Top tips for continuing your Yoga practice while away from home
Finding time to squeeze yoga practice into our busy lives can be a real challenge.
As a mum of two, working part-time as a Yoga teacher and airline Cabin Crew I understand this challenge and wanted to share my tips on how I try to maintain practice both home and away.
Here’s what helps me stay on top:
There are some great apps available that I have on my phone & iPad that help me take my yoga practice with me. These are my favourites:
Yogaglo – online yoga and meditation designed to fit your life. Whatever your interests or experiences, they have a class for you, all taught by world-class teachers. You can select classes based on the style of Yoga, focus on different areas of the body as well as the duration of the class.
Mindbody – this may be an obvious one, but when I arrive in a new area one of the first things I do is to search for local yoga classes. The important thing is to work out how far you want to travel and what time you would like to take a class. You can also book using the app which is useful.
Classpass – I recently worked out that you can change the city you are located in allowing you to use your credits while you’re abroad. This is slightly limited though as it only really includes London, USA and Canada.
It can be quite a daunting prospect to start a home practice if you’re used to always being led by a teacher. The first place to start is anywhere really! Maybe your yoga practice just involves ten minutes in child’s pose, or maybe it’s five sun salutations followed by a short savasana. Either way, it absolutely doesn’t matter. Take the pressure away from yourself – no one else is putting pressure on you to practice. If I don’t know where I want to go in a practice, sometimes I’ll just start with some cat/ cows, which will inevitably move into down dog, and before you know it you are moving through a couple of postures and you haven’t even really thought about it.
I take my travel yoga mat with me every time I leave the country, that way I am more likely to practice and there is much less effort involved. I have a Manduka travel mat which folds up so easily in my suitcase, but I’m sure there are plenty of others available. If you don’t have a yoga mat and you’re staying at a hotel then check out the gym, they often have yoga style mats available to use.
Be realistic and keep it simple
If you know that you have a busy schedule and are limited with your time, then just making small commitments to your practice is all you need to do. All you need is ten or twenty minutes to fit a short practice in. Set your alarm for a little earlier than you need and start with a few neck stretches, some seated forward folds or even a few sun salutations.
Yoga in Hotels
Lots of hotels offer yoga classes for their guests so it’s worth enquiring where you’re staying. If not, then most hotel rooms have enough space for a yoga mat somewhere. Even if you don’t have a mat just make the most of the time you have and use it to really listen to your body. Do you need to stretch your hamstrings or hips after a long journey? Some seated poses like cow face pose, Paschimottanasana, seated forward folds and Baddha Konasana are a good place to start. Why not use the privacy to work on a pose you don’t normally get the time to focus on in a class?
Yoga on planes
We all know long flights can be uncomfortable and there is no getting around that. Take opportunities to get out of your seat when you can and go for a little walk. It’s mostly the sitting down in the same position that causes your feet to swell and joints to become stiff. While in your seat try some seated twists, neck rolls, rotate your ankles, flex and unflex your feet. If you have the space lift one leg placing an ankle on your knee for a nice hip stretch. You could also find some space by a door for some standing side stretches and forward folds. Just make sure you’re not getting in the way of the cabin crew! 😉
More than Asana
Don’t forget that Yoga is more than a physical practice. According to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras there is an eight-fold path leading to liberation. The Yamas and Niyamas are a beautiful way to ensure that we are treating ourselves and others with respect and love. Our situations are often out of our control when travelling, so when unexpected delays happen, and plans change try practising some meditation or pranayama to remain present and calm.
I hope some of these tips help and inspire you to take your practice with you wherever you go.
Get in touch for more information on one-to-ones and classes I’m teaching.