One of the most common yoga challenges is finding the time and energy to maintain a yoga practice while traveling. But you don’t have to book a yoga retreat to practice yoga while you’re road-tripping or jet-setting for personal or business travel. Taking yoga on the road with you is a great way to stay healthy and energized on your travels.
Whether you’re flying, driving, sailing or biking, travelling can take a toll physically. You can get stiff from sitting too long in one position, tired from switching time zones, or imbalanced from carrying luggage a certain way. Sticking with our yoga practice can keep you in tune to with what your body needs as you travel. Sometimes it’s a need to stretch and release tension, at other times it’s about energy and strength. You can always modify your yoga practice to fit exactly what you need to stay refreshed and enjoy your trip.
Some people prefer to practice yoga privately, some need a group environment, some need an inspiring location, and some simply need to be instructed in what pose comes next. Regardless of your preferred style, yoga can easily be fit into your travel itinerary.
As a yogi and a lover of travel, I offer a few tips on how to take your yoga on the road:
Pack Your Practice
With smart phones and laptops, it’s easy to travel with your favourite yoga applications, or to upload yoga videos from YouTube or iTunes. If you prefer to listen to podcastswithout video, make sure to pack your headphones and your mp3 player so wherever you are, you can lay down your yoga mat (or simply a towel) and salute the sun.
Find a Studio
If you’re spending a few days in one place, or if your business takes you to one particular city a lot, find a yoga studio near where you’re staying. Most hotels will be able to recommend a nearby studio, but the internet is also a great tool for finding a studio that fits your yoga style. Taking a yoga class in a new city can be greatly inspiring. Not only will it encourage you to keep up your practice, you’ll no doubt make great local connections and experience the city in a different way.
Believe it or not, it’s not just the high-end spa hotels and luxury resorts that offer yoga services nowadays. Recognizing the growing popularity of yoga, many hotel chains and bed-and-breakfasts have brought yoga in-house, either through classes in their fitness centres or outdoor locations, with an on-call private yoga instructor, or through their on-demand tv channels where access to a yoga class in your room is as easy as renting a movie. When booking your accommodation, actively seek out hotels that offer these yoga perks.
Environment as Inspiration
When you’re travelling, you can let your environment inspire your yoga practice or let your yoga practice inspire your environment. There’s nothing like practicing yoga on the beach at sunrise or sunset, atop a mountain at the end of a hike, or amidst the trees in a nature walk. But there’s also a beauty to practicing yoga on a cramped balcony in a bustling city, on the floor between the beds of your hotel room, or a modified practice in the airport lounge as you wait for a delayed flight.
The beauty of yoga is that it can be practiced anywhere. Whether it’s a practice done outside amidst beautiful scenery or an inside practice that is purely internal and physical, yoga can keep both our body and mind healthy.
So the next time you’re on the road, why not take your yoga with you?
Annabel Fitzsimmons is a yoga and Pilates teacher, runner, writer and mother of two young children. Her online yoga, Pilates and meditation studio is at www.clearspaceonline.com.