Viral Inflight Yoga Video Raises Questions About Proper Behavior in Coach

United once made the social media mistake of saying women could be denied boarding for wearing yoga pants. And United diverted a flight and arrested a passenger who refused to stop doing yoga. So airlines haven’t always been ‘yoga friendly’.

However my wife once did her yoga while we were flying ANA first class, as the only passengers in the cabin, Chicago – Tokyo. And goodness knows the Etihad First Apartment has enough space for a yoga practice in a pinch. I think doing this in private is key.

But you don’t often see passengers bust out the yoga in front of the rest of the flight — except when Southwest Airlines offers inflight yoga classes.

This stunt was pretty epic, but I don’t think I’d want to be the passenger laying on the ground in the back of economy and right outside the lavatory. The passenger laying on the ground in the cabin is barefoot as well.

As Jason Lee said to Ben Affleck in Chasing Amy, at that point the passenger was probably “more crudded up than the monkey in Outbreak.”

Another video of inflight yoga is going viral and discussion centers around whether or not it’s appropriate on a plane. (HT: Ryan Boyd)

Dressed for the occasion in patterned yoga pants and wearing headphones, Kay seems unaffected by those around her as she goes through the moves.

Several commenters who spotted the video on Facebook and YouTube quickly denounced her actions, saying that they would not want to see this happening in a public space, reports The Sun.

“No. There should be rules against this stuff,” one person commented. “Nobody needs to see people flailing about on planes, this is not ur living room.”

“I’m torn, because on one hand this feels obnoxious and attention seeking, but on the other hand I totally get the need to stretch because flights are stupidly cramped,” added another.

Yoga Instructor Kate Kay felt she needed to stretch after heading off on an early flight. I think there are several ways we can look at this.

  • It’s free entertainment for the rest of the plane. American Airlines is moving away from seat back video screens, anything to pass the time in coach becomes more important.

  • It’s important not to obstruct the aisle or block service or the lavatories. So mindfulness is the key to appropriateness.

  • However if everyone did this it would present a problem. So is it first come first served, or a categorical imperative? Should one coach passenger be able to do something that every passenger could not?

Ultimately I think as long as passengers follow flight crew instructions, don’t obstruct other passengers, and are good at it then it’s fine for one passenger — first come first served — to practice yoga in the aisle. Violate any of these conditions and it becomes a problem, and potential flight diversion, and a matter for law enforcement that ends possibly dragging the yogi down the aisle (in an epic ‘assist’).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Don’t know about Yoga but I once had the person sitting next to me…sitting in bulkhead exit row on a 777 with the loo directly in front…spend over an hour lying on the floor doing stretches on an 8 hour HNL-GUM flight on United. I was surprised the flight attendants let him get away with it as he was a big distraction.

  2. Yet another millennial screaming “look at me look at me give me attention!”Nothing more nothing less. Get up stretch for 30 seconds and sit back down. This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. The dumbing down of society continues. With no end in sight

  3. Not into yoga per se but there may be something to this given the miserable experience and overall stress associated with air travel nowadays!

  4. Better than AA IFE. Oh that’s right, they’re doing away with that. Something is needed to keep us entertained

  5. Might bring my putter and a few golf balls and practice my putting down the aisle on my next flight.

  6. I too am a millennial and this would irritate me (even more than the, “blame everything I don’t like on millennials” epidemic), especially if I was right next to this person. An commercial airplane cabin not anyone’s living room, it’s a confined, public space we are all using. I would love to go jogging in the airport on my layover but I am not going to do that because that area is not designated for that use and it’s not my area to use it in anyway I wish.

  7. What if someone did a karate kata in the aisle. Would that be ok? Or like Nick said, putting practice would be fun. I think that is a problem.

    Getting up and stretching if one feels the muscles cramping would be ok though.

  8. This is just a ‘look at me, I’m special’ moment, brought to you by self centred millennials :p

  9. Have the buskers from the NY subways attempted to ply their trade onboard? That’s one hell of a captive audience.

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