Travel Yoga Tips: How to Revamp Your Routine for the Road
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it’s easy to succumb to the stress of an unpredictable schedule and allow your yoga practice to be tossed out the airplane window. But these times of travel-induced disruption of balance and calm mean that you should be making your best effort to keep yoga in your routine.
It’s difficult to keep your normal yoga practice in your schedule when you’re traveling, but there are plenty of ways to incorporate enough yoga to keep you going and ease you back into practice when you return from your trip. If you have travel plans for the near future, check out these tips to help you benefit from yoga on the go.
How to Pack Your Yoga
You probably don’t want to take your regular yoga mat along with you, but you can easily purchase a travel version that can be folded to fit into your luggage. These mats don’t take up much space and provide you with the tacky surface you need to prevent slipping. As for clothing, if you plan to do most of your yoga in your hotel room, you can just do it in your underwear. If not, pack quick-drying clothes that won’t stink up your whole suitcase if they get sweaty.
How to Stay Connected & Informed
Make use of apps, podcasts, and online videos for take-along yoga instruction. There are several free applications for Apple products, and free podcasts and videos can easily be found online. For example, try the Yoga Stretch app and Yoga Journal’s iPractice. These tools can help you stay on track and interested in yoga while you travel.
How to Stay Flexible on the Road
Try these poses and simple techniques while on an airplane or riding in a vehicle. By keeping yoga integrated in this relaxing and effective way, you’ll be better prepared to do a few more advanced poses when you’ve arrived at your destination.
- Standing forward bend – try this in the bathroom if you’re flying, or anywhere that allows you enough space to reach down and touch your toes. Just make sure that the seatbelt sign is off and that there’s no turbulence, or you could end up bumping your head. Focus on letting the weight of your head lengthen your spine.
- Twist stretches – sitting in your seat, put one hand on the outside of the opposite knee and twist toward that knee, looking over your shoulder and taking 5-10 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side, remembering to keep your chin parallel to the floor.
- Alternate nostril breathing – this technique can be used anywhere to relax your entire body. Fold the index and middle fingers of one hand in toward the palm, then use the thumb of the same hand to press against one nostril. Inhale through the other nostril and then block it with your ring finger, holding your breath. Release your thumb, exhaling through the first nostril. Repeat until you feel calm.
How to Relax & Detoxify for Yoga Practice
Before diving into poses from your regular routine, try a few of these to help expel the toxins that build up during travel.
- Cat stretch – on all fours, alternately arch your back with your head down as you exhale, then invert the pose by lifting your head and relaxing your spine into a concave posture as you inhale. Repeat until you feel the tension releasing from your muscles.
- Cleansing breath – sit with your legs crossed and the backs of your hands resting on your knees, thumbs touching index fingers. Quickly contract your abdomen to expel all of the air in your lungs out through your nose. Now, relax the abdominal muscles and allow your lungs to fill with air of their own accord. Repeat this technique ten times.
- Spine stretch – lie on your back with your legs resting against a wall at an angle between 45 and 90 degrees. Stay in this position and observe your breath.
- Now you’re ready to do a few poses from your routine and finish as usual with the exceptionally relaxing Savasana pose.
Bio: Alexis Bonari is currently a resident blogger at College Scholarships, where recently she's been researching athletic scholarship programs as well as scholarships for mechanics. Whenever this WAHM gets some free time she enjoys doing yoga, cooking with the freshest organic in-season fare, and practicing the art of coupon clipping.