Guide to Bringing Yoga On Your Vacation
By Crystal McCormick
Travel yoga is a great way to physically recover from a long plane ride, to energize yourself after taking in the sights, or to mentally relax while in close quarters with your kids for what can sometimes seem like an eternity.
No matter how many miles your travel takes you, it is possible to bring yoga along for the ride. And unlike lugging your laptop around with its dozens of work emails, taking yoga along with you will actually help you enjoy your vacation even more.
Whether you want to do sun salutations on a tropical beach or unroll your mat on your hotel room balcony, read on for simple ways to get your ‘om’ on while out of town.
Find Your Groove
No matter where in the world you are, there are plenty of helpful apps designed to help connect active travelers with yoga classes in cities across the globe. Have some of these handy yoga apps ready to seek out some zen and connect with local yogis.
Also, yoga studios, unlike most membership gyms, will usually let you purchase a “drop-in” class. These classes usually range anywhere from $10-$20 per class and are a great way to fit in some yoga, even when you’re on the road.
If you want to go at it alone, registered yoga teacher Michelle Catin recommends Yoga Download, which offers a variety of steaming yoga classes to help you take your yoga classes along with you on vacation.
The popularity of yoga has made it so that classes and facilities are offered at many resorts. At Palace Resorts in Mexico and Jamaica, for example, they offer a variety of classes. While traditional Vinyasa and Hatha yoga classes are available at Palace properties like Le Blanc Spa Resort in Cancun, at The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun you can even take your yoga to the pool with Paddleboard Yoga, offered every weekend. “It's a great way to test your balance and abdominal strength,” Catin said.
Make Good Use of Time, Place, and Things
Use What You Have
Forgot to pack your mat, blocks, or bolster? No worries! All it takes is some imagination to whip up your very own DIY hotel room yoga studio.
You can improvise your travel yoga sesh with some basic hotel amenities or even your own luggage, say experts. “You [can] use a saraong-type scarf as your yoga mat, or a bath towel in your hotel room,” suggests yoga teacher Savitri Talahatu to Travel and Leisure. “Rolled up towels are good for block replacements.”
Certain properties and rooms at yoga-friendly resorts, like the aforementioned Palace Resorts, also come with yoga mats and other yoga accouterments further facilitating your yoga practice.
Take Advantage of Idle Travel Time
Don't let all that waiting around at the airport be in vain. Sitting in your seat at the gate or on the plane is the perfect time to practice some relaxing chair poses to prepare for your flight, say experts.
"If you are stuck on an airplane or in the airport, there are many different yoga poses you can practice in a chair to keep the blood flowing and get a little workout in as well," explains Gabrielle Benoit, a yoga and pilates instructor and founder of Core Club LA in Los Angeles to Fitness Magazine.
These chair-friendly yoga poses will stretch tense muscles, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated – and ready for a day of travel.
Strike a Pose, Get Wellness
Strike a Pose in Your Pajamas
Good news for yogis and sleep enthusiasts alike - there may be huge benefits to sneak in some yoga while still in bed. “People underestimate the power of those few minutes before we get out of bed and rush into our day,” says Vyda Bielkus, co-founder of Boston’s Health Yoga Life. “In those moments, we can set up some clear intentions and choices,” she explained to the Huff Post.
To get your namaste on before a night's rest, try Savasana, also known as final relaxation. Lie down on your back, stretching your arms and legs out to the sides. Allow your feet to flop open and your fingers to relax. Close your eyes, move your face and jaw around, and take a few long breaths in and out through the nose. Stay in this pose until you feel all of your travel stress start to slip out of your body.
Yoga As Part of A Wellness Vacation
If you’re looking make yoga a central part of your vacation, you’d do well to make it part of a whole wellness vacation experience, such as those offered at Moon Palace Cancun’s Wellness Suites.
Not only can you get in some yoga in the privacy of your own suite with the complementary “Awe Sports Kit,” complete with a yoga mat, jump rope, and dumbbells, but eating healthy is a breeze with a heart healthy menu and gluten-free meals, available 24 hours a day via complimentary 24-hour room service.
In addition to the property’s state-of-the-art gymnasiums and stellar lineup of fitness activities including yoga, CrossFit-style classes, traditional spinning and Pilates, guests staying in the suites can also participate in aqua spinning with a private instructor in private wellness pools directly adjacent to the rooms.