How to Pack for Your Next Big Adventure

"Travel light, especially light of mind."  

- Buddha


As you begin preparing for your international journey, set your intention for lightness, ease and comfort. Nothing will make a train ride or a long walk looking for a hostel or homestay more miserable than being weighed down by unnecessary luggage, especially at the beginning of your trip. Start strategizing and packing early so you will feel fully prepared, light and comfortable from the moment you arrive at the airport. By harmonizing the many preparations for your trip, you develop a flow for the remainder of your travel. It all begins the moment you pick your destination.

Regardless of whether you are traveling to Europe, Asia or the Tropics, when deciding how and what to pack, it is first important to identify the strategy for your trip. As you ask yourself the following questions, imagine yourself carrying the luggage you intend to bring and decide whether it’s appropriate:


Before Packing, Consider These Questions

Smart Travel: How to Pack for Your Next Big Adventure - www.YogaTravelTree.com

  • Is this a backpacking trip or will you be carrying full luggage? Ideally, how many pieces will you bring including your carry on?
  • How long will you be gone? Will you be able to do laundry on the road?
  • Will you be staying in one place or traveling around?
  • What mode of transportation will you be relying on and are there luggage restrictions?
  • Are you traveling to a destination where everyday commodities like toothpaste and batteries will be easily available?
  • Are you traveling solo or can you and your travel partner pack certain items to share instead of doubling up?

Once you have an idea about your trip strategy and know what your ideal luggage situation looks like, you can start to pack.


How to Pack Your Clothing

  • Determine what luggage you want to take. Lay it on the floor in your bedroom or closet and for a week or two, start tossing everything you think you want to take into it. This makes the process creative and fun and decreases the likelihood that you’ll forget something. A couple of days before your trip, start going through what you've assembled and take out items you know you won’t wear (if you haven’t worn it in the last month, you probably won’t wear it on the road either). Opt for neutral colors and eliminate things that will only be worn once or twice and can’t be combined into other outfits. Carefully examine the versatility of each item.
  • When it comes to shoes, pack 2-3 pair. You’ll need at least one sturdy pair for walking and hiking and a pair of sandals that can be worn to the beach, in a community shower and to dinner with a nice dress. Pack one other versatile pair for day to day activities. Practical shoes are one of the toughest things to buy on the road making them one of the most important and strategic considerations for your trip.
  • Pack lots of layers. You can often avoid bringing a heavy coat by packing versatile items for layering. Tank tops, long sleeved shirts, a hoodie, wool sweater, lightweight jacket and a middle-weight scarf will go a very long way.
  • Only pack one or two pairs of jeans. Jeans are heavy and bulky and can be worn several times before being washed.
  • No matter where you’re headed, pack a lightweight rain coat, a swim suit and one yoga/workout/hiking outfit. Keep in mind that yoga pants can double as leggings under dresses or long shirts for going out. Black ones are the most versatile.


How to Pack Your Toiletries

  • Will you have access to hotel toiletries? If so, don’t pack them and, if you do, always use travel-size containers. There is rarely a reason to pack heavy, full size bottles. Choose a consistent line of travel-size toiletry containers (my favorites are GoToob) and plan to refill them when and where you can on the road. Consolidate whatever products you can, for instance tinted moisturizer with SPF instead of foundation and lotion, a combination shampoo/conditioner and a body wash that doubles as shaving cream.
  • Before you begin packing, start to notice what you use on a daily basis and keep those items in a basket in your bathroom. When you’re ready to pack, those are the items that should come with you. Don’t go looking for other, unnecessary stuff to bring.
  • Remember, if there is any chance it will spill, it WILL spill. Don’t pack things like oils or perfume, unless they are very small and can do very little damage. Plan for the worst case spillage scenario and spill proof everything by using giant Ziploc baggies and completely separating liquid items from your clothing.


