Different scenery, new experiences, a change of pace... sounds like vacation! A little break from routine is good for the soul. This can provide a moment to clear the mind of stress and return the body to a more relaxed state.
Despite the "get away from it all" mentality, there are some bits of the day-to-day that are important to hold on to. Maintaining your yoga practice and healthy living habits will allow you to return from your getaway truly relaxed, refreshed and glowing! These goals aren't always easy to accomplish when you are away from the comforts of home. With a little forethought and planning, you can circumvent these five "Practice Pitfalls" and have a truly blissful vacation.
If you are traveling to a new locale, of course you want to see it all! Trying to pack too much into any agenda often makes the whole experience more stressful and that much less fun. How many times have you heard someone say "I need a vacation from my vacation”? Is that really a vacation? We think not. Make like Lao Tzu, and approach your trip with his quote, "A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving."
Ohhh how wonderful it will be to not have to wake up to that confounded alarm clock, right? Believe it or not, you are actually better off in the long run to maintain a normal wake time, even on vacation. The good news is, instead of dragging yourself out of bed to get ready for work, you can plan to get up and have some unrushed, quality time for you. Maybe this is the perfect time for a morning stroll, or back-to-back yoga sequences.
Ha-HA! NO cooking! Sounds exceptionally fantastic, right? The pitfall is in the unknown: how many calories and what ingredients are in that dish you just ordered? If your body is used to healthier fare, you may find dining out saps your energy and makes your stomach roll in less than desirable ways. A little research ahead of time can save you here: find out what restaurants are nearby (you may find some with deliciously healthy menu options), where the local markets are, and if your hotel has rooms with small kitchen appliances so you can make some healthy eats in-house.
Hotel room yoga: will it be bliss, or a bust? You've probably experienced that moment, when moving through that expansive reach up and into Warrior I... and your fingers graze against the wall, or knock the ceiling fan... or that person that just walked out of the bathroom... This is hardly ideal! Advance preparations will save you again here. Does your hotel have a fitness area or available conference room you might be able to use for yoga? Maybe there is a trip to the beach or other scenic locale in your plan? If that is the case, an outdoor session might be ideal.
You're all packed and you just don't want to lug the yoga mat, the DVDs and the laptop. Of course not, as this would negate Practice Pitfall #1! There's really no reason you have to these days. New products mean you can practically wear your yoga mat on your feet. As for the DVDs and laptop, you can leave them home, worry-free! All of the original 26 Namaste Yoga sequences are now available to purchase on iTunes in Canada and the United States. You can download your favourite yoga sequences to your mobile devices, and you will be ready to practice whenever and wherever the moment presents itself.
If you can stay true to your original intentions and keep your scheduling to a minimum, you may find the way is clear to truly deepening your practice. Enjoy your surroundings, breathe, and have a wonderful time.