6 Tips for world traveling yogis
In 2016, the most time I ever spent in one place was 4 weeks, and even then, it wasn’t at “home” but rather in Tulum and Sayulita in Mexico. When I add it all up, I was in 32 different states or countries last year. Was it a tiring year? Yes. Was it a fun year? Most definitely. Reflecting upon that year of travel, I thought it might be useful to share some insights, especially from a yogi’s perspective.
1.- Pack light – Even as I type these words, I recognize that this is my biggest challenge. Not that I have a huge wardrobe, per se, but there are lots of different things that I like to have with me. For example, I always have a bag of essential oils, Ayurvedic massage oil (which is a challenge to travel with in itself), books, and several bottles of supplements. This all adds up and takes up space. Try to fit everything into one bag, and make it a bag that you can comfortable lift and carry up a flight of stairs, if needed.
2.- Make a routine – My biggest lesson learned from traveling is that no matter where I am in the world, if I make a routine and stick to it, my adjustment to the different situations is much better. A routine doesn’t need to be a huge part of your day, but something that is steady and you can count on happening each day. For me, I give myself an oil self-massage each day; this practice, called Abhyanga in Ayurveda, helps to create some stability and grounding, which can be especially important for someone who is traveling a lot. Travel puts stress on the body (especially the drying nature of airplanes) but also the mind and physiological aspects of the body such as the digestive system. Another routine I always try to incorporate is simply taking 15 minutes each day to read.
3.- Make an effort to fit yoga into your travels – Yoga is everywhere. What this means is that almost anywhere you travel (aside from rural areas) is going to have someplace that offers yoga. Some of my most memorable yoga classes have taken place in an art studio in Rwanda, from a deaf teacher in Kenya, and private classes in Uganda. I even fit into one trip to Nairobi, Kenya last year a weekend getaway to an island off of the coast that was holding a yoga festival and I was invited to teach at it!
4.- Research but don’t over plan – Flexibility during your travels will allow you to take advantage of those unexpected opportunities to check out something cool in the city or simply relax a bit without rushing to a tour or pre-scheduled event each day. It is useful, however, to put some effort into research beforehand to have an idea of the things you’d like to do.
5.- Take advantage of travel perks – I never worry about using my credit cards abroad or withdrawing money from ATMs because I make sure that my credit cards have no foreign transaction fees and I use a bank that reimburses me for any ATM charges. Also, I have switched over to a phone company, T-Mobile, which has great deals in many parts of the world (but not all) so that I can get free texts and free data (although at lower speeds) in many places. These travel perks take away the potential headaches of worrying about a huge phone bill or high ATM fees.
Take note and join us in our travels & retreats!
Caroline Fowler, a member of the YogaMultimedia team, studies Ayurveda through the California College of Ayurveda.
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