Summer is in full swing and as more and more countries are opening up for travel post-pandemic, many of us are finally starting to leave home for holidays, weddings, to visit family, or for those first tentative business trips. It’s a strange time for sure and also a reminder of why the stabilizing effects of a daily yoga practice are more important than ever.
Most seasoned yogis and yoginis will tell you, it takes some planning and effort to keep up with your regular practice when you travel. New beds to sleep in, new cities to discover, and even your meal schedule can turn your routines upside down when traveling.
Below we offer you three travel tips to help you stay regular with your yoga practice when you’re away from home.
1) Set Realistic Expectations
Unless you are going on a yoga retreat, there will be lots of competing distractions for your time when you travel. Whether it is sightseeing in a new city, preparing for an important meeting, or spending time with your friends and family, it can be easy to get to the end of your day and realize you skipped your yoga practice.
Set yourself up for success by keeping your yoga goals modest. When out of town, set a realistic daily minimum amount of time for your practice. This doesn’t need to be the time to push through boundaries and nail those poses you’ve never tried before. Instead, pick a regular, accessible yoga set or meditation practice that will help balance your day and stabilize your mood. You can save the big breakthroughs and new poses for when you get home. For most of us, time away from home means we’re going for a maintenance yoga practice and nothing more.
What’s a good minimum time commitment? This is different for everyone but whatever you think it should be, cut that in half. Do you want to commit to 30 minutes a day? Set it for 15 minutes. Think you can commit only to 10 minutes? Then set it for 5 minutes. My personal daily minimum is 3 minutes a day, and this model goal has allowed me to maintain a daily practice for the last 12 years. Consistency is your top goal when you travel.
2) Do Your Yoga and Meditation Practice at the Beginning of the Day
To make sure you don’t miss out on your practice due to poor planning, do your yoga and meditation in the morning before you leave for the events of your day. This doesn’t mean you need to leap from your bed onto your yoga mat or rise at 5:00 am to meditate. It just means you plan your day so that you practice yoga before all the other distractions begin to fill your mind. If you are on holiday and trying to boost your self-care, let yourself sleep in. But before you walk out the door of your hotel or Airbnb, make sure you’ve done your practice. Then you can enjoy the rest of your day and whatever it may bring.
3) Make Travel Yoga Enjoyable
Bring a foldable yoga mat you love, pack your favorite leggings, bookmark a yoga video that inspires you, or download some new yoga music. Whatever it is that gives you joy, focus on that before you leave and plan for it while you are away.
If you spend a little bit of time getting prepared, you’ll be more in the mood to do your practice in your new environment. Some people go as far as to pack essential oils or scented candles. Do some research and invest in the best travel mats. You’ll find what is important to you, but make sure to create an environment for your yoga practice you look forward to and that nourishes you.
If you plan it right, your yoga practice can be one of the most stabilizing things about your time away from home. Having a daily reset where you reconnect with your breath, your body, and your higher self is sure to make your time away from home even more meaningful. As we set out into this new normal, remember to take some of your foundational things with you. Your yoga practice is a great start.