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HOW TO STAY TRUE TO MY DAILY PRACTICE WHILE TRAVELLING


This article was published in November issue 2023 of Yoga Magazine


My two biggest passions are yoga and travelling. And they go completely in hand in hand, if we acknowledge all the benefits that they bring. at the moment, I spend the majority of my time travelling. If I was tied practising only at my home environment or my favorite studio, I wouldn't practice at all. So I am not. Here are some tips how to stay true to your daily practice also while travelling.

New and unknown environment, no schedule or routine during the day, and changes in temperature and elevation. few challenges that we face while travelling. But as always challenges make us grow and when it comes to yoga practice while travelling, it counts for two. Plus, yoga makes us adapt faster and easier to any new environment and challenging situations that we face. I mean, why not give it a shot?

SLOW TRAVELLING This is my favourite type of travelling. You need nothing more than time. Time to explore and travel slowly. Because that's the only way to fully tune in to the place you are in, the nature around you and maybe meet local people and culture that you won't experience through travel guides. Stopping for a moment, not chasing anything and just being in the present moment, leaves a lot of space for yoga and meditation. Yoga keeps us mindful of our body and mind, anytime, anywhere. That's how I open my day. This mindful start prepares me for anything that can come during these unplanned, surprising days.


FINDING THE YOGA SPOT I guess travelling during summer or in warm areas can make the task of searching for the perfect yoga spot a bit easier, especially if our destination is close to nature. During the warm months, nature is calling us with open arms to reconnect with her and practice outdoors. For me, that is the best spot for my practice. The perfect and endless yoga studio. This possibility of being outside, breathing the fresh air, and using our senses to truly feel the place, gives another dimension to our practice. Maybe just visiting the place wouldn't make much of an impression. Take a photo and move on. But through taking time, giving energy (which will be returned on a much larger scale) and practising, we acknowledge the surroundings, which can leave us with a deeper experience than we would even imagine at first. Travelling during the colder months or to colder areas can be a little bit more challenging, but if we are determined enough, we can still keep up with our practice. There are postures which don't require much space, and they are easy to fit into a small spot in our hotel room or even in our bed (child pose, forward fold, downward dog or pranayama). While being outside, in warm clothes, we can try to practise standing yoga - postures like warriors, tree pose, deep squat, or just meditate while walking!

BRING YOUR MAT WITH YOU

If possible, take your mat with you. To save space and to heavy bags, I recommend a light and thin travel mat. They are currently available from almost all manufacturers of yoga mats - for example, Manduka (Search Results | Manduka EU) Your mat helps you to keep motivated to practice because it defines your safe space to practise and challenge yourself even in unknown areas, and gives you a feeling of home and grounding. Then you don't have to be afraid to lie down or sit on the floor, close your eyes and practice. No matter if you are outside, inside, in the airport or on the top of the mountain. One more logical point, a yoga mat is a good reminder to practice, having it with you and seeing it daily, is like hearing “Hello, isn't it a yoga time?”

EARLY BIRD - WAKE UP BEFORE OTHERS TO HAVE THE PEACE-SOLO TIME If you travel in a group and your schedule is more-less planned, early morning, before anyone else wakes up, can be the best time for your routine. This is the quiet time dedicated just for you, without any distractions from outside. Besides, early in the morning, around sunrise, the energy of Earth is working in our favour as there is a natural balance between lunar and solar energies which makes it probably the best time to practice. Of course, everyone has a different daily rhythm, but for me, the morning is my favourite time to practice with its lightest energy. Even a few minutes of meditation can make such a difference!

TRY LOCAL STUDIO If you get a chance to visit a new studio in a new country, go for it. Studios often offer English lessons anywhere in the world, but if this is not the case, don't worry, yoga will find another way to understand. At least it will be a whole new and enriching experience during your trip. If you are ready to get even more out of your comfort zone, maybe it's the chance to try a new style of yoga you haven't tried before or something unique to that particular area. By stepping into a studio, we show that yoga is our passion and way of life. That's exactly how it will be anywhere in the world. The studio can be a place to meet people who, despite living in completely different conditions, in a different country, actually live quite similarly to us, with the same life values. Plus they are often open and happy to give advice and recommendations on where to go to visit etc. (speaking from personal experience)


RESET TIME What a wonderful world! Travelling is mostly about exploring, days are exciting and adventurous, but sometimes can be even a bit overwhelming. Yoga and meditation are the needed reset points for the mind after (or before) all the new experiences. Through this reset, we store them nicely inside, and we get grounded and prepared for what happens next.

THE BODY APPRECIATES IT Travelling sometimes means a lot of sitting, standing, and waiting. Especially while getting to and from the final destination. Imagine the pleasure and relief for your body when you stretch and move again! Let's fight the tight hips and back pain by moving into cat and cow pose, deep squat or seated forward bend.


YOGA CONNECTS When I travel alone, I often try to find a nice, quiet place for my yoga routine. Even if it's quiet and calm, I never know who can pass by, who can join me or who can get inspired. I trust in the right energies to attract what is meant to happen. Who knows, maybe it will attract a local yoga master to come practice right where I am, and we exchange our priceless views on life. When I travel in a group, I often find that my dear fellow travellers, who at first didn't believe much in yoga and took me for someone too spiritual and out of reality, get inspired. Instead of taking a long morning nap, suddenly there are three of us practising the Surya Namaskar. And maybe, that experience changes their lives, and they decide to continue with yoga forever. As my Indian master says, “Stay true to your light, and then things start happening ”.

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