Yoga holidays— the benefits of taking your practice on vacation
It is only natural that you want to feel your best every day. However, maintaining a healthy body and mind is a lot of work, and in today’s busy world it is hard to find the time for it. And anyway, taking care of your physical and mental health should not feel like a chore in the first place. When you are on vacation, you want to forget about daily routines or anything that stops your brain from relaxing and enjoying the adventure. But something as trivial as back or knee pain can sometimes get in a way of following your dreams. Long travel can be quite challenging for the body, and some mental side effects can appear as well. Travel-related anxiety, irritability, sleep disorders, and fatigue can all put a damper on your well-being and prevent you from achieving your travel goals.
Even if you are not an advanced yoga practitioner, you probably know about some of its benefits. It gently strengthens the body, helps to alleviate muscle tension, and calms down the nervous system. Doesn’t it sound exactly like something you might want between or after a long journey? Here is why you should consider putting yoga on your travel itinerary.
Managing stress on vacation
Ideally, going on a trip should be a pleasurable escape from the everyday stressful life. In reality, there are a lot of moving parts involved and it can create many challenging situations. Technical difficulties, language and culture barriers, and time pressure – these are only some of the hurdles you might experience after you depart from home, and all of them can create mental discomfort. If you don’t want such circumstances to take over your vacation, you need a strategy for grounding yourself. One of yogas’ biggest teachings is mindfulness, which encourages its students to let go of control and to accept any situation with gratefulness. Perhaps you could try some of the cooling-down breathing techniques taught in yoga next time your flight gets canceled or a reservation goes missing?
When we travel, we obviously move in space. However, many of us seek something more than just checking off the places we have visited on the map. We travel to be moved emotionally and spiritually Ultimately, we want to discover something about ourselves. As a spiritual practice, yoga can be a meaningful addition to your journey and a tool to access your inner self. It can also help you to better understand yourself, and through that, the world around you. If you travel to a beautiful location, a yoga session can also make you feel more connected to nature – your breathing exercises can synchronize with the sound of the waves, you can feel the touch of the sun on your skin and the soft ground under your feet – something you could never experience while practicing indoors.
Practice makes practical
Even though yoga is not only physical but also a spiritual practice, its practicality makes it a good travel companion. You don’t need any equipment to practice, just enough space to comfortably stretch around. You do not even need a professional mat if your backpack’s capacity doesn’t allow it. Of course, if you’re feeling fancy, you can find mats that roll up perfectly into any luggage, but a simple towel is just as good. When booking your accommodation, look for potential space to practice yoga. A spacious bedroom, a terrace with a great view, a garden, a nearby beach. Yoga is now practiced all over the world, so if you prefer group teaching, you can also lookup classes in the area you are visiting and connect with other yogis. Some places offer donation-based or even free classes. It really could not be any easier.
Take it easy on yourself
Another great thing about yoga is that it is a sport without competition. As a philosophy, yoga condemns any kind of judgment and lays importance on acceptance and surrender. For people with physical difficulties or self-image issues, practicing yoga creates a safe space, free of criticism and limiting beliefs.
Introducing these values to your travel mindset has the potential of helping you travel authentically and become more open to new experiences. The yoga community is also a famously kind and supportive one, so by connecting with other yogis around the world you can make new great friends.
Experience of a lifetime
Whether you are a beginner or have been practicing for a while, you might feel the need to deepen your practice. Although there is no one right way to practice yoga, doing your asanas during sunrise on a beach, or next to a breathtaking lookout are surely some of the nicest ones. You can choose some of the most beautiful parts of the world and find a yoga retreat that best suits your needs. There, experienced instructors will offer you guidance and support so you can make more progress than you ever would with YouTube videos. And all that is surrounded by beautiful landscape and friendly people.
If you are ready to take your practice even further, you might want to consider a yoga teacher program. It is an extended course that will equip you with the knowledge and skillset required to become a yoga teacher. Not only you will get to spend time in a beautiful country (some of the most popular destinations are Mexico and India), meet like-minded people, and work on your physical and mental health, but you will also unlock a new exciting career path.
Live and travel better with yoga
There is no better exercise to maintain mental and physical health than yoga. This ancient practice works wonders for even the tensest individuals and helps to reduce symptoms of most modern-day health issues.
If you need some relaxing time-off but want to stay active at the same time, perhaps integrating yoga into your travel plans might be the solution you seek. Whether you prefer adding short, basic exercises to your traveling schedule, or want to center your whole trip around yoga, keeping up with your practice away from home will keep you strong and grounded.