Traveling is incredible. If you’re adventurous, it’s probably something you dream about when you’re at home. You either have beautiful memories to look back on or are thinking about the next place you’re going. If you do yoga as well, it might seem like a conflict of interest. If you do a daily yoga practice, you know the benefits. You feel great and it might not be something you want to forego while you’re on a trip. The great thing is you actually don’t have to sacrifice your yoga practice when you travel. In fact, you shouldn’t because yoga can help you with the pain and stress of traveling.
All that heavy luggage, the standing in lineups, and the stress of immigration can take a lot out of you. Yoga, yogic breathing, and meditation can all be extremely beneficial in these situations. It helps to keep you clear and focused on the task at hand. You’re less likely to get impatient when you’re standing in a line, waiting to get on a plane. If there are delays, you can go into a simple pose, helping the body and mind to relax.
The cramped seats on a plane and the not-so-great food can cause you to feel terrible. There are simple yoga poses you can do while you’re on the plane when you get off the plane, and while waiting around. They are subtle so you don’t creep people out around you. They are great for traveling and will help the body tension you experience from the travel itself.
De-Stress Through Breathing Before You Board a Flight
Yogic breathing is beneficial to calm you down when you’re in the midst of travel. It can help reduce the tension and relax you. This is a great practice if you get impatient waiting around or are a nervous traveler. You can focus on the breath instead of ruminating about what might happen. It makes for a nicer trip when you can maintain a chilled out attitude, enjoying the journey. Some deep belly breathing is a nice way to calm yourself down.
Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4.
Hold your breath for a count of 4.
Breathe out of your mouth for a count of 4.
Stop yourself from breathing for a count of 4 before inhaling.
Nurture Your Shoulders
So the great news is that there are a lot of airports that are offering space so travelers can do yoga and meditation. When that’s not available, there are still some poses that you can do in public. Your shoulders, neck, and back will often get sore during travel. Not only is there body tensions from stress but you are also carrying luggage or your heavy purse on your shoulder for long periods of time. Doing some simple shoulder shrugs and stretches will greatly help relax you. This is the kind of thing that most people can identify with anyway. Make some circles with your chin and stretch out your neck. Put your hands behind your back and intertwine your fingers. Lift up your arms. This is a great shoulder stretch.
Do some torso twists on the flight. By putting your feet flat on the floor, use your arms to pull your torso to the right. You do this by bringing the left arm to the right leg. Turn the body toward the right. Repeat on the other side.
Do Yoga Outdoors
Any place you’re traveling is likely to have a nice green space where you can hang out and do yoga. This could be a park or some public open space at your hotel. Maybe there’s even a nice area at the pool. It’s great to get outdoors and do some yoga in a brand new place. You have the space to do Downward Facing Dog or Warrior series. Yoga really is so widely used now that it’s not foreign to see someone enjoying their yoga practice outdoors. If you’re traveling with a buddy, ask them to join you so it won’t seem so intimidating. There are excellent yoga mats that you can take on your travels with you. They’re light and bendable in a way that makes it easy to pack.
Legs on the Wall
A pose like “Legs on the Wall” is so effective that it’s like doing a bunch of poses in one. If you are missing the benefits of your yoga poses, just try this one pose. Stay in it from 5-20 minutes. Great to do just before bed as it’s such a relaxing pose. It stretches out your hamstrings, gives the heart a break, circulates your blood, and soothes back tension.
You might be missing your teacher but you can always check out one of the many online yoga classes while you’re traveling. There are probably yoga studios where you’re traveled to as well. This might give you new insight into yoga too. Different cultures and a brand new teacher. You might learn something new. Travel doesn’t have to get in the way of doing yoga.