Travel is a beautiful, mind-expanding opportunity, and yoga is an exploration of our bodies, minds, and consciousness. It would make sense, then, that travel and yoga go hand in hand—allowing us to push the boundaries of our comfort zone and create new possibilities for our lives and our practice. Although some people love to mix it up and throw routine out the window when they are traveling, most of us yogis like to maintain consistency, especially in the way we treat our bodies.
Thankfully, there are many yoga friendly destinations, which allow me to travel for around two months every year. And while en route, I have uncovered some wanderlust wisdom that no yogi should go without.
Here are four powerful ways to keep up your physical yoga practice when you are exploring a new city or country.
If you love trying out new studios, do your research ahead of time. Take time to look up yoga studios in new cities and countries. Then cross-reference them on social media to make sure that they are still open, and that the studio vibe matches what you are going for. Find blogs with information on yoga classes, teachers, and special events that might be happening when you’re in town. Reach out to friends who have traveled previously to wherever you’re headed, and see if they have any tips for you. If you’re a yoga teacher, this is a great way to try out new styles and get inspired. If you’re a yoga student, taking a class in another city or country can be an awesome learning experience; it’s highly recommended!
Travel schedules, especially on trips with groups or family, do not always allow for time to attend a yoga class. Keeping your yoga mat on hand will allow you to move through a few Sun Salutations, clear your head, and set the tone for the day ahead. Even if you only have a couple of minutes to spare, taking Child’s pose and drawing in a few rounds of deep breath can work wonders.
Definitely sample the local delights and soak up the new tastes, but moderation is key. Make sure to fuel your body correctly. It’s tough to move through a morning practice with a belly full of pasta, and you can end up feeling sluggish and discouraged. Most yoga studios have a juice bar nearby where you can score some green juice, but when you are doing a self-practice, make sure to load up on the veggies. Sip on hot lemon water and supplement with magnesium to keep everything moving and grooving.
If you feel the need to do a Double Pigeon at the Louvre or some alternate nostril breathing at the Taj Mahal, let it flow. Traveling can stir up many emotions, both good and bad. Be aware of what you need to do to show up as your best self. Balance out long flights with hip and hamstring stretches. If you have a longer layover, many airports even have quiet rooms or yoga rooms to get your flow on!
Let your travels be a learning experience in body, mind, and spirit. Play with all of it and learn what works for you. This is part of the practice of svadhyaya, or self-study. Wanderlust presents an opportunity to discover more about who you are and how you operate; and from there, an opportunity to refine a clearer state of being in this huge, amazing world.