This summer, British Airways announced a partnership with meditation app Headspace, installing versions of its soothing instructional videos on in-flight entertainment systems.
The nine individual tutorials, each no more than ten minutes long, are designed to help passengers find inner calm, cope with anxiety during turbulence and help them get a good night’s rest, as well as reducing the impact of jet-lag on arrival.
- An Introduction to Meditation – to improve anxiety, sleep, productivity and relationships
- Take10: A Guided Meditation – learn the basics of meditation and mindfulness
- For the Business Traveller – balance focus and relaxation to arrive refreshed and prepared
- Holiday – to leave worries and distractions behind
- Jet Lag – resets the mind and body clock to overcome jet lag and feel renewed and rebalanced
- For Anxious Travellers – soothe a racing mind to enjoy the journey
- For Parents – quiet the mind to continue the journey with renewed ease
- For Kids: A Calming Exercise – creating a moment of stillness and calm
- For Kids: A Happiness Exercise – encourages a sense of happiness
Headspace meditation was created by former monk (now millionaire) Andy Puddicombe in 2012, and has since become wildly popular, with more than five million downloads to mobile phones and iPads.
Proponents of transcendental meditation (TM), which is slightly less accessible in that it requires a guru to give you a secret mantra, have long said that practising this for 20 minutes can give you the kind of deep rest you only get with eight hours’ sleep. If that’s the case, then we all need to be doing it when we travel.
Puddicombe said: “We’re really excited to be launching the Headspace in-flight channel with British Airways. The content has been designed to enhance every stage of the journey, before, during and after the flight, with specific exercises to help passengers feel relaxed, refreshed and recharged.
“It is also an opportunity to learn a beneficial new skill, something you can use at your destination and beyond, for a healthier and happier life.”
Rival carrier Virgin Atlantic was ahead of the game, though, having started offering Headspace meditation on board its flights since 2011. And now it is paying even more attention to the well-being of Upper Class travellers by also providing them with hot towels infused with De Mamiel aromatherapy oils.
Those on day flights will receive “Enliven”, a blend of bergamot, sweet orange and yang ylang, while those travelling at night will get “High Altitude”, a blend of fragonia, eucalyptus and lavender.
Jetsetters needing to sleep will also be provided with a This Works pillow spray, with 100 per cent natural essential oils of lavender, vetivert and wild camomile. The fact that Upper Class passengers also get to lie fully-flat in beds made up with soft cotton sheets helps too…
In January, US-carrier Delta Air Lines added its own in-flight meditation app – “OMG. I Can Meditate – to its Studio Suites. Passengers can access sessions via seat-back screens or by streaming them over the on-board wifi.
The ten-minute guided meditations are presented by meditation coach Lynne Goldberg, and have names such as “Relaxing in the Clouds” and “Blanket of Love”.
Co-founder of the app, Garner Bornstein, said: “Many people experience travel-related stress, whether a fear of flying or family or business-related pressures waiting upon arrival. Meditating on board can be a really helpful, and enjoyable, way to alleviate this stress.”
For some years, Amsterdam Schiphol has had a meditation centre for all religions in its airport, helping passengers centre themselves before getting on the plane.
Having tried meditation ourselves, Globetrender predicts the technique will catch on in a big way. But being on a plane might be the closest we ever get to actually levitating.