How to Pack Your Carry-On

Smart Travel: How to Pack for Your Next Big Adventure - www.YogaTravelTree.com

Get familiar with the strict carry-on regulations in the United States and you'll be prepared to board in other countries. Your carry-on bag should be lightweight and packed very strategically so that each item is easy to access. Make sure you have the following items in your carry-on when traveling internationally:

  • In your passport wallet should be your passport, round trip itinerary documents, credit card, daily allowance of cash, hotel/airline rewards cards and vaccination record card.
  • In a separate compartment or a different bag, you should carry your additional cash, a copy of your passport, additional photo ID and credit or debit card. Never keep all of your cash or important documents in the same place.
  • Always be prepared with an overnight kit for long flights, unexpected delays or cancellations and instances of lost luggage. This kit should include a toothbrush, toothpaste, face wipes, lotion, tissues, prescription medication, contacts, contact case & solution, glasses, warm layer and always a change of clothes.
  • Other items to keep in your carry-on include a small laptop or netbook, chargers, one book, small journal, baggie of pens & pencils, camera, valuables, healthy snacks, empty disposable bottle of water for refilling and disposing of when it becomes a nuisance or you accidentally leave it behind (pack the sustainable bottle in your pack or luggage for use on your trip).


Other Tips

  • Pack as lightly as possible. Picture yourself on the most difficult parts of your journey and then imagine yourself carrying the luggage and weight you are planning to pack. Does it seem exhausting just thinking about it? Pack lighter.
  • Wear your bulkiest shoes and clothing on the plane whenever possible. Layer up to alleviate the weight of your pack.
  • Leave space in your luggage for items you wish to purchase along the way or bring a foldable, expanding bag that can be filled up with purchases and checked as an additional luggage item on your return.
  • Make notes along the way of things you wish you'd brought and things you wish you'd left behind so you’ll have a better idea of what to pack for your next trip.
  • Consider a list of items you could potentially jettison along the way to make room for purchases or drop some weight.
  • Pack things you use often (like hair-ties and chapstick) in a place that is easy to access, like in an outside pocket of your pack or carry-on.
  • Be consistent with where things get placed in your luggage  so you can easily keep track of whether or not you have everything as you pack, unpack and repack along the way.
  • Pack a handful of large Ziploc baggies. They can be used from anything to postcards and paper you don't want getting wet to wet clothing and replacement toiletry bags when the inevitable spillage occurs.
  • Consider investing in a lightweight, travel yoga mat that can be strapped onto the side of your pack, folded or rolled at the bottom of your suitcase. I strongly recommend the Manduka eko Superlight Travel Mat.
  • Save room for necessary electronics. Items I never travel without are my camera, netbook, chargers, an iPod dock, book light and my multi-country power adapter.
  • If you are traveling with a friend or partner, discuss what items can be shared instead of doubling up on bulky things like computers, hairdryers, etc.
  • Don't bring anything you would be devastated to lose. If you absolutely can’t leave home without it, make sure it fits in your carry-on and never leave it in the hotel room unattended.
  • Think about what kinds of experiences you are looking to have and pack for those. Be sure to leave room for spontaneity!
  • Check out our favorite yoga travel bag for shorter, or yoga-centric adventures.


Kristin Daemon is a yoga teacher, freelance writer and owner of Seaside Yoga, the first yoga studio in the small town of Seaside, Oregon on the rugged, Pacific Northwest coast.  You can find and friend her on Facebook or check out and follow her blog, kristindaemon.com.

Images via: @klarka_cic_, @shaunalaska, @yogasanamats

13 Awesome Summer Yoga Festivals You've Never Heard Of


Learn more about 13 of the most awesome yoga festivals all over the world this summer that you might not have heard of yet.

This summer, many people are choosing to attend a yoga festival, where they will meet like-minded, high-vibrational individuals, experience wholesome fun and challenging yoga classes and workshops, enjoy spectacular musical entertainment, indulge in delicious, healthy foods, and more! Invite a few friends and plan a road trip this summer to a yoga festival near you – you won’t regret it! We showcase 13 of the most awesome yoga festivals all over the world this summer that you might not have heard of yet.

1. Esalen Yoga Festival

Big Sur, California June 15 – 20, 2014

At Esalen Yoga Festival, inner balance and harmony is restored as you tap into positive, healing energies right before the summer solstice. You’ll enjoy yoga instruction with world-class instructors Janet Stone, Sianna Sherman, and Saul David Raye, pranayama exercises, kirtan, meditation walks around the grounds, dance, satsang, and more. You can choose to have a massage, to dip in the baths that overlook the Pacific Ocean, and in the afternoons, there’s partner Thai yoga, restorative yoga, tantric philosophy, and meditation. Relaxation and rejuvenation alongside nature are the effects you might feel after attending Esalen Yoga Festival.

