If you travel frequently, be it for work or pleasure, you’ve probably experienced the toll it can take on both your mind and body. While experiencing new people and places can be thrilling, lugging around heavy bags, adjusting to different time zones, and confronting unfamiliar surroundings are just as frequently energy-depleting. Taking your yoga practice on the road provides the grounding you need to feel at home wherever in the world your travels may take you.
Practice Makes Perfect…It Doesn’t Need To Be Perfect
You may not have the support of your regular teacher or the luxury of a 90-minute session, but you can find the time and space for a daily practice. Even a handful of sun salutations upon rising or reclining with your legs up the wall at the end of a long day can shift your energy perceptibly. The most important part is following through with the intention to integrate your practice – in whatever form it may take – into your travel experience.
Work With What You’ve Got
While more commonly known as blocks these days, when B.K.S. Iyengar first started teaching with “bricks,” they were just that — terracotta construction materials he collected in the streets! The point is that he worked with what was available. Take a look around your hotel room; towels can double as yoga mats for extra grip, and the piles of oversized pillows adorning your bed might make great bolsters or meditation cushions. Another option is to bring a travel-weight mat or special yoga gloves and socks with grips so you can practice even if you’re staying in a room with an extra-slippery floor.
Know Your Go-To Poses
If you’re spending a lot of time in transit, like on a long haul flight or road trip, it’s essential to keep your blood and lymphatic fluids moving. Even from a seated position, you’ve got lots of options: cat-cow movements lubricate the spine, side bends stretch the intercostal muscles, spinal twists benefit digestion, and planar flexion/dorsiflexion increase circulation to the lower extremities. If you have the space, lunges and hip openers are perfect for when you’ve been sitting for long periods of time. Likewise, a few sun salutations are sometimes all you need to reverse the fatiguing effects of hours of travel.
Find A Local Yoga Class
It’s more than possible to continue your home practice while traveling, but what if you thrive on the camaraderie and instruction of a formal group class? You’re in luck, because yoga is becoming increasingly popular around the globe. You might be pleasantly surprised to find local studios even in smaller cities and more far-flung locales. Classes may not be in English, but that makes it even more of an adventure, right? You might even befriend some local yogis in the process. At the very least, you’ll bring home the memory of a truly unique yoga experience.
Go On A Yoga Retreat
Why not combine your passions for travel and yoga and go on retreat in an exotic location? This is quite literally the ultimate way to take your yoga practice on the road. Even if travel abroad doesn’t fit your lifestyle or budget, a weekend away to focus your energy and attention can be truly transformative. Whether “getting away from it all” entails globetrotting or just finding a special space to celebrate your practice, the point is that you can take it with you.