Yoga On The Road | Maintaining My Practice
How do you maintain a solid yoga practice without having a studio to call home or even anyone around you to really hold you accountable? Well, I'm here to tell ya.. It's not really that hard. I will provide my best tips and solutions that I've come across. But like everything else, you make time for what holds space in your heart. If you're passionate enough about yoga, you'll practice anywhere anytime. There have been many days where I have rolled my mat out in a Walmart parking lot or airport. Some days, it's a beach with a beautiful sunrise or the empty desert with nothing but the wind. However, you location should never dictate whether you practice or not..
The #1 best part about practicing yoga is that all you need is what you already have with you.. a body and a present mind.
Making The Most of Your Practice
If you're traveling, this means you can take your practice to wherever you're going. Make it worthwhile and find ways to explore a different practice. Do things such as waking up before sunrise (I know, bleh).. But 10 minutes into being on your mat with the sun while it comes up will make you so thankful you got out of bed. Also, try changing your scenery each day even if you're staying in the same hotel or hostel. Take your mat and check out the area. Find a park or nearby lake. Make the most of practicing on the go!
Take Your Practice off the Mat
Yoga isn't all about the fancy poses and pretzel-like positions. It's about being in the present moment and really taking it for what it is. Every time we get to the top of a mountain or see something incredible, we sit in silence for a few minutes. No phones, no cameras. Meditate on where you are, what you're doing.
Challenge: Meditate and journal every detail about that moment where you are. What does it look like? What does it smell like? Can you hear and/or feel the wind? Challenge yourself to be as detailed as possible. Give yourself the chance to relive it later. Pictures only tell you so much.
Practicing in Your Van or Vehicle
I hope I'm not the only one coming up with all kinds of random stretches and mini flows inside of my van. I've kind of made it my mission to see what all I CAN do in the van. I didn't think I could do any inversions because I'm pretty tall and it is just a van.. but then I realized I had plenty of space for "legs up the wall" which satisfies my never- ending need to invert.. At least until I can get outside. Get creative and see what all is possible if you maneuver and make room. You can come up with 10-15 minute flows of sitting postures or maybe even a few arm balances. There's always something you can do to quiet the fidgeting when we don't get to stretch and move our body.
No Shame In Your Game
If you want to stay consistent with practicing, you have to let the embarrassment and shame go. I can't count the times that I have put headphones in and gone through a full 60 minute practice while parked off to the side in a Walmart parking lot. That's actually where I am in the photo on top to the right. The other photo was in a Cabela's parking lot! People will stare, honk and roll their eyes but with headphones and loud music, just keep it flowin'. These kinds of sessions really won't seem like an issue when the day before, you were staring out over the mountains as you practiced. When we are dedicated to our practice, we make the most progress. Don't let a few weird stares slow you down.
If you've been practicing for awhile, you know consistency is key when it comes to improving your practice. Don't allow the chaos of traveling to get in the way of taking time out of your day to sweat and stay present. Traveling and yoga really are a perfect pair because Yoga teaches you to be in each moment and stay grateful for each new destination you have the opportunity to see. Let your practice keep you humble and grounded while constantly on the move. I know it has done so for me.
With love and light,
2/14/18 (Happy Valentine's Day!)