Saturday, July 4, 2015

An Extraordinary journey to realize the inner strength led to a feat in aviation history

At 62 years of age, Swiss Solar Impulse 2 pilot Andre Borschberg has made aviation history with a record breaking solo flight across the Pacific that he has called "an interior journey".
After travelling more than 8,000km on the latest leg of the round-the-world trip, he arrived in Hawaii on Friday. His Pacific flight from Japan totalled 118 hours, almost five full days, smashing the previous record for the longest nonstop solo flight of 76 hours and 45 minutes set by US adventurer Steve Fossett in 2006.

The Swiss pilot's arduous journey was by no means in the lap of luxury.
It’s minus 20 degrees celsius, and you are at the height of Mount Everest. In 12 hours it will be plus 40 degrees and you will have repressurised to below 3,000m, only to repeat this cycle for five days! How do you survive?
For the pilots of Solar Impulse, the lifesaving techniques can be found in the asanas and pranayams of yoga. Working with Sanjeev Bhanot, a professional yoga trainer with over 20 years professional experience, André Borschberg has been able to address the difficulties of warming the body with little available oxygen, and cooling the body in the heat of the sun.
"Among these technical innovations of Solar Impulse is the calm of yoga, including a modified sun salutation," said André Borschberg. "Sanjeev’s training in collaboration with Hirslanden Clinics has given us the best preparation for the upcoming challenge, and his expertise has been invaluable in finding practical solutions within the constraints of the cockpit."

Andre Borschberg Cockpit Yoga
Si2’s single seater cockpit acts as a yoga mat – no need at all for carry-on luggage for pilots André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard. The seat has been specifically designed to be lowered into a horizontal position, providing enough space for the pilot to fully stretch out. Sanjeev has been able to train with André to identify other points in the cockpit that the pilots can use to push against and support themselves during the flights of up to 120 hours.

His plane runs on solar power alone, so its weight had to be kept to a minimum.

Borschberg flew alone in a cockpit where he could only sit or lie down, and slept for intervals of 20 minutes with a vibrating armband waking him up in case of an anomaly.

Before taking off, the pilot said that this journey would be an "extraordinary occasion to discover myself".

Indeed the journey was extraordinary which led Andre Borschberg write a new chapter in aviation history, but who is the man behind Andre Borschberg who let the Borschberg touch this feat. The Yoga instructor who taught the psychologist Andre Borschberg to believe in the inner strength which can overcome any turbulence and uneasiness outside from his customized yoga Asanas, Pranayams specially tailored for the pilot and meditation which constantly kept fuelling the pilot for as long as 118 hours in air.

Here is a short bio of Sanjeev Bhanot from his blog.

From a small desert town called Dungargarh in Rajasthan to the alpine slopes of Switzerland, it has been a long but beautiful journey for Sanjeev Bhanot, Founder, YogaLife Foundation.
Sanjeev facilitates progressive yogic wisdom through dynamic asanas, pranayams, lectures and reflective actions.
As a little boy, Sanjeev frequent interactions with the mystics of Dungargarh introduced him to yoga at the tender age of five. Sanjeev has been spreading the magic of yoga throughout the world for almost 16 years now. In 1990, Sanjeev earned a degree in Biology and Chemistry (BSc) and learned traditional Naturopathy in Delhi. Since 1992, Sanjeev has worked as a professional yoga trainer/therapist.
The pleasant aura that surrounds him is testimony to years of practice devoted to understanding physiology and psychology of the human body. His knowledge of the human anatomy gives him an edge while teaching yoga asana. Sanjeev’s yoga transforms the way you look at life, making you more positive, healthy and totally empowered.
Sanjeev is working in Switzerland, India, USA, UK, Italy, France and Germany. He has been working with international organizations like the UN, World Bank, UNHCR, the World Meteorological Organization, Proctor & Gamble, Nokia/Siemens, Microsoft and Deutsche Bank.
Today, he is presenting yoga sessions on Indian national television and he is running the YogaLife studio in Delhi. He is the principle designer of special programmes, such as couples yoga, facial yoga, kids yoga, sports yoga and corporate yoga. He is also the lead designer and implementer of the regular YogaLife teachers training programme.
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