As a traveling yogini I know all too well how trains, planes, delays, airport lounges, small hotel rooms and being constantly on the move can play havoc with your practice! Establishing a comfortable rhythm is easy at home when you are in control of your daily routine, but travelling (whether for business or pleasure) has a habit of throwing you a little off track. But what better way to get back on and stay on track than taking yoga on the road with you? Here are my top tips for making yoga your perfect travelling companion: [wp_ad_camp_1]
1) Don’t be hard on yourself.
So you may not be able to fit in your regular hour long daily practice or three classes a week but any yoga is better than none, right? Decide on a realistic and achievable time you can commit to your practice each day (it may just be 15 minutes) and stick to that no matter what. This in itself will help you to create a routine wherever you go and remain focussed, grounded and blissfully aware as you take to the road.
2) Plan a little in advance.
Have either in your mind, written down or recorded somewhere a few simple practice schedules that you can always go to. When the mind goes blank (or if you are used to taking classes when you don’t have the guidance of your teacher) this will help you to be able to stick to a practice with very little effort and without having to “think” too much about what to do Over time you will learn to “feel” exactly what your body needs, especially after hours spent on planes, trains and automobiles!
3) Don’t make excuses.
No you don’t need a mat to practice and yes a hotel towel, robe tie, or scarf is just as good as a strap! Yoga doesn’t require any special equipment or even a lot of space, it simply needs you to show up and practice. Even in the smallest of spaces you can fit in standing poses such as trikonasana, tree pose and warrior two. Too tired to practice? Then a few yin yoga poses will help to release any built up tension and ensure a deep restful night’s sleep. The great thing about yoga is that it can be done anywhere at any time, inside or out, in the city or on the beach, on a plane or on a train (think simple seated twists shoulder rolls) so there really is no excuse!
4) Remember that yoga is far more than just asana.
You can “do” yoga all day every day without even having to step foot on your mat. Meet delays with meditation, when things don’t quite go to plan practice pranayama, chant mantras when in transit and show compassion to every stressed out check in person or fellow traveller that you meet! Use your travels as a chance to surrender and go with the flow, trusting that it’s all happening just as it should. Discover yogic peace within the chaos.
5) Check out a local class or incorporate a yoga retreat into your travel plans.
Nowadays yoga can be found just about anywhere, from the beach to the park, studios to community halls and of course there are retreats on offer just about anywhere and everywhere. Check ahead for classes or retreats in the area you’ll be in and go give them a try, at worst you’ll have done a yoga class (and that’s a pretty good worst case scenario!) and at best you’ll learn something new or discover a great new teacher. A retreat gives you the chance to pause, immerse in your practice and then take all of that inspiration with you as you continue on the road.
Image via: Dennis Yang