As yogis we feel an irresistible desire to live in the moment. To let yoga take us on a journey of self-discovery and self-love, wherever that may be. Experiencing new places, meeting new people, and connecting with nature are all things that speak to the soul. This is life for travelling yogis.
Yoga is more than just a practice, it’s a lifestyle. The life of a yogi goes far beyond time spent on the mat. Yoga has the power to influence every aspect of your life. Since leaving my home in South Africa last year, to travel and see more of this beautiful world, it hasn’t been easy finding time for my yoga practice. In between work, traveling, and life in general, my yoga has taken a bit of a back seat, and truth be told, I don’t like it one bit. Yoga feeds my soul, it drives me, and allows me to just “be” in the moment.
It got me thinking a lot about how important it is to use our time wisely. To only do what makes your soul happy. To only surround yourself with people who add value to your life and to set yourself up now for a comfortable future, while of course enjoying all the moments in between.
I’ve made a promise to myself to once again start finding time to fit yoga into my day. It’s important not only for my body but also my mind and soul. As an avid yogi and keen traveler, there are many lessons that I’ve taken from my mat to the road. From techniques on staying grounded to going with the flow when everything seems to be going wrong, yoga is the foundation for all travelling yogis.
Travelling is such an incredible way to find yourself in the present moment. But, the combination of yoga and travelling is truly life-changing. Have you ever wondered why Instagram has blown up with a multitude of travelling yogis? What is it with yogis and travelling? The answers may vary slightly from person to person but some of the things that we will probably all agree on are that yogis yearn to see and experience all different walks of life, we like to challenge ourselves mentally, and nourishing our souls is top priority.
So without further ado, here are my top 4 yoga travel poses that will hopefully help all other travelling yogis who are looking for a little inspiration, focus, or even just relief from jet lag or fatigue.
Top poses for travelling yogis
Headstands are the king of asanas. To newbies the headstand may be quite intimidating but once you get the hang of it, the rewards on the mind, body, and soul are plentiful. There are many benefits in doing a headstand but one of the most relevant to travelling yogis is the rejuvenation in the lower body such as the legs, pelvis, and lower torso. While in this pose, de-oxygenated blood is able to flow more easily from the extremities to the heart. This reverses the effects of gravity on your bodily fluids which will help to flush out built up water in the legs, relieving the confining sensation of swelling. This makes the headstand the ideal pose for after a long day hiking, swimming or exploring a new city. No doubt you want to put your feet up after a busy way, and let’s face it, for a yogi, there’s no better way to do that.
The backbend comes in various forms and can start off from just leaning slightly backwards (to a point where it’s still comfortable), and can eventually transform into the reverse motion of dropping back from a standing upright position. Backbends are great chest and neck openers and help to reduce stress and anxiety. Thus, this is the perfect pose for dealing with any daily stress that you may have encountered when on the road. Backbends form a wheel-like appearance and act as a metaphor for the cycles of life. It’s a posture in yoga that’s especially great for delving into fears, opening the chest and finding the core.
3. Upward Dog
This is one of my favorite poses. For me, it creates a feeling of complete surrender and serenity. Granted, this will not be the case for everyone because as we know yoga is a personal journey. Nevertheless, even if it doesn’t feel good for you, it’s a wonderful posture for working the spine and opening the heart simultaneously. Always try to find a position that feels comfortable and don’t put too much pressure on the neck. Rather work on breathing into your upper chest. This pose can be great for aligning to a soft power that drives you forward. It’s perfect for any traveller who wants to leave nothing but footprints.
4. Tree Pose
I’ve left the simplest, yet most rewarding for last. This is the position that allows you to feel rooted, dynamic and stable. It’s the perfect pose to just stop, breathe, and let yourself be. Take in all that’s around you and all that you are experiencing. It allows you the time to feel complete gratitude for all that you are and everywhere you’ve been. In this pose it’s all about building focus. From a simple standing position, move your branching leg to a place that feels comfortable against the standing leg. Find a single point of focus and work on keeping stable. Ignore all the wind, noise, and distractions that surround you.
I hope that these poses will be as beneficial to you as they are to me. Always remember to travel with an open heart. Travel is transformational and as a travelling yogi, you have the power to encourage that transformation. Be aware of how different places makes you feel and be mindful of the energetic exchange happening between you, everyone you meet, and the places themselves. Yoga can peel back the layers of your inner being – revealing your authentic self – and the same can happen on the road. Breathe, believe and just be.
Love and Light always