Got a Visa run? Backpacking trip? Motorbike adventure? Or just a traditional relaxing holiday planned? Worried about how you will maintain yoga while travelling? Here’s what I’ve learnt in the 5+ years I’ve been living this amazing nomadic lifestyle.
Travelling, being in the harsh AC of airports and planes isn’t great. There are
loads of germs flying around, trapped in a confined space. If you get stressed
in transit, go back to your breath. This practice is called ‘Pranayama’. There
are many different types of Pranayama you can practice, you don’t have to do
them all, you can find one or two styles that work for you and have them in
your tool belt.
When you wake up in the mornings, take 10 minutes for this practice. It is one of the 8 limbs of yoga and is part of the practice. it calms the body and the mind, opens your lungs and subsequently your chest, slows your heart rate down, brings the nervous system back towards equilibrium and – it feels incredible.
Pay attention to your head, neck and shoulders first. Sit on your bed if there’s no floor space,
you can do this on a train or a bus. Roll your head around your shoulders, roll your shoulders in circles backwards and forwards, cat/cow your back from a seated position and take at least 5 minutes to go through this.
The beds, the transport, the change in pace of lifestyle will all be present in these areas of your body so tune in and find out what’s going on in there. From here, close your eyes and use your intuition. Do you need to go through some seated restorative postures? Some salutations? Some back-bends or do you need to stay in a calm place and head straight into a meditative state?
Many people don’t realise that yoga isn’t just Asana, the postures we transition through. Yoga is the unity of your mind, body and breath. So continue to practise mindfulness
Whilst travelling is a form of yoga, using Pranayama and/or meditation, depending on where you’re at, is a big… HUGE part of the practice. Asana or yoga as many think of it, was made to tire the body for meditation.
Meditation is where the spiritual journey really starts to take off. Spending time with your conscious and sub-conscious mind, observing your patterns to better know yourself, is a meaningful practice.
Take a book, find moments to become absorbed into one of the oldest art forms. Make a playlist and find a place to dance, shake out your stiffness, anxiety and energy traces from those you’ve brushed against. Eat well, discover new foods and explore your senses as you travel. Indulge in nourishing foods, explore markets and connect with where you are through the fruits of the earth. Journal your experiences, reflecting upon each day and having an attitude of gratitude for your freedom to travel our planet.
Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t meet your own expectations. It’s a practice, nobody said you have to be perfect.