I've always been aware and appreciated how portable the practice of yoga is. You can take yoga anywhere, do it any place – literally.
Certainly, it is pretty easy to find a class wherever you go, but where else can we practice yoga? At our desks. In a hotel room. In a park. On a patio. On an airplane!
Yogis quickly realize there are no limitations to where or when, – except those we might find in our own heads.
My travels recently took me far from my Galveston, Texas home to Thailand. Some of the first things I packed were my travel mat, my yoga grippy socks, gloves and a small rounded cushiony pad (for those boat poses or headstands on really hard surfaces!). These things took almost no room in my luggage, and weighed just a couple of pounds. Since yogis seem to travel (or live!) in yoga pants or at the least, stretchy and comfortable apparel anyway, I was set to take my practice around the world.
Finding places was never a problem.
The long plane ride afforded many opportunities – (and the need!) – for good stretching and some balance challenges as well, Pyramid poses and forward folds felt delicious! Twists were delightful! And you would have joined me in some giggles over my attempts at holding a tree pose during light turbulence.
It was wonderful to find some great spots in airports or hotels to catch up on yoga time. The only real effort I had to make was the mindset – the determination to make my practice a priority each day. I’ve traveled with my yoga practice before, so I was not particularly surprised about the ease of a traveling yoga routine. However, I think the thing that surprised and delighted me during this trip was the reaction of people who saw me, and the wonderful opportunity I was given to see the power of yoga in action.
I was approached over and over by strangers regarding my yoga – and they didn’t stay strangers for long. There was a group of Indian men and women who sought me out and asked how long I had practiced, what my favorite asanas were – and then invited me to India for more practice and study. A European lady who watched me practice next to the hotel pool approached me with the only bits of English she knew – “Yoga – very good!” – and her lovely smile united us across any language barrier that existed. Whether from the U.S. or someplace I’ve never heard of, I was repeatedly approached for questions and conversation about yoga. Never before have I been so grateful for my yoga and not only what it has done for me, but how it spoke to other people.
Yoga seemed to reach across any communication or cultural lines to allowed me to connect with others. I felt truly united with more people around the globe than I could ever have imagined.
In July and August this year, we will travel to Latvia, Germany and Italy. I can’t wait to see how yoga will open doors and introduce me to more people who will be strangers no longer.
Thanks, Yoga! Let’s go!