Our friend, Mollie, at Two Sticks and a Board, shows us how to travel and take our yoga practice along for the ride..Part of my job is travel…. and sometimes, lots of it! Since I’ve gotten into yoga, I’ve tried to integrate a regular practice into my travel schedule. After years of shlepping my yoga mat to locations around the world, only to leave it rolled up for the duration of my trip—I was ready to figure out a strategy to make it work!
After months of trial, and lots of error, here are my top five techniques for doing yoga on-the-go:
1. I bring my favorite yoga mat instead of a travel yoga mat. For me, having my mat—the mat that I love the most, makes the difference between wanting to do yoga and putting it off. Even though it weighs more than a travel mat, my Jade yoga mat gives me the support I need. I simply strap it onto the side of my Osprey backpack and it makes for 1 carry-on item on the airplane.
2. I pre-load all my favorite podcasts onto an iPod Shuffle. One of the easiest ways for me to do yoga on the go—even when traveling with my husband (Sean)—is to have podcasts loaded on a device I can wear while practicing. If I’m waking up early to do yoga, I pop in my earbuds and roll out my mat right in the hotel room. I get to do yoga, and I don’t disturb Sean’s sleep (unless I’m breathing really hard!). Plus, the iPod shuffles are extremely affordable, clip right to my clothing, and hold enough podcasts for an extended trip.
3. I plan my yoga schedule ahead of time. If I’m not holding myself accountable, I know I won’t make my yoga practice a priority. I plan out my yoga schedule from the start of the trip so I know where to go, and when. If I can get myself signed up for a class at a local studio, even better. I pre-pay for a drop in—and if I’ve committed money, I find it impossible to make excuses, no matter how tired I am. The Mind Body Online app makes it extremely easy for me to “favorite” my studios around the world and sign up for classes in one easy spot.
4. I practice persistence and forgiveness. I’ve come to learn that even during my most ambitious moments, there are trips that prevent me from following through with my plan. For the longest time, I had a lot of pent-up guilt about not following through. I was really hard on myself. Eventually, by practicing forgiveness, I overcame that tendency, and I’m a healthier yogi because of it!
5. I surround myself with supportive friends. If I’m traveling with others, I get them involved with my yoga practice whenever possible. Yoga is better with friends—and that doesn’t change on the road! My friends have be so open and wonderful to practicing with podcasts, and they help hold me accountable! And if I can expose a friend to something new, we’re both benefiting from those moments together.
So whether you’re spending a weekend away, or an extended trip around the world, there is absolutely time to fit yoga in! Just remember: pack the necessities, prepare ahead of time, and forgive yourself when plans change. Happy travels, yogis!
Mollie Busby is a skier girl married to a splitboarding beardsman, who lives in a remote yurt in Whitefish, Montana. She gets stoked on powder turns, international travel, & yoga.Follow her adventures on Instagram and find more of her stories on TwoSticksAndABoard.com.