Yoga is a collection of physical, mental and spiritual exercises or practices that originated in ancient India aimed at controlling and stilling the mind. It focuses on bringing harmony between the mind and body.
Yoga and travel are both explorations of self (physically, mentally, and spiritually). Travelling can often be overwhelming for our senses, exploring new cities, meeting new people, adjusting with new smells, new sounds , which is a better time to have a practice that keeps you centered.
No matter how well you plan your trip, something will unavoidably go wrong either from delayed flights, lost bags, or language barriers and when considered rightly, it is all just part of the fun. However, between wedging yourself into cramped coach class, sitting for hours on a train, and the stress that comes with airport security or exploring a new destination, travel can wreak havoc on your peace of mind not to mention your body.
That is why yoga can make you a better traveler, and help you see all of your inconveniences as adventures!
The major key to practicing yoga when you travel is planning! Before you pack your suitcase for your travel, it is essential you make adequate plans at least three weeks before your travel.
It can be difficult to keep a consistent asana (physical) yoga practice while on the road, but here are some suggestions to help you practice yoga during your travel.
Research: Conduct a research on the studios you’ve come up with online via their website, review, and determine what classes and teachers you want to take. A studio’s mission statement, class descriptions, and teacher bios are a great way to decide what you can expect once you arrive. After conducting your research, select a studio, and try to stick with it. Choosing one and sticking to it throughout your visit has rewards.
Carry a travel mat: Carrying a mat along also serves as a constant reminder to set aside some time for your practice. It may be hard to find space in your suitcase for your yoga mat but it is an essential item to have on hand when away from home.
Set aside Yoga Time: Whether it’s for 20 or 60 minutes, whether you’re on a beach or confined to a hotel room, find the time that’s right for you and set-up. Spend a minimum of 10 minutes in breathing/meditation each morning, it gives you time to be quiet, listen and observe your thoughts.
Carry along Sweat Resistant Yoga Clothes: You may not be able to access laundry services when you travel, that is why you need pairs of sweat resistant clothes because they stay cleaner for longer periods. They also tend to be more comfortable and allow for better freedom of movement.
Benefits of Practicing Yoga while Traveling
Pain Relief (Back & neck): Traveling for long periods can cause havoc to your body, especially the neck and back. You definitely don’t want to explore your travel cities, visit the beach and museums with back and neck pain, that’s why practicing yoga is essential for you. Practicing yoga relaxes and strengthens the muscles in these areas, reducing your discomfort in the process.
Reduced anxiety: Spending at least ten minutes breathing helps to reduce anxiety. Yoga shifts your attention and focus on the breath and body, which can help refresh the mind.
Heightened senses and awareness: Practicing yoga helps you intensify your perception of the landscape around you. Mountains, sunsets, beaches and other scenic views tend to appear notably more beautiful, this is because you sense and feel everything with satisfaction and pleasure rather than judgment.
Better sleep: Insomnia is almost a frequent occurrence among travelers, however, research proves that constant yoga practice not only improves how well you sleep, it helps you sleep for longer periods as well.
The power to reach your traveling yoga goals lies within you. However, it’s up to you to find the time and space for it. Inasmuch as combining yoga and travel coupled with tons of planned activities might be slightly difficult, sometimes, you may find that you won’t be able to practice constantly. Do not panic, just remember that reaching some of your goals is better than not achieving any. Just do what you can and be proud of you.