Traveling with Yoga
Yoga may be practiced almost anywhere, any time, so it is not necessary to interrupt your routine while you travel. As a matter of fact, yoga on the road can be just as satisfying, or more, in different ways. Part of the point of taking a trip is to get a break from routine and this includes your yoga routine. Sometimes we can slip too easily into the day-to-day with our yoga as well. Getting out into a different environment to practice can be stimulating, enlightening, inspiring and enjoyable. Imagine being seated in lotus on a mountaintop, on a beach or your hotel balcony.
Packing – all you need to take is your mat. A rolled up mat should fit easily into any standard suitcase. There are also carry bags made for yoga mats and backpacks that are made to attach a yoga mat. If you normally use props, just forego the props during your travel to free yourself of the encumbrance and to keep things simple. Just do your poses as best you can manage, modifying where necessary to supplement for the props. You can get back to the props when you return home to your regular routine.
Hotels and spas will supply additional items that you may require such as extra blankets, pillows or towels. Do include a water bottle so that no matter where you are practicing while traveling, water is accessible, especially in heated temperatures or dry climate. Be sure to include a pair of flip-flops if you will be using any public facilities. Keep your clothing to a minimum, doubling items that may be used for multiple purposes like a pair of shorts and a tank that may also be used for a hike or sleeping in, etc.
Practice – You will certainly want to keep up your practice wherever you are staying whether in an hotel room, or at a friend’s house or even camping but you will also want to look for unique, peaceful locations that will allow you to experience something different from the norm. If you normally go to classes twice a week, then look for a spot in nature. If you normally practice indoors, get out and find a spot surrounded by beauty and fresh air. Or vice versa, if your normal routine at home is to practice out of doors, a spa or group setting may be the ideal refreshing experience where you can join in and share with others. Of course, since yoga requires little space, it is easily done in a hotel room as well.
The main point is not to let your practice slip just because you will be away from home. Keep it simple because you are traveling, and look for unique opportunities to experience your practice in a new and uplifting way so that when you return, you will be even further into your practice than you already are. You may even pick up some new ideas to take home with you that you discovered along the way that will enrich your practice even more.
copyright Cheryl Yale-Bruedigam 2012, editor and CYI-250