While most of America is looking for calculators and glue as their kids return to school, some people are turning yoga and travel into a symbiotic affair.
If you haven’t already planned a travel yoga vacation and you weren’t able to get away over the summer, there are still thousands of incredible yoga ashrams and classes to visit – some being held in private homes in Dallas, Oregon, or Miami, and others clear across the planet on mountaintops, beaches, rainforests, in ecovillages, or even atop floating barges.
Even airports in London, Chicago, Helsinki, and Hong Kong have yoga rooms now, so you can practice downward facing dog while waiting for your trans-national flight to board. With so much access to yoga, it’s like pre-destressing before enduring the harrows of a long flight.
But if yoga is all about being present in the here and now, why get away?
There are a few reasons that travel and yoga are so perfectly paired:
Sustainability is being mainstreamed into travel.
While it still takes a lot of composting and tree planning to offset a single airplane flight, eco-tourism is becoming the norm rather than the exception – and who is usually more eco-conscious than the yogi? Even cruise ships are getting on board, with a prominent company vowing to remove all the environmentally harmful sulfur dioxide from their ship’s exhaust systems. Even airplanes are being made more fuel efficient so that they don’t have to burn as much fossil fuel. And when yogis travel to eco-friendly hotels and resorts, the travel industry takes note. The more demand for eco-responsible tourism, the more it will be delivered.
Travel offers a unique way to reset our minds.
We are all susceptible to rote thinking that can make us stuck and contribute to apathy, depression, anxiety, or even loss of purpose. When we travel, especially when we go to a non-urban environment, and steep our souls in the bliss of nature, we turn down our fight-or-flight response (ironically, since it often takes a flight to get to a place that we can disconnect from the chaos of the modern world). We talk to people with a different cultural bias than our own. We eat different food. We wake up in an environment that is so different than our day-to-day that it ushers in a new way of seeing ourselves.
Travel can even give us the ability to practice mindfulness on a whole new level, opening up higher levels of consciousness that can help solve real-world problems. Just taking a step away from the ordinary and mundane does a lot to reset our lives – and adding yoga to the mix ensures that the insights we get while in this altered state caused by a new environment – are guiding us in the right direction.
If we travel with the intent of having a more mindful experience our years of yoga practice can help to facilitate that intent.
We can vow to pay more attention to the little things happening around us – the sound of birds, the sun setting on ocean waves, the sound of a foreign tongue in our ears, and the smile of strangers. Even being mindful of what we pack – traveling light – can be a practice in trusting that the Universe will always provide exactly what we need when we need it. Our yoga “practice” goes with us wherever we go, and travel provides a unique setting in which to test out our skills and refine them.
Yoga travel is crazy fun.
Finally, we all need more joy and fun in our lives. Most of us are inundated with responsibility, lack of time, and stress. Doing yoga on top of a paddle board, or practicing some Vinyasa yoga on the beach before going for a surf lesson, can help renew our spirits and create a sense of joy that we so desperately need. Maybe your joy is in doing yoga among rare birds in the rainforest or sleeping all day in an eco-hotel to catch up on your sleep deprivation. Travel yoga offers a method to reset, re-energize, and renew on so many levels.
If you haven’t made time for a yoga-cation this summer, plan one for a later date this coming year. It can help take your yoga practice to a whole new level, renewing you in the process.
This article (Yoga Travel Affects More Than Just Your Yoga Practice) is copyrighted by Awareness Junkie, 2018. You may not copy, reproduce or publish any content therein without written permission. Feel free to share this article on social networks and via email. If you have questions, please contact us here.