“Alright. Let’s do this!” I jump out of bed all excited and ready to rock some yoga. After a simple 30-minute session, I applaud myself on my first successful attempt at doing yoga while travelling. I thought to myself, “This wasn’t so bad. I’m sure I can do this for the next 20 days.”
Well, apparently, I can’t.
What started out as a “can do” fizzled out as quickly as the sunny London weather. The subsequent days were filled with excuses – ‘I walked a lot yesterday’, ‘It’s cold outside’, ‘I’m on vacation’, ‘Screw yoga. Bah!!!’ For someone who has been practising yoga regularly for the last year or so, I couldn’t fathom why I couldn’t do the same when I travel.
How Do I Make This Work?
All of this got me thinking – what can I do to make sure I practice a bit more on my next trip? How can I stop my silly ol’ brain from coming up with oh-so-convenient excuses? I need a solution and I need it fast.
“Do some downward dogs. That will help stretch your hamstrings, back and shoulders,” advised my sister who is a certified yoga instructor. “Throw in some sun salutations before that if you can. And remember to breathe!” Oh dear. This is sounding more like class and a lot less “spending more time in bed!” Of course, she was spot-on with her advice. I was just cranking out yet another excuse.
So, I decided to check out Yoga Tree’s tip on how to get some downward dogs in when I travel. Martine Holston wrote this wonderful piece of advice –“Be a yoga-tourist”. A yoga what, you say? Well, actually it means I should approach yoga as I would the arts and culture I take in. Joining a class or two would help me stay active and possibly make some new local friends too. What a great idea! Why haven’t I thought of that before?
Over on Yoga Journal, Karen Asp suggests we create a harmonious space for ourselves when travelling. Anything from essential oils to aromatic candles would help. It is also important to do more standing poses and meditation to help ground us. This will definitely come in handy in times of distress or when I find that I have blown my daily travel budget on three pairs of jeans. Eeeks!
I’ve come to a realization that as great as these suggestions are, it is eventually up to me. I need to make that effort to practice more and be more aware of my situation while I travel. It is also about accepting my limitations (time, space, sore feet) and practising kindness to myself. I may only be able to stretch and meditate for 15 to 20 minutes. Or I may even skip a day or two of yoga. But to be ok with that is key to me enjoying my trip. There really is no sense to me berating myself constantly. The only constant should be my practice of yoga and a sense of enjoyment in it.
So, here’s to hope, downward dogs and sun salutations. Hari Om!