Traveling is amazing and there’s nothing quite like it. When you travel a lot, even with all the problems and annoyances, the world opens in way that you can’t easily describe to people who don’t travel very much. Unfortunately, traveling a lot has its downsides too and one of the big ones is the fact that your exercise routine tends to get forgotten. Between a new environment, working out how and where to get food, where to stay, and looking at all of the new and amazing things, the idea of working out just seems like too much trouble. If you’re staying somewhere for a long time or spending a few months on the move in different countries, you really do need to exercise. Otherwise, you can’t eat all that amazing food without ending up not being able to fit into your clothes, and nobody wants to come home and have to diet.
One of the problems with exercising when you’re traveling is the time factor. This especially applies when you’re constantly on the move, taking trains, buses, and planes to different areas or countries. The idea of spending an hour in your room when you could be taking in some amazing tourist sights seems like a waste of time. But it isn’t. The reason people do yoga is to relax. Of course, there is the fitness element, but for the most part, yoga is about moving your muscles in a way that makes them stronger and looser. Yoga is also about settling your mind into that peculiar open, calm state that yoga seems to invoke so easily.
That doesn’t mean that you need to spend an hour in your hotel room every day. It means that you need to carve out twenty minutes to half an hour and have a routine already in place for when you travel. It’s especially helpful after flights and long bus rides, when your muscles are tensed and cramped, and your mind is stressed after dealing with all the logistical aspects of travel. Sometimes, a short yoga session can be just what you need to unwind and start to enjoy the new place you landed in.
Another concern for traveling can be space. Most hotel rooms are tiny, without the room to really move around, and your travel yoga routine must respect and compensate for that. You also need to restrict your practice to moves that work well without a yoga mat, unless you’re happy to carry one stashed in your suitcase.
With all that in mind, here are a few yoga moves that can be adapted for wherever you end up.
Chair pose: This pose is a great warm up. Start with your feet hip distance apart and your arms out to the sides, lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
Warrior II: Stand at one end of the space you have, step back and turn your back foot at a forty-five-degree angle. Face forward, with your arms out to the sides and lunge over your front leg.
Triangle: With your legs in the same position and your arms out, hinge forward over your front leg without moving your hips until you can’t bend any further, lower your bottom hand to the ground and stretch the top one up to the sky.
Split leg Bend: With your legs apart and your feet parallel, bend forward and try to put your head on the ground.
With a little bit of thought, and perhaps some rearranging of furniture in your hotel room, you can create your own yoga routine that is quick and easy but still effective and allows you to maintain all the conditioning you’ve gained at home. That’s one of the amazing parts of yoga, it’s instantly adaptable to its surroundings and easy to keep as part of your life even when everything else is changing.