I can say with absolute certainty that my yoga practice is significantly worse when I travel versus when I’m at home. It’s an incontrovertible fact. Actually, this past weekend when I traveled to Bucharest was maybe the first time I’ve successful practiced yoga and meditated three days in a row while on the go. Yes, that’s right. Potentially the first time ever. It’s incredibly hard to motivate yourself to hold onto home routines when there’s a new city to explore, strange new foods to eat, and even more obscure history to discover. But you know what makes a difference?
1. Manage your expectations
Instead of assuming I would practice for an hour each morning, I aimed for 15 minutes. On the flight over, I created a quick 10-15 minute sequence meant to cover the whole body (Thanks PBYP program and Erin!). As for meditation, I set my goal for five minutes, which you might not think makes a difference. Spoiler Alert: Yes it does.
2. Have your accountability buddy on stand-by
Yoga-to-go is the most important time for your accountability buddy to step up. You’ll want to skip a day, ignore that slight urge to eat breakfast instead of hanging out in downward dog. I get it. Trust me. The temptation is strong. Each morning, I woke up on this trip and I wanted to keep sleeping. I wanted to not get up and practice. I even had the perfect excuse: no mat. But luckily my accountability buddy, Stephanie, told me that she had already done yoga… and, magically, moderate pressure did it’s job.
3. Imagine yourself post-yoga-to-go
Aside from the help of my accountability buddy and managing my expectations, what really kicked me into gear was the brief fantasizing of what I would feel like after practice. Take the last day of my trip for example… my friend and I had road-tripped our way to Count Dracula’s castle and back. There was an hour before our flight departed and we were running short on time. As you can imagine, my mood had significantly soured, and I wanted to go to sleep, read a book, do anything but spend a second with my breath.
And I could have. I easily could have sat on the plane, eaten a Snickers and read my book (not to say I didn’t do this later). Instead, I closed my eyes and thought for a moment of how much more relaxed I would be once I meditated. Painstakingly I sat up in my seat and actually began to breathe.
In case you’re wondering, it is in this post-meditation state that I’m writing to you, bad yogis. Yoga doesn’t have to be this end-all be-all perfect practice. It changes every day, your intentions change and how much you have to offer goes from 100 to zero percent. There’s no need to demand perfection from yourself when you’re on the go.
What keeps you motivated to practice when you’re traveling? Share your tips below!
Featured photo via Bad Yogi community member Ugyen Choden.