice family yoga while waiting for your plane.  These coping strategies will help you withstand the stress and anxiety of travel so that you can avoid losing your temper and be ready to prevent conflict when and if it arises.

•    Focus on something positive, not how long you have to wait for your plane.
•    Stretch out your body before a long flight, then again after, to relieve stiffness.
•    Do something fun together as a family; be creative and use your imagination.
•    Consciously relax your mind and body during the hassles of travel.
•    Engage in a distraction that doesn’t involve electronic devices.
•    Take time to get as much sleep as you need.

How do we get started?

Yoga is much more than practicing the Downward-Facing Dog Pose.  It includes postures, meditation, character education, mindfulness, positive affirmations, and breathing techniques.

•    Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and listen to your inhale and exhale.  Breathe fully by engaging your belly, lungs, and chest.  Place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest to feel yourself inhale and exhale.  Avoid shallow breathing.
•    Live in the present.
•    Be open and flexible.
•    Be kind and compassionate.
•    Repeat positive affirmations in your mind, like “Be calm,” “This too shall pass,” or “It will work out.”
•    Let go of any internal struggle, and embrace the adventure of life.
•    Practice a sequence of physical postures as a family.  Check out the Kids Yoga Stories “5 for 5: Five kids yoga poses in five minutes” series for quick family yoga session ideas (see sample below).

Family Yoga at the Airport - Kids Yoga Stories on Multicultural Kid Blogs

How do we practice yoga during travel?

Children watch our every move, so be a good traveling role model.

•    Wear comfortable clothing and drink lots of water.
•    Listen to your body and notice if you’re stiff or in pain.
•    Be aware of any negative thoughts.  Try thinking the opposite.
•    Enjoy the moment, instead of yearning to arrive at your destination.
•    Notice your breathing.  Are you taking deep breaths?
•    Be compassionate; lend a helping hand to a fellow traveler in need.
•    Start small.  Even five minutes of physical practice, breathing, or meditation is beneficial.
•    Focus on the fun of family yoga, not on perfectly aligned poses.
•    Find a quiet spot to practice together.  If there isn’t one, just practice anywhere.  Make it light-hearted and fun.
•    Roll out a travel mat, or simply practice standing and balancing postures if you would prefer not to touch the airport carpet.
•    Do a couple of simple chair postures in your seat.  For example, Seated Twist, Knees-to-Chest, Eagle arms (arms crossed out in front of you), or Seated Forward Bend.
•    Base your family yoga experience on a pretend journey somewhere or tell a story through the postures.  Or talk about where you are going and act out a few things that you will see and do on your trip.

Practice Family Yoga at the Airport: Kids Yoga Stories on Multicultural Kid Blogs

“Five for Five: Five kids yoga poses in five minutes”

This was inspired by our recent trip to Tahoe, California. Pretend to go on a journey to a cabin somewhere in the woods and practice each of these five poses, adding more as you are inspired. What else might you see or do while staying at a cabin?

Cabin: Five for Five

Pine Tree – Tree Pose
(Stand tall on one leg, bend the other leg, place the sole of your foot on the inner thigh, and sway in the wind)
Cabin – Downward-Facing Dog Pose
(Come to hands and feet and pretend you are the roof of the cabin)
Trout – Locust Pose
(Lay flat on your tummy, lift your head and shoulders, bend your knees, and stretch your arms back)
Squirrel – Hero’s Pose
(Sit back on your heels and pretend to nibble on seeds in your hands)
River Rock – Child’s Pose
(From Hero’s Pose, bend forward, rest your forehead on the ground, and rest your arms along your side)

You can also download a printable version of this Cabin for free.

Happy traveling!  Feel free to email me at if you have any further questions or comments about family yoga.  Please consult your doctor about any health-related travel concerns.

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Giselle Shardlow is the author of Kids Yoga Stories. Her yoga books for kids get children learning, moving, and having fun. Giselle draws from her experiences as a teacher, traveler, yogi, and mom to write the yoga stories found at or on Amazon ( worldwide. The purpose of her yoga books is to foster happy, healthy, and globally educated children.

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15 thoughts on “Travel Well: Practice Family Yoga at the Airport”

  1. This is a great idea! Travel involves so much waiting, it can seem as if time is standing still, especially for kids. I love the idea of doing something healthy and calming instead of just being in limbo. Thank you so much for the best travel idea I have seen in a long time!

  2. What a great idea – I especially love the yoga way of life- to take deep breaths, remain in the moment, and positive outlook – will definitely make the “hassles” of travel go more smoothly.

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  4. What a beautiful post. I had not given much thought about helping fellow travellers, as sad as it is I am usually so focused on us. Thanks for the great tips and also for linking up to my Blog party – hope to see you back next week.

  5. Such a great idea. I always try to stretch while flying, but I can see how some more yoga could really ease the travel-day tensions! thanks!

  6. Such an important post! Traveling all over the world is endlessly tiring and you MUST stay active to remain healthy, its as easy as that! I flew from LA to DC last night on a red eye flight and I was stuck in an inside window seat for 4 hours. When I went to put my shoes on I couldn’t even put them on my feet were so swollen!

  7. What a great idea! Doing yoga while traveling makes complete sense…I should probably be practicing it when I’m not traveling first though (I always say I’m going to). Thanks for joining the Sunday Traveler link party 🙂

  8. I’ve been trying to remember to practice yoga constantly when I travel, even if only for a few minutes at a time. It’s easy to get caught up in everything when I’m on the road, so I’m not too great at making it a habit – but I always appreciate it when I do.

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  10. Thank you for the post Giselle!! When our family goes traveling we stop at Yoga room. We are very lucky as we live in California and San Francisco airport was the first ever to open a yoga room. Check it out everyone if you traveling via SFO!!!

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