Standing Meditation On An Airplane

I’ve just come off a flight from Dubai to Kuala Lumpur. In total it took about 7 hours, and for those 7 hours I spent 5 of them sitting down either trying to sleep or trying to watch Rock’n’Rolla (Good film, very British humour). Now those 5 hours were interspersed with about 20 minutes of standing practise, during which a pretty Korean stewardess asked if I was praying, which all things considered, was a pretty good guess. When I said I was doing Taiji, I got an even more puzzled look but I digress.

Now that I’m off the plane and able to move around again, I remember once again that the human body wasn’t built to sit down, immobile for such a long period of time. My shoulders are tight, and my back is aching from having to sit down on a seat that didn’t fit me properly. I just think of how much worse I’d probably feel if I hadn’t had the chance to do a bit of standing!

The purpose of this post is not to gripe about the flight, but to remind myself that the human body wasn’t made to sit still for that length of time. Remember the whole habit thing that’s the theme of the recent weeks, standing re-programs the body to hold itself in a good posture.

Equally if you sit in a bad posture, such as on a plane, scrunched up in a seat for too long your body will start to remember that, so getting up and moving around to remind your body what’s the right posture is something really worth doing, especially on really long-haul fights.

I try to do some standing meditation, and if there’s enough room, I even do a bit of silk-reeling. You might get really strange looks from people but I think I’m getting too old to care. To be honest, I don’t go 5 hours straight whilst I’m at home without getting up and moving. Movement is all part of my routine and my habit so I’m not really going to sacrifice that whilst I’m on an airplane.

As Greeny says, “be large”, just go ahead and do that standing or movement.

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