Do you find it hard to find time to practice yoga when you are traveling? Maybe you feel like you don’t have time or couldn’t bring your mat and don’t like practicing without one. We understand, we’ve felt the same way during our own travels. This is why we’ve compiled a short list of tips to help you find your yoga practice while you are on the move.
Invest in a good travel yoga mat
There is something about stepping on our mat that bring us into the practice. It's a designated safe space for you to flow your heart out and it’s not out of the ordinary to feel like you don’t really get into your practice without it. Thankfully, companies have come out with an array of different travel yoga mats. YOGO offer ones that can roll up small enough to fit in your backpack or carry and they can can hooked over something to be easily cleaned. Manduka’s ekO SuperLite and Gaiam’s Travel Mat both fold up into a square to be packed away.
Stretch it out in bed in morning or evening
You don’t have to get out of your bed in order to fit in a short yoga practice. Here is a short flow that you can do to invite movement first thing in the morning:
- Take an inhale as you stretch long
- Exhale as you send your feet and arms to the right as hips shift left - you can pause here
- Inhale as you come back to center, stretch long
- Exhale feet and arms go to the left as hips shift right - breathe here
- Inhale come back to center and...
- Exhale draw knees in towards you. Take a breath
- Exhale simple spinal twist to the left
- Inhale brings you back to center
- Exhale to simple spinal twist to the right
- When you’re ready support yourself up to a seat
- Pause and notice what movement you are drawn to.
- From your seat begin to move with the breath into a seated cat cow flow
- Once you feel ready begin to make some spinal rotations; still moving with your breath
- As you are ready make your circles smaller until you rest at a center point
- Stay here for 8 or more breaths just noticing what sensations come up for you before you begin your day.
Go beyond your mat
Your yoga practice is not glued to your mat, studio or room. Yoga is more complex than just a physical asana practice. We are uniting the mind, body and soul through our yoga practices, not just going through the motions. You could accept this time away from your mat as a gift to practice mindfulness and meditation instead of getting down on yourself if you can’t find the time to flow.
Take time to meditate
If you are more of a guided meditation person you can download a meditation app like Calm or Headspace or, you could go into Apple Podcasts and download free guided meditations. Still feel like you won’t have time for meditation? Change your mindset about your practice and see if you can invite moments of stillness into your travels. If you are exploring somewhere in nature you can turn that time into a moving meditation by being mindful of your breath and the movements you are making. You can also pause and appreciate the view around you while noticing your breath. Just take a moment to appreciate what surrounds.
Remember that there are countless ways to incorporate a yoga practice into your travels. Whether its a short morning flow in bed, finding time to roll out your mat, a few minutes in meditation, or being mindful about where you are and what you’re doing. The most important thing is to not let your practice induce stress or guilt. It is okay to not practice while you are traveling but, if you can find a way to naturally incorporate your practice we have a feeling you’ll be a lot more relaxed on your trip.
About the Author
Megan Rae Eastburn is a certified Akhanda Yoga teacher and teaches locally in Pensacola, Florida. You can follow along with her adventures and healthy lifestyle on Light by Megan Rae (www.meganraeoflight.com) or find her on Instagram (www.instagram.com/meganraeoflight).