Follow my yoga quest at home and on the road…

Tips for the yogi on the move

on June 20, 2013

When possible, I “checked out” potential yoga venues by reading reviews on sites such as yelp.com for the relevant city…

119Having recently completed a six week trip travelling in the USA, I am writing this post to share with others my experiences with regard to seeking out yoga venues, and undertaking asana practice, whilst away from home.

The majority of venues and class timetables were found via the internet. The final decision on where to go was usually made based on ease of travelling from accommodation to the studio – which varied, eg walking, driving, public transport.

Many of the yoga studios had websites which allowed students to register online, complete relevant information required before attending class, and make payment.
Also, some websites showed how many spaces were available in the class, the name of the teacher, name of the room within the studio, etc. All studios had mats that could be borrowed, or hired.

When possible, I “checked out” potential yoga venues by reading reviews on sites such as yelp.com for the relevant city, or judysbook.com. These review sites were useful in general, ie to hear about student’s experiences of various yoga venues, and they were also be useful when making final decisions on where to go if there were several choices available.

After the class, consider writing your own review.

I endeavour to attend early morning classes. This works well for me on several levels, ie, I am an early riser and a “morning person”, so it suits me to be standing on my head at 7.00am :); and, walking, bussing, etc, around a city early in the morning provides a different perspective to that seen during the day or evening.

Also, I enjoyed moving through the almost deserted streets in the early morning – I could literally see more of a city without the volume of people and traffic that exist during the day; and, I found photo opportunities that did not exist at other times of the day; and last, but not least, being the only passenger on a cable car at 6.30am is kind of cool – I used the time to meditate and enjoy in the early morning quiet and solitude.

I have tested out my yoga paws on several occasions. I am still undecided whether I really like using them, or not. I will take them on other travels as they take up very little luggage space, and using them is far better than a towel on the floor, or nothing at all.

I often saw signage for yoga venues whilst out and about sightseeing. I spotted a number of yoga venues whilst travelling on the top level of a double decker bus, and captured their details with my I-phone camera.

Almost daily, I talk to people that I have never met before – particularly when I am away from home. This is an ideal opportunity to ask my “new friend” if they know of any yoga venues. Ask shop assistants, doormen, reception staff, your fellow travellers… πŸ™‚

Travel agents, online yoga forums, your current yoga teacher, friends and family who have already been to the destination you are going to visit … they may all be a resources for yoga contacts, venues, etc.

Check out yoga/fitness publications, and online forums.

Kimpton Hotels supply a yoga mat for guests to use during their stay

Kimpton Hotels supply a yoga mat for guests to use during their stay

Kimpton Hotels – this chain of American boutique hotels, amongst many other fantastic things, is yoga friendly. They provide a yoga mat in every wardrobe, and a TV channel devoted to yoga, and fitness. And, on request, they will provide guests with yoga props such as a block and strap.

Of course, some accommodation has a gym, which would usually include floor mats. Quality and type of mats will vary, and they may not always be useful to the yogi. If you are up for the challenge, or would like to see this as a learning opportunity, it can be a lot of fun trying to undertake asana practise on a spongy/stretchy mat. Or, maybe not? Follow this link if you would like to read about my recent experience with such a mat.

When travelling locally I usually take my own studio mat. When travelling interstate, or sometimes overseas, I pack a lightweight sticky mat. If luggage space it at a premium I forego the mat and take my yoga paws.

Another option is making a choice of asana practice that can be accomplished without a mat πŸ™‚

I take this opportunity to make a special mention of friends with spare closet space who are kindly willing to store a yoga mat. I currently have a mat in a closet in London, and Melbourne, waiting for my next visit.

For various reasons, you may not always be able to attend a class teaching your preferred style of yoga, eg venue is too far away or difficult to get to, no classes align with your availability. Be open to trying new/different styles.

Friends, family, colleagues... may well be a mine of information

Friends, family, colleagues… a mine of information πŸ™‚

I always take two sets of yoga clothing when I travel, ie one drying, one ready to go πŸ™‚ Yoga clothes can double perform as day wear, or an extra layer if it is cold. Plus, a shawl/large scarf is invaluable when flying, and also for savasana.

Self practice can be a challenge. The mind can find all sorts of excuses why practice can be delayed, or not done at all. I say these words from experience πŸ™‚ However, I can also say from experience that if I physically get on to the mat that is a good start. And, usually, once I am on the mat in a seemingly short time I have completed an hour of asana.

If available, I find it useful to use resources such as a timer, I-books, hard copy books, write out a running sheet of asana, have props such as strap, blanket and block easily within reach.

Make your practice on that stunning beach, beside that crystal clear river, on a roof top under the blue umbrella sky, beneath the boughs of a majestic tree… Enjoy πŸ™‚



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