Travelling can be an adventure, an opportunity to let go and re-set and a wonderful way to experience different cultures. Travelling can also bring up anxiety and a sense of feeling ungrounded. This is why packing a few essential tips and tools of yoga for travelling can be a valuable way to stay well and healthy in mind and body wherever you are.
Whether it’s a road trip, long flight, stay-cation or summer getaway, specific yoga practices involving the breath, body and mind can do wonders for helping you maintain a sense of balance whilst travelling. The better you feel, the more present you’ll be able to be, and the more holiday memories you’ll be able to make! Read on to discover for yourself, and share with those you’re travelling alongside for smooth sailing this summer.
1. Breathe & Be Well
When travelling, it’s easy to feel a little nervous about the journey or indeed the destination if you’re visiting somewhere unfamiliar. Pranayama practices that extend the exhalation can be a vital way to stay grounded even if you’re in the air. Practise inhaling through the nose for a count of five, hold for five, and exhale for a count of seven. Practise this for 3-5 minutes to bring about a sense of calm and composure.
2. Mudra Magic
Specific mudras can be used effectively to elicit certain responses. Whilst practising mudras, it’s important to focus on the intention and purpose of the mudra’s symbolism too. Utilise Bhumi Mudra with the fingertips touching the ground to connect to unfamiliar lands. Or use Prithvi Mudra whilst on the move to cultivate a sense of being grounded and steady. To increase energy levels after a long flight or when you’re experiencing jet lag, prana mudra or Vayu Mudra can boost life force and subtle energy flow through the mind and body.
3. Affirmations & Mantras
An affirmation can be the key to overcoming anxiety in uncertain times. Being able to enjoy your holiday is really important in order to arrive back home feeling refreshed and renewed. Repeating a chosen phrase such as “I am calm, I am steady” or “I am peaceful, I am present” whilst travelling can help you remain in the moment. Mantras such as the Ganesh mantra; “Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha” invoke the obstacle-removing power of the elephant-headed deity, whilst the Maha Moola Mantra is intended to remove negative energies;
Sat Chit Ananda Parabrahma
Sri Bhagavathi Sametha
Sri Bhagavathe Namaha”
4. On-The-Go Asana
Even when on a plane or in a car, there are certain yoga postures that can be practised to help relieve stiffness and sluggishness. For on-the-go holiday yoga, try using the arm position of Garudasana to relieve tight shoulders and an aching neck. Also, a seated twist can help revitalise the spine on long journeys. Or a dynamic cat/cow movement will help you stay alert when needed.
5. Words of Wisdom
Svadhyaya – meaning ‘self study’ or ‘study of yogic texts’ is one of the aspects of Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga. This is, as one of the Yamas, thought to be an important part of the practice of yoga, and is a wonderful way to stay in touch with your practice whilst travelling. Choose a text like the Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, or a biography on the life of an important yogic figure, and let it inspire you throughout your travels.