2. Solstice (Kundalini) Yoga Festival

Sigulda, Latvia June 19 – 22, 2014

The 2nd annual Solstice (Kundalini) Yoga Festival will feature a solstice celebration in Latvia, where the locals gather each summer around bonfires and celebrate with flowers, food, and song and dance in reverence of nature and the new season. There’s a live concert every night at the festival, as well as Kundalini yoga (other yoga forms as well), meditation, and Sat Nam Rasayan. The stage is set perfectly to delve into yoga and meditation amidst this Latvian energy. Teachers come from all over the world, and see special guests are singer Allexia Chellun from Spain and the world devotional music performers and yoga teachers Mirabai Ceiba from America.

3. Bhakti Fest Midwest

Madison, Wisconsin June 20 – 22, 2014

Bhakti Fest Midwest embraces all devotional paths, and participants will partake in yoga, kirtan, meditation, practices of ancient and modern wisdom, and traditional and non-traditional spiritual practices. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from world-class instructors like Krishna Das, Saul David Raye, and Sean Johnson. This festival seeks to serve as a conduit for the evolution of human consciousness.

4. Telluride Yoga Festival

Telluride, Colorado July 10 – 13, 2014

13 Summer Yoga Festivals You've Never Heard Of - www.YogaTravelTree.com

The Telluride Yoga Festival is for you if you enjoy exploring the outdoors! You’ll hike and climb in Colorado, attend sound healing sessions, choose from all-day yoga intensives, workshops, classes of all kinds, learn fomr speakers, meditate, dance at the concerts, and choose from all kinds of outdoor events! Presenters announced for the event are Noah Mazè, Scott Blossom, Cat McCarthy, Monica Mesa, Denise Hatch, and Peter Sterios. More will be announced soon!

5. Nantucket Yoga Festival

Nantucket, Massachusetts July 11 – 13, 2014

This yoga festival on the gorgeous island of Nantucket celebrates the joining of community through yoga, wellness, and healthy living. There are a total of 40 workshops, 35 vendors and 25 instructors! Gebrielle Bernstein is the keynote speaker. A highlight of this festival is the location, Barlett’s Ocean View Farm, the oldest and largest family owned farm on Nantucket. The same land has been sustainably farmed since the 1800s, including organic crops such as corn, tomatoes, beets, arugula, all kinds of herbs, and more. There’s a full service kitchen serving sandwiches, salads, dinners, and more to go for guests of the festival.

6. Maine Yoga Fest

Portland, Maine July 12 – 13, 2014

Maine Yoga Fest showcases local yoga talent and has over 40 yoga instructors and studios participating in the events. They seek to highlight the many healing powers that yoga offers and how to live compassionately. The event takes place in the transcendent surroundings of the Coast of Maine.

7. YogaFest

Brisbane, Australia July 12 – 13, 2014

YogaFest is Australia’s largest celebration of yoga and offers five yoga halls, featuring over 90 teachers and performers, dance workshops, live concerts and kirtan, massages and Ayurvedic healing, an indoor and outdoor market place, healing and delectable fare, more.

8. Wake Up Festival

Estes Park, Colorado August 20 – 24, 2014

Wake up! That’s what one can seek to explore at the Wake Up Festival in Colorado. This festival focuses on transitioning through life or change through the support of a community and connection with life-minded, soulful individuals. This experience is inclusive and deeply engaging, where you will join with healing spiritual teachers like Jack Kornfield, yogini-activists like Seane Corn, and powerful healers like qigong master Robert Peng, to name a few. You’ll will learn about new advances in neuroscience as it pertains to spiritual awakening, how communing with others in the process of awakening expands our own ability to experience and give more love in the world, and more. Many rare performances and talents will be showcased. While the goal is to experience transformation in some way, it’s recognized that there isn’t only “one way”. We must each find our true path that’s authentic to our self, and this festival offers the opportunity to meet with others seeking the same. It’s a transformational experience.

9. Big Bear Yoga Festival

Big Bear, California August 22 – 24, 2014

13 Summer Yoga Festivals You've Never Heard Of - www.YogaTravelTree.com

At the Big Bear Yoga Festival, camp out in the mountains and experience a diverse range of yoga instruction (including fun classes like Belly Dance yoga), dance, meditation, eclectic music, presenters, delicious food, and outdoors activities. Yogis of all levels are welcome!

