Travel Yoga: Taking Your Practice on the Road
Travel Yoga is, in my experience, the least convenient, yet one of the most important types of yoga. Travel yoga is, simply, the yoga we make the time for while travelling. It’s easy when we’re away from home to forget about the daily practices that make our lives richer because there are so many new experiences capturing our attention. But travel yoga is an essential practice to take with us particularly because it is our daily yoga practice that allows us to be truly present with all our new experiences.
While travelling Europe to teach yoga and play music, I quickly realized that I was becoming disconnected from myself. With all the stimulation of new environments and social interaction (as a performer and yoga teacher), I had my attention turned outward for much of every day.
There was the tightness and soreness in my body from a heavy backpack and guitar, long bus, plane and train rides and sleeping in different beds every night. Then there was the constant, subtle feeling of upheaval, having to navigate new cities (and their subway systems, train networks and airports) and speaking different languages! As such, it was very easy (and sometimes necessary) to forget myself for a little while when travelling. But this is why travel yoga is an essential practice.
Thanks to travel yoga I recovered a feeling of comfort in my body, clarity in my mind and connection to my heart. And it is these qualities that allow us to truly appreciate the myriad opportunities that travel affords.
Here’s how to make time for travel yoga:
- Don’t wait for the perfect environment, do whatever postures you can, wherever you are right now
- Don’t worry about digging your yoga outfit out of your suitcase,
- Do what you can in the clothes you are wearing
- Don’t put off your practice until you have time for a 30, 60 or 90-minute practice, do 5, 10 or 15 minutes of breathing, stretching and/or meditation, right now
Travel yoga is time to turn inward and reconnect with yourself. Without travel yoga, our travel experience can be negatively affected by physical discomfort and mental distraction.
Travel yoga can be easy and offers many benefits. Next time you travel, could you let go of your idea of what a yoga practice “should” be and just do what you can?
by Angela Inglis, ERYT200, Yogacara Teacher Trainer