Keeping up with your yoga practice while traveling can feel daunting.
Not everyplace you visit is going to have a yoga class you can trust. Sometimes dropping into any old studio can end up leaving you both physically and mentally irritated. So how do we keep up with our yoga practice while traveling?
We must understand and respect that as we travel we move in our bodies much differently than when we are at home in our day to day routine. Our perspective shifts and so too must the needs of our practice. We should embrace this as opposed to that pouting feeling like we aren’t getting our yoga. I mean, do you really need to keep up an intense vinyasa practice in 90 degree heat? I didn’t think so. Is it even possible to squeeze in a bikram class during the insanity of fashion week in Paris? Maybe…
By embracing the reality of the moment we can find a way to honor our bodies needs while reaping its infinate wisdom.
Traveling can also open our practice in other ways. If traveling for pleasure, we become more engaged off the mat and in our bodies as we explore nature and sacred sights. Sometimes the yoga shows up as we take a swim in the ocean or ride a motorbike for the very first time.
If traveling for business we are usually interacting with new people and learning how to function at an optimal level in a land that may be completely foreign to us. This can be incredibly stressful and calls for a slog self support practice.
Both types of travel will challenge us to lean into our practice of Yama and Niyama, the core principles of the yogic science. If you don’t know what they are, shame on all those yoga classes you’ve been taking that decided to leave that information out. It’s basic meaning is to be good to one another. When we travel, let’s be good to ourselves and do good by others.
In my own travels I have been lucky enough to find a fair amount of “interesting” yoga classes, but no one can give my body the love and care it needs from all the walking, dancing and temple visits like I can. Oh, and did I mention I absolutely hate packing a yoga mat! Who can afford to give all that space over to a bulky yoga mat? If there is a floor, a towel and or a bed I’ve got my practice covered and today I want to share it with you.
Here are my go-to poses that nourish my body and guide my mind into a conscious and focused place to prepare myself for a centered day of heart felt travel wherever I am and whatever the purpose. The best part is that you don’t even need to leave your bed!
If you have any inclination that this practice might be too difficult for your body wait until you can speak with your yoga instructor one on one for some pointers and clarification. This sequence is meant for someone already well versed in the practice and so does not involve instruction. Always consult your phsyician before attempting any physical routines that are out of the normal for you. Remember this is a photographic suggestion and not an actual yoga lesson.
Wishing you much joy for your practice from my guesthouse in South India to yours, wherever you may be!
- When you first wake up, take your time. Breathe deep while lying in your bed and gently move the joints of your body, almost like a wriggly worm swirling around. This sounds silly but it feels so good! This also gets the energy flowing in a way that is easy and blissful. It will actually help you to feel light and happy as opposed to heavy and anxious about your day ahead.
- Practice Gratitude! Every little bit counts. As you are lying in bed contemplate everything you are grateful for. See if this can inspire a greater intention for the day (as opposed to just crossing off that endless to do list). Dare to go deeper into the feelings of pleasure and joy. Begin the day on a high note!
- Try to hold each pose for 5 – 8 breaths. That’s one inhale and one exhale per breath. Ingniting the breath in the posture is the key to awakening the pranic life force energy that will support you in your day.
- If you aren’t breathing you are dead, literally and metaphorically.
- You can have a ridiculously fit body and ample flexibility and still have zero Prana. Think of Prana as the essence that attracts a good mate ( yes, there are more layers and complexities to Prana, but you get my point here). It’s like a fragrant and delicious nectar that you want your body to permeate effortlessly.
- I would suggest this as an “awaken the day” practice but could also be done whenever you have the time.
- I am a huge advocate of allowing the yoga to work as it needs too. Yoga is its own intelligence and knows exactly what to do. No need to force, push or pull.
- Show up and trust.
- Be safe and breathe deep.
- Practice being authentic. It’s much easier to post a glossy photo perfected with Photoshop that only took all day to master. Or you could just be you and win their hearts anyways!