We had the pleasure of speaking with wellness coach, author and international yoga specialist Claire Grieve about staying grounded while travelling for business. A bundle of positive energy, Claire’s smile could be heard in every word she spoke.
“Staying grounded helps to bring focus and attention to your work,” she shares. “It also helps curb stress, anxiety and insomnia, which can be major productivity killers.”
Claire works with high achievers in business, entertainment and athletics and is in tune with the pressures they face, including during travel. Here, Claire shares her best ways to calm the mind and body in a way that also encourages more productivity. Read on for her best yoga-inspired tips for staying grounded – even at 40,000 feet in the air.
How can yoga or meditation help modern business leaders cope with their high-stress roles?
Being mindful of the moment can help you detach your emotional wellbeing from moments of high stress or pressure. Research has shown yoga and meditation can decrease stress, anxiety and fatigue while increasing innovation, creativity and emotional intelligence.
What are your carry-on essentials for feeling balanced when flying?
I travel a lot and actually like to use the time on a plane to balance and recharge. I always bring grounding essential oils like ylang-ylang or patchouli, a big bottle of water (fill up past security!), an eye mask, noise-cancelling headphones and a mala made with grounding crystals like hematite.
What are your best tips for remaining calm and centered when flying for business?
One of the most effective ways to stay calm and focused is to incorporate meditation or breath work into your time on the flight. Take even just five minutes to breathe and ground in-flight. You can also try to use the time to truly disconnect from work responsibilities – read a book of poetry or fiction, write in your journal, colour in an adult colouring book or truly rest and detach from outside stimuli for a few moments.
Some people turn to alcohol for a nightcap or to ease stress during a flight. Is this a good idea? What would you suggest instead?
Drinking alcohol is not necessarily good or bad as long as you are not reliant upon it to rest. It’s also a good idea to be cautious of drinking too much on a flight because you can become more easily dehydrated. This state can put your body and mind into distress. I prefer to calm myself in-flight with a cup of hot tea and a journal-writing session. My favourite calming tea is chamomile tea with honey and lemon. It is not only calming, but also has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and immunity-boosting properties.
Is there anything that can be done pre- or post-flight to help a busy CEO find balance and feel grounded?
Do a few Sun Salutations before and after your flight to ground, stretch and move energy, blood and oxygen throughout your body. I would also recommend a seated meditation with a focus on grounding, rooting and centring in your personal power.
Grounding Seated Meditation Sit cross-legged on the ground, close your eyes or soften your gaze. Breathe deeply and imagine roots like those of a tree, spreading from your body into the ground below you. Stay here for up to five minutes to start.
Tap into your personal power with these post-flight postures
Sun Salutation A
Practicing a few sun salutations will get your body and mind moving and will also adjust any energy in your body that has stagnated from your flight.
Begin in Mountain Pose, feet together, arms straight by your sides, feel grounded in the earth. Breathe in and sweep your arms up to the sky into an Upward Salute. Exhale and bend forward into a Forward Bend.
Inhale and lift your chest to the sky for Half Standing Forward Bend.
Reach back to the floor, step or jump your feet back into Chaturanga, a Plank Pose with your arms bent at a 90-degree angle.
Inhale and roll over your feet and lift your chest to the sky in an Upward Facing Dog.
Exhale and send your hips back into a Downward Facing Dog. Press your heels firmly towards the ground. Relax your head and neck and gaze back towards your feet. Stay in this pose for 5 deep breaths and begin the flow again.
This pose will help you build up strength, fire and focus for the day.
Instructions: Start standing in Mountain Pose. Lift your arms to the sky and sit back as though you are sitting on a chair. Inhale and sit a little deeper. Hold this pose for up to 60 seconds.
Sending strong energy to your core can ground you for the day ahead.
Instructions: Begin seated, feet and hands on the floor and inhale. On the exhale, activate your core while lifting your legs up into a 45-degree angle and extend your arms straight out in front of you. Balance on your sit bones, and keep your spine straight and your chest lifted. Hold for 10 breaths and release.
Backbends can give you a boost of natural energy.
Instructions: Lie flat on your stomach. Grab the outsides of your ankles and kick them away from your body. Your chest will lift off the ground like the bow in a bow and arrow.