How to Make Yoga an Integral Part of Traveling (Obstacles and Benefits)
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When planning a trip, it's easy to make plans to practice beneficial yoga every day. We feel confident that, because we’ve set these goals, we will stick with them. But, once you are on the road, it can be hard to find the time and ideal place to do your asanas.
This raises the question – if things are like this now, how will they be in the future? Will it become easier or harder to practice yoga while on the road?
Benefits of Practicing Yoga while Traveling
Photo by Ramnath Bhat
Currently, there are so many things to do, eat and see while traveling that it's easy to let your yoga goals slip to the wayside. But, despite the excitement of being away from your normal stomping grounds, there are little pockets of time that you can steal for your yourself. Moments where you can pause, breathe deeply and practice your yoga.
What's more, there are several benefits to be gained from pursuing your practice. Some of them include:
- Relief of back and neck pain: Traveling for long periods can be murder on the body, especially the neck and back. Practicing yoga relaxes and strengthens the muscles in these areas, reducing your discomfort in the process.
- Reduced anxiety: Yoga shifts your attention and focus on the breath and body, which can help refresh the mind and temper anxiety.
- Heightened senses and awareness: Practicing yoga helps you deepen your perception of the landscape around you. Mountains, sunsets, beaches and other scenic scapes appear significantly more beautiful. You sense and feel everything with contentment and happiness rather than judgment.
- Changes your perspective: No matter your traveling obstacle, a couple minutes of practice and meditation turns everything simultaneously insignificant and perfect.
- Better sleep: Jet lag often leads to insomnia. But, it’s been found that yoga not only improves how well you sleep, it helps sleep length also.
The Biggest Obstacle when Practicing Yoga Abroad
Yoga and traveling will always go hand in hand. But, this doesn't mean that we won't experience difficulties with this pastime in the future. But, perhaps the most problematic for yoga practitioners is a concept that is coming to be known as over tourism. Literally, too many tourists. This overcrowding can be an issue for yoga practitioners who are always looking for quiet scenes to find their Zen.
How to Deal with Over-tourism
Taking time to do your asanas while on vacation, a work trip, or traveling adventure can be tough. And, when you add overcrowding into the mix, it doesn't get any easier. Thankfully, there are some things that you can to do to minimize your discomfort:
Bring Your Own Yoga Mat
It may be hard to find space in your suitcase for your yoga mat but, it is an essential item to have on hand when away from home. Every time you see your mat you will be reminded to set aside some time for your practice.
Embrace Your Inner Explorer
There’s lots of adventure to be found when heading away from home but, it's up to you to find it. If you will be staying at a hotel, ask the receptionist about any beautiful (but less populated scenic areas) in the city. His or her answer can lead to magical places where you can practice your yoga.
Buy Sweat Resistant Yoga Clothes
Laundry services will not always be accessible on the road. Sweat resistant comfy and unique yoga clothes and bottoms will stay cleaner for longer periods of time. They also tend to be more comfortable (read snug but not too tight) and allow for better freedom of movement.
Every Little Bit Counts
In order to achieve your goals, you must take a realistic approach to your time. Sometimes, you may find that you won't be able to practice. Don't panic, just remember that reaching some of your goals is better than not achieving any. Do what you can and be proud of yourself.
The power to reach your future traveling yogi goals lies within you. But, it's up to you to find the time and space for it! Thankfully, once you have, you won’t regret it.
Read more from Emily at YogiWear.
Deepen your meditation practice on a yoga meditation retreat and apply your learnings the next time you hit the road.