Feed Your Soul With Yoga And Travels
I love yoga. And I love to travel. Both feed my soul in a way that is hard to beat. So I do both as often as possible.
I have a daily yoga practice that is just that: part of my every day. Sure there are days when I don’t get to a studio, days when I practice for 30 minutes and days my practice is breathing deeply and sending love to the world as I rush to keep appointments and commitments. But I just about always make time for yoga. It is a discipline I have cultivated and would have difficulty living without.
Travel is a part of my life. I travel to know myself better, to stay in touch with people, to enjoy life, to experience life. For me, traveling makes the world a better place. I meet people who make far away places real. The world becomes less one of walls and boundaries and more one of bridges and alliances. I think travel engenders peace in the world. Too, I get to see some really cool places and enjoy very fun times.
Sometimes my love for yoga and desire to travel seem to conflict. Travel shakes things up. I don’t always have all my stuff. I am sleeping on a friends couch or at parties most of the night and waking at 4 am to catch a flight or a bus or a ride. Hard to say if that hour of sleep isn’t better than an hour of weary yoga. Yoga seems to merit a calmer lifestyle. But I have found that yoga and travel actually compliment each other. The two help us know ourselves better as we answer those questions. What is better for you on this particular day? Yoga or another hour of sleep.
So when I combine my two loves, I have some guidance I use that I will share with you now. A lay person’s guide to travel and yoga, shortened edited version.
First, make a commitment to yourself to “go with the flow”. That means that you try to practice while you travel but if it doesn’t happen, you practice loving kindness. You don’t beat yourself up, you don’t obsess, you enjoy whatever that day has to bring. You breathe deeply and let go of the need to control and perhaps you pop into tree pose while waiting for a friend or you roll your shoulders back and pull your navel towards your spine while sitting in the car. Maybe you move your eyes to the right and left and then up and down while in the ladies room at that fancy restaurant or that not so fancy taco stand. You allow yourself to experience the day and if you missed your practice, you incorporate it into your day and let it go.
Second, develop a personal practice that is portable and manipulable. That means that you know it or you can carry it with you on a sheet or a book and you can pull sections out or add them depending on how much time you have. So you had coffee in bed with your lover or with your mother and you only have 30 minutes before you leave. Take out the balances, leave in sun salutations, headstand, hips and abs and 5 minutes for shivasana and be grateful for your mother or your lover.
Third, seek out studios wherever you go. Explore, experiment, find new teachers, new influence and enjoy what makes each studio unique. Invite your travel partners or family to practice with you or revel in the break from both as you find a peaceful place to call your own.
Fourth, keep it small. Practice in the space you have, in the time you have. That means between the beds in the holiday inn or in the space behind the sofa at your best friends house. There is enough space to call your own no matter where you are.
Be flexible in your body, in your mind and in your needs so that yoga and travel can be your two best loves. And as you travel and share your yoga and flexibility with the world, you can be that certain extra call for peace and sanity that changes everything in whatever part of the universe you find yourself.