I agree and would expect that many if not most seasoned players do similar. Rehearsing without the distraction of an instrument develops aural skills and particularly enables rhythms to be recognised more easily (that's probably one of the reasons conductors can demonstrate a difficult rhythm that trips up even the most experienced player). I find myself subconsciously 'air-valving' or 'air-keying (as I also play keyboard instruments). It's become a bit of a habit like twiddling thumbs or doodling. When pondering something at work I'll often realise that I'm fingering a scale or a tune!