I recently returned from back-to-back trips to New York and London, England. It was all very lovely, spontaneous and very out of character for me!
I managed to do a bit of yoga on all four flights and at both destinations. Here are a few tips I jotted down while sipping tea on the English countryside (I just had to throw that in, since it’s still so surreal and will likely never happen again!)
1. Plan Ahead:
Pack comfortable, stretchy clothes and a travel yoga mat. I invested in a thin, rubber travel mat (from Lululemon) when I was travelling a lot for training for work (and after I tried to do yoga in my jeans on a hotel towel because I was so uncomfortable after the long drive and a night on a bed that was not mine-bad idea, very, very bad idea). Trust me on this, it’s so worth a bit of room in your already over-packed suitcase.
2. Do What You Can, With What You Have, Where You Are:
I unapologetically did some arm and side stretches while waiting in the queue for the airplane bathroom. And I thoroughly enjoyed a nice restorative yoga pose (legs up the wall with pillows instead of bolsters) while reading in my room. It didn’t take much time, but I was so much more comfortable afterward.
**Don’t forget, you can take Yogasteya classes and podcasts anywhere you have a laptop or phone!**
3. Avoid Mirrors:
If what you have where you are is a hotel gym, or spot on the floor in front of a giant, mirrored closet door, then please, turn the other way! To me, yoga in front of a mirror is just an invitation for judgey eyes and self-criticism. Not very mindful at all.
4. Be Patient:
All of the ups and downs from the airplane ride may make balance poses difficult. You might not be able to squeeze a full hour practice (or even 20 minutes!) in between sight seeing and visiting and relaxing and eating your face off. This is not your normal practice, go easy on yourself and pay attention to what you need and what you don’t need at the time.
5. Remember All the Amazing Benefits:
Yes, there may be days when you just don’t feel like it, but I promise you won’t regret making time for yoga while travelling. Here is a list of the benefits I noticed on these trips…decreased anxiety about travelling, feeling less jetlagged and more relaxed, better digestion and overall wellness when I was eating new/different food and in small places with lots of people who have lots of germs.