Madonna has a bit more room to practise yoga. Photograph: Paramount/Everett / Rex
Some people can be such miseries. When Madonna, never one to laze around, started performing her yoga routine on an aeroplane from New York that had been held at Stansted for a few hours, not everyone was amused. "It was bad enough having to wait," said a disgruntled passenger, "but then she started doing her yoga in the aisles." As if this wouldn't be a spectacle worth the ticket price alone!
Many yoga poses can be done within the confines of an aisle, says instructor Vanessa Dale, who runs Yoga Junky. "I always do a bit of yoga on the plane. I've even done a headstand." To work off those packets of pretzels you ate out of sheer boredom, she suggests these poses:
"Stand in the aisle and hold on to the seat at the side to steady you if you need it," says Dale. Shift your weight on to your right leg, bend the knee of your left and bring your heel to your left buttock. Then reach back with your left hand and grab your left ankle, and lift your leg up and back. "This opens up the hips, the shoulders, heart and lungs so you can breathe deeper."
Seated forward bend
"This stretches out the hamstrings and lower back, and stimulates the digestive system." Sit on the floor, with your legs out in front, and lean forwards from the hip. Breathe deeply and gently move your torso further down with each exhalation. Dale even admits to lying down in the aisle. Has she ever been run over by the drinks trolley? "No, but you do need to keep watch," she warns.
One for the fairly experienced, this involves lifting your legs in the air while supporting your head, neck and shoulders on the floor with bent upper arms. "You do need a bit of confidence," says Dale, who has done it on an aeroplane, "but I've stopped caring what people think." Don't attempt during turbulence, and don't even begin to imagine what your fellow passengers will be thinking of you.