10. Pranafest

Ashland, Oregon August 22 – 24, 2014

Pranafest extends over a 35-acre botanical wonderland of natural mineral hot springs, pools, spas, exotic gardens, and more in the soulful Oregon Mountains. Enjoy kirtan chanting, all kinds of yoga classes and workshops, an unbelievable musical lineup (you have to go to their website to check out all the names because there are a lot!), sonic shamans, and meditation workshops.

11. Floyd Yoga Jam

Willis, Virginia August 29 – 31, 2014

The 3rd Annual Yoga celebration is a carbon-conscious event with a focus on homegrown, grassroots, organic offerings. There’s something for everyone at Floyd Yoga Jam, including yoga workshops and classes, kayaking, SUP, meditation, art, guided nature walks, or enjoying the trees and outdoors along the creek. In the evenings, you’ll dancing and enjoy live music and chanting.

12. EvolveFest

Pottstown, Pennsylvania August 29 – September 1, 2014

EvolveFest is a top transformational and culturally transitional gathering where thousands cocreate with one another. Magic happens when participants act with intention. You’ll find yoga intensives, live concerts, DJs, drum circles, and interactive performances, themed campsites, artwork, art and fashion vendors and educational workshops, spiritual ceremonies, a healing sanctuary, an ascension temple, organic food and permaculture, and more! This is one of the bigger festivals which showcases over 100 bands, yoga instructors, artists, speakers, wisdom-keepers, and other spiritually conscious and uplifting inspirers.

13. Bhakti Fest West

Joshua Tree, California September 4 – 7, 2014

13 Summer Yoga Festivals You've Never Heard Of - www.YogaTravelTree.com

This is the West Coast version of Bhakti Fest Midwest and in the idyllic setting of Joshua Tree, California. Close summer right and expand your consciousness through instruction from Shiva Rea, Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, Kia Miller, Saul David Raye, and Sean Johnson. Yoga, dance, meditation, kirtan, and more!


Rima Danielle Jomaa is from Los Angeles, California. She has an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. Rima is a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern (taking board examinations this summer, IMF 63338), a Registered Yoga Alliance yoga instructor, a Level One Reiki practitioner, a hypnotherapist, and an advocate for the rights of human and nonhuman animals through her work as an activist, nutrition advocate, educator, and healer. She encourages anyone she encounters to take responsibility for their own health, happiness, and freedom. Rima enjoys being active in the community in many various ways. She appears in various yoga productions and writes on a variety of topics for different websites. Rima is a student of evolutionary activism, she regularly practices yoga, meditates, surfs, bikes, skateboards, and cooks vegan cuisine.

Rima currently lives part-time between Santa Teresa, Costa Rica and Southern California. She hosts groups of all kinds for retreats in Costa Rica, among other things. Her long-term goal and vision, along with her business partner, is to open a Residential Treatment Center for adolescents and young adults in Costa Rica. It will be designed with a holistic, yoga-based curriculum where the clients will grow their food, harvest their food, prepare their food, and be fully immersed in nature and their surroundings. Find out more about all of this on her website. More information about Rima can be found here. Join her on Facebook, Twitter, PinterestInstagram, or Google Plus!

Images via: @littledeets, @tellurideyogafestival, @bigbearyoga, @acronauts_

Super Bowl Commercial Yoga Challenge!


It's Game Time!

Well, America, it’s almost time for the biggest game of the year: the Super Bowl. One American football team will declare themselves “World Champions” even though no other countries are invited (don’t worry, the Olympics aren’t far away).  Whether you think it’s Peyton’s time to tie his brother in SB Rings or whether you believe Richard Sherman is actually the best cornerback in the game ("Don't ever you talk about me!"), it’s time to kick back, grab a few beers and munch on junkies – or is it? How about this year you take advantage of those few hours when you weren’t planning on doing anything on your “to-do list” and get a little exercise in?

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To help, I’ve compiled a list of Super Bowl commercials that have already been announced and paired them with one exercise or Yoga pose. The exercises are listed in alphabetical order by the half they are scheduled to appear in.  If it’s a pose, hold the pose for the whole commercial. If it’s an exercise, perform as many reps as you can between the time you realize what the commercial is for and when it’s over.  Rest or make up missed exercises whenever there’s a Bud Light or Budweiser commercial on (spoiler alert: there will be five!). I tried to pick exercises that don’t involve too much moving, so hopefully you can actually enjoy the commercials while you sweat out the cheese dip you just ate!

