It is often very challenging to get your yoga doses in while you travel. When you have a routine with yoga at home, you might feel anxious to live without it. There are plenty of ways you can practice yoga when you travel abroad. Some of these ways may just be even more fulfilling than your traditional practice. It may be more challenging to get your practice in but it’s not actually as hard as you think. Here are some ways you can get your yoga in.
1. Yoga While You Wait
There are plenty of times you’ll be waiting while you travel. When you’re at the airport, there is usually a quiet place to reflect and stretch a little. Even some cities have put yoga spaces in terminals. Even if where you’re flying from doesn’t have a yoga space, there is a lot of space in the airport and they will tend to have a lot of light.
2. A Local Yoga Studio
No matter where you go, it is more likely than not that you will find a yoga studio. In every little village and town, there is usually a teacher who has set up shop. It may be scary to venture into an unknown studio but that’s the joy of travel. You’re probably going to meet people and have a great time. Before you go, you can do some research on the best yoga studios in the area. You’ll be surprised at what’s available. It also gives you a chance to go off the beaten path a little and do something local even if it’s all expats. They are people that probably live in the area and can tell you about the secret places to see. Don’t worry about language barriers either. You can always just take a look around or even do your own thing. That is the beauty of yoga.
3. In the Park or on the Trail
If for some reason, there are absolutely no yoga studios where you’ve decided to go, it’s likely there aren’t a lot of people. That means you’re free to use the outside facilities to do your yoga practice and you won’t be bothered. Trails and parks are a lovely way to get in your yoga routine.
4. On the Beach
If you happen to be traveling abroad to spend time at a beach, how could you not welcome the sun with sun salutations? The sand feels wonderful in between your feet and hands. I have noticed that a lot of yogis will bring their yoga mat onto the beach. If not, they use beach mats too. Listening to the ocean waves as you do your downward facing dog is one of the most beautiful yoga experiences you can ever have. Take advantage of it. Wake up early while the beach is quiet and take in the morning as you do your asanas.
5. Be Creative with Yoga
You may not always be able to get into your favorite poses but yoga is so much more than that. Take the time to go further. Do some mindful journaling, read spiritual books, do something creative or meditate. Asanas are the external part of the practice but the inside stuff is equally as important. The deep breathing is a big part of what makes you calm. It is rewarding and will bring you closer to yourself in the same way you do after yoga.
6. Pack for Yoga
It is helpful if you can pack some of your yoga things. A thinner yoga mat should be able to fit into your suitcase. There are so many beautiful yoga street clothes that can double up as your dinner attire. Pack smart with compact, multi-purpose clothes. You may not be able to bring your block but you can probably figure something else out. Your strap will take up no space at all. You should know that some hotel chains around the world actually have yoga mats in the room. This includes Omni Hotels.
7. Plan Your Routine But Be Flexible
It is important to plan out a few yoga classes for yourself. There are plenty of short classes online if you don’t want to create your own. A 15 or 30-minute practice is better than not practicing at all. You don’t necessarily have to set the exact time because let’s face it, you’ve traveled far. You don’t want every day to be a solid plan. Spontaneity is important when you travel. Give yourself a few options for the length of time and fit it in as you can.
8. Put a Yoga App on Your Phone
A yoga app is a great tool when you’re on the go and can’t find a yoga studio. There are a lot of different guided yoga practices available with apps. Any kind of yoga and timeframe you want actually. Ranges of difficulty vary as well. You can try out a few apps as they will usually give you a free trial.
9. Join a Retreat
Of course one of the greatest things you can do during your vacation is to attend a yoga retreat. You’ll get to meet great, like-minded people that love what you love too. You also get the experience of immersing in a retreat, eating healthy food while you’re there, and taking in life at a serene location. One of the nicest things you can do for yourself during your travels is attended a yoga retreat.
10. Be Realistic and Kind to Yourself
It isn’t always going to be as easy to do yoga while you travel abroad as it is at home. Maybe you can’t fit in 90-minute classes three times a week. Do what you can. Do a little pose here and there. Do some in before you go to sleep. Do some twists while you travel on a bus. This will keep you flexible and still reduce stress. Be realistic about the time you have to do yoga while enjoying a brand new place.
Hopefully, these tips will help you with your yoga journey during your journeys abroad. Even 20 minutes a few times a week is good enough to keep your practice alive and enjoy the benefits that yoga brings. You can still get that feeling of bliss and awareness. Don’t forget to meditate and be in the moment. This should be easy while you’re seeing something brand new. That awareness is another part of yoga and a perfect opportunity to hone those skills.
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur, and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes, and others. She’s also the founder and owner of SiddhiYoga.com, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential training in India (Rishikesh, and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali). You can take a look at her website here.