If you’re like most people, you probably do some traveling in November and December for the holidays. Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and celebrating the New Year, most of us spend some time on the road or on a plane during the last two months of the year.
It can be hard to fit in a yoga practice when you’re not at home and following your usual routine, but it’s not impossible! One of the great things about yoga is that you don’t need a lot of equipment and you can even practice without any equipment at all. You just need yourself and your breath.
With that in mind, how can you take your practice with you while you’re traveling? It’s not hard to take yoga with you, it just takes a little planning and forethought. Here are some tips to help you practice yoga on the go:
Let Your Luggage Do Double Duty
When traveling, suitcase space is often limited so instead of packing all of your props, try using what you already have in your luggage or improvising with what’s in your hotel room. For instance, you can use your belt or a scarf in place of a strap and a stack of books can be used as a block. Your regular mat takes up a lot of suitcase space so it might be a good idea to invest in a small, folding yoga mat or forgo it altogether and use a towel, sheet, blanket, or just flow on the floor.
The same goes for yoga clothes. There’s no need to pack several changes of yoga clothes. Depending on the length of your trip, just one pair of yoga pants/leggings and a single top should be enough. If you’re planning on practicing more than once and are ok with a little laundry, synthetic fabrics can easily be washed in the hotel sink and hung to dry. You can also pack an outfit or two that can be worn while in the car or on the plane as well as during your practice. (Athleisure to the rescue!)
Get Out and Explore
No room to flow in your hotel room? Take your practice outside (if the weather permits!) or find a local studio with a Google search or via the Yoga Alliance. Attending a class in a local studio is a great way to try something new and get a feel for that city’s yoga scene.
If you’re used to attending yoga classes, you may not be comfortable free flowing. No worries, just put together a few sequences for yourself ahead of time. You can write them in a journal to reference during your practice or commit them to memory. Another way to avoid not knowing what to do on the mat is finding some yoga videos you enjoy on YouTube so you can stream them on your phone or laptop. Add them to your “watch later” queue in YouTube so you’re not spending precious time searching for them later.
Take Advantage of Time to do “Mini-Practices”
Even when you can’t do a full practice, you can sneak in little bits of yoga here and there. Do a few high lunges to stretch your hips and legs while pumping gas, try some standing poses while waiting to board your flight, or get in some neck stretches and meditation while you’re flying or riding as a passenger. These little things add up and can make a big difference.
Literally and figuratively! It’s important to keep in mind that you might not be able to do your usual practice while traveling. Whether it’s because of time constraints or just the fact that you’re unable to attend your usual yoga classes, you’ll probably have to change your routine for a few days. It’s ok to swap your usual 90-minute practice for a short, 20-minute flow in order to spend time with friends and family. Get in what yoga you can and know that your practice will be waiting for you when you get back home.
Taking your practice with you is easier than you think but remember that no matter where you are, yoga should be a chance to reconnect with your breath and body. Whether you’re able to attend yoga classes in the city you’re visiting, flow in your hotel room, or you just take advantage of little opportunities to stretch and meditate, you’ll still be able to reap the benefits of yoga when you’re far from home!
Yoga Classes in Smithfield
If you’re in the Smithfield, NC area, whether it’s for the holidays or year-round, we’d love to have you flow with us! Check out our yoga class descriptions and class calendar to find the one(s) that best suit you or give us a call at 919-971-1431.