When your team scores, celebrate the TD with one of the poses on the list for that team! Hold the pose until the crowd celebration ends.

We'd love to see your scoring celebrations! Tag your pics with #SuperBowlYoga and #YogaTravelTree on Instagram or Twitter!

What you need:

  • Access to a wall, chair or couch, and floor space
  • Your yoga mat (not necessary but helpful)
  • Foam roller (again, not necessary but helpful)
  • AbMat, if you have one


1st Half: 

  • Bank of America: Wall Sit (look for Bono between the 1st and 2nd quarter)
  • Cheerios: Push-ups (feel free to do whatever variation you want – knees, hands-up push-ups, handstand push-ups, etc)
  • Chevrolet (60 sec): Upward-facing dog pose
  • Coca-Cola (60 sec): Bridges (repeat, don’t hold)
  • GoDaddy (30 sec): Boat pose
  • H & M (30 sec): Chair pose (keep your eyes peeled for dreamy David Beckham)
  • Hyundai (30 sec): Primal push-throughs (alternate between front plank and downward-facing dog)
  • Pistachios (2 x 15 sec): Dancer pose (there will be two: look for Steven Colbert, remember which side you held and switch for the next Pistachios commercial)
  • Turbo Tax (60 sec): Tree pose
  • Volkswagen (60 sec): Front plank
  • Weather Tech: Stationary Lunges (alternate legs)



  • Toyota (60 sec):  foam roller or leg stretches


2nd Half:

  • Audi (60 sec): Goblet Squat/Garland pose
  • Butterfinger (30 sec):  Low Plank/Chaturanga pose
  • Car Max (30 sec): Lateral lunges (alternate legs)
  • Chobani (60 sec): Sit-down pistol (alternate legs)
  • Coca-Cola (60 sec): Air Squats
  • GoDaddy (30 sec): Butterfly sit-ups (on an AbMat, if you have one)
  • Hyundai (30 sec): Hold hover raise or Cat/cow
  • Intuit (30 sec): Dips (on chair, couch, or coffee table)
  • Jaguar (60 sec): Flutter kicks (“British Villains”)
  • Kia (60 sec): Crab Walks or hold position with HIPS UP!
  • Oikos/Dannon (30 sec): Superman/back extension (look for dreamy John Stamos and his Full House gang)
  • SodaStream (30 sec): Chair pose lunges with twist (alternate legs) (watch for Scarlett Johannsen)


Bird (Seahawks) yoga poses:

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  • Pigeon/Swan
  • Crow/crane
  • Bird of paradise
  • Eagle
  • Peacock pose


Horse (Broncos) yoga poses:

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  • Horse stance
  • Horse rider’s pose (aka Crescent lunge)
  • Horse pose
  • Cowboy Negotiation pose
  • Cactus pose


For extra action, check out 10 Yoga Poses to Get You Game Day Ready!


Rachel Wiegand has been an athlete her whole life but yoga has been the only constant throughout moves and life changes. A former personal trainer, she is now a practicing chiropractor in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and enjoys helping patients find a physical activity that fits their lifestyle best. In addition to yoga, she practices Pilates and is an avid Crossfitter. On her weekends you can find her teaching yoga at CrossFit Sheboygan, with her hubby at Lake Michigan on her paddleboard, or at the dog park with her boxer, Dug.

Images via: ESPN, Juan Elway, Yoga One

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OM ALL ABOUT IT! - November 9, 2013

Trend Alert: Pop-Up Yoga!

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You may have heard of pop-up restaurants that are only in one location for a limited amount of time, well the trend has spread to yoga studios!


Environmentalists and Yogis Unite

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Permaculture Design course offered at a November yoga retreat. Learn how to grow your own food sustainably, and perfect your downward dog. How smart is that?


Are you a Yoga Alliance member?

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Yoga Alliance has chosen AXA Equitable as it’s Retirement plan provider for over 43,000 members, learn more about the company.

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Eco Yogini

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Eco Yogini is one of our favorite sites for environmentally friendly yoga resources! You'll find all kinds of good information here, including well thought-out and researched articles on everything from what to do with your extra halloween candy, to recipes for home made yoga mat spray. There's also a handy list of yoga retailers that meet the sustainable needs of the earth. Check it out for some good, clean yoga living tips!

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Images via: Twitter, Permaculture Your Campus, Elderbranch.com, EcoYogini