If you practice yoga, sometimes your life begins to revolve around your time on the mat. After more than 20 years as a Yogini, I have learned to modify my asanas to fit my evolving world. Before kids, my practice was more frequent and vigorous. I shunned restorative poses and always sought improvement that could be measured by my backbends, length of headstand or other obvious results.

Now, with a busy family and work life, I’m constantly looking for ways to integrate my yoga to suit me: my moods, schedule and health. Traveling always includes my trusty mat, attached to the outside of my checked baggage, encased in a cheap yoga bag. This battered and dusty mat has a lot of miles on it. Whether on my in-laws’ deck on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, my friend’s adorable apartment in Paris or a geothermally-heated floor of a guest house in Iceland, my mat is more vital to me when I travel than almost anything else, besides my passport. Sure, practicing yoga before and after your journey can be a great way to ground your travels, particularly after long flights and dramatic time changes. But beyond the rigors of air travel or long road trips, there are practical reasons why I love to practice diligently when away from home.

For one, when I’m gone I don’t have all my day-to-day responsibilities and maintenance to eat up my time.  Two, yoga really helps me feel good physically: awake, in the moment and ready to tackle a day on my feet or food that is presumably different from my regular routine. I have taken yoga trips or retreats where yoga is the trip, but that’s a different story. I’m talking about taking your mat, maybe a belt, even a Styrofoam block or eyes pouch, and carving out time to practice; even fifteen minutes in the morning can set you right for the whole day.

There is that immeasurable gratification one gets from combining loves in your life. Whether atop a mountain, on a beach or in your hotel room, bringing yoga into your travels and travel into your yoga helps to expand both practices.

Filed Under Feature, Yoga


One Response to “Have Yoga Mat Will Travel”

  1. Margot on December 21st, 2008 6:20 am

    Excellent site. Good work.

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