16 tips for yoga travel bliss
Love yoga? You’ll appreciate yoga even more if you practice while traveling.Yoga is all about staying healthy and slowing down to appreciate the present moment. Travel is most fun when you feel healthy, and most profound when you take time to pay attention to detail and have space in your mind to reflect. Here are sixteen more reasons why yoga and travel are the perfect combo.
1. Yoga Will Help You Chill.An airline once lost my backpack when I returned home from a 6-month European jaunt. Rather than fume and pace until the luggage finally arrived, I sat in silent contemplation and focused on my breathing. Yoga can allow you to find stillness through meditation, giving you a little more Zen when you encounter frustrations on the road.
2. Travel Requires A Few Stretches.When you travel, you need to adjust to packing and unpacking every few days. How many times have you had to bend down and search for something under the hostel bed? Yoga’s gift of increased flexibility will make it easier for you to reach and bend. Likewise, the equanimity instilled by yoga will make it easier for you to adjust to culture shock and other travel challenges.
3. Bus rides won’t break your back.Hard bus rides or ill-advised zip-line maneuvers won’t hurt as much, because yoga keeps your joints and limbs supple, so that you can survive appalling travel conditions without your knees falling off.
4. You won’t die on the plane (not that you would anyway).Deep-vein thrombosis is a condition that occurs when you sit still for too long — say, on a fourteen-hour international flight — and your body starts to form blood clots that can give you an aneurysm, a stroke, or just make your leg hurt. Seat-bound yoga, or even some full-body stretches in the aisle, can mean the difference between life and death, or at least keep you feeling fresh when you arrive.
5. Yoga clothes are travel clothes.Cotton and bamboo fabrics, all easy wash and dry, can also form the foundations of your backpacking wardrobe. Who doesn’t want to wear Prana all day?
6. Make New Friends.Want to meet some friends? Go to yoga class in another country and strike up a conversation with someone before and after class! Or, practice yoga in a park or on a beach, and friendly yogis will no doubt pop out from the bushes.
7. Learn How To Say Downward Dog In 10 Languages.Although many international yoga studios offer classes in English, consider trying a class in the local language. While you may never need to know how to say, “Breathe deeply through your nose!” in Mandarin, you’re guaranteed to pick up useful new words and grammar structure – and make local friends outside the ex pat circle!
8. Soak Up Some Culture.Yoga originally comes from India, but over the years it has been adopted and adapted by cultures all over the world. A yogic moment in Rishikesh might be totally different from a Bikram session in Los Angeles. Editor’s Note:
In some unfortunate countries where strict religious conservatives exert a lot of influence, yoga might even be an illegal act. I’m talking to you, Malaysia!Get insight about the local culture by osmosis, and by participating in the yoga studio community. A yoga class is much more rewarding than hanging around the hostel listening to windbag ex-pat experts who can only speak 3 words of the local language.
9. Exercise Always Feels Good!When I was in Sevilla, Spain, our daily routine looked like this: sleep until 2 pm, wake up, eat, drink some sangria, nap, eat, go out.
Everyone should do at least an hour of gentle stretching at least once a day.Travel is often a luxurious experience, and even though there’s nothing wrong about lounging around in the Spanish sun, everyone needs a little workout once in while. Yoga is a good way to jump-start your endorphins and get the blood moving, which will help you feel great and avoid a travel funk.