Oh, the joy of adventure. Exploring new outer and inner worlds, stepping away from the routine of life to restore, renew, and rejuvenate. Travel is often a glorious experience of exploration and transformation that resets our perspective of life in wonderful and inspiring ways, especially when we are going to a healing retreat. But sometimes travel can be stressful or exhausting, even when everything goes according to plan. When we are outside of our grounded everyday lives it is even more important that we maintain the practices that help us remain centered and balanced – so we can actually enjoy our trips, and not end up just suffering through them.
Balance All That Sitting
If you are traveling further than you can walk for your retreat, you will probably be sitting a lot of the time. Long flights and train, bus, and car rides are all par for the course when it comes to international travel. If you are going to a destination across the world from your home, you could be sitting for 30 hours or more. All of that sitting takes a toll on the body, and can cause serious challenges in your hips, back, neck, and shoulders. Yoga includes a lot of movement to increase circulation and mobility in your entire body. Practicing during your journey wherever you can, and especially soon after you land, can really help ease your transition into your trip.
Keep Your Immune System Strong
Traveling can be rough for immunity. The canned air on airplanes and trains combined with being in environments that might have different microorganisms than those to which we are accustomed can make us more susceptible to illness. The last thing you want in your relaxation time is to get sick. Yoga practice can support the health of the immune system, by moving toxins out of the body through the movement of the lymphatic system, increasing circulation, reducing immune-suppressing stress, and reducing inflammation.
Handle Changes and Challenges With Ease
On even the most well-planned journeys, there may be delays and challenges. You will probably forget something at home. There could be a thousand reasons for you to loose your cool. But if you are practicing yoga throughout your trip, you are more likely to be calm, centered, and creative. Yoga practice both decreases stress levels, so we are less likely to freak out about minor things, and increases our critical thinking and problem solving skills – so we can turn setbacks and disappointments into opportunities. This supports our personal development almost as much as the retreats themselves.
Actually Enjoy the Yoga on Your Yoga Retreat
There’s nothing like being really excited about going to a yoga retreat or a yoga teacher training only to feel super stiff and unable to be really present during the classes because you are stagnant from all the traveling to get there. If you practice yoga in the days and weeks prior to the beginning of the actual retreat, you will be a lot more likely to enjoy and learn new ways of being and applications of the practice in the retreat itself.
Integrate Your Transformational Experiences
If your journey is more about multi-discipline personal transformation, it is even more important that you maintain your personal yoga practice to help you ride with everything that is happening. If you exploring mountains and beaches on an outdoor adventure or seeing new lands on a sacred journey retreat, practicing yoga will help your body keep up with the activity and your mind keep up with all your experiences. If you are diving deep on a sacred retreat or healing retreat, like the Magic Journeys Ayahuasca Retreat, the yoga practice can help you integrate the medicine work and bring more grace into your cleansing and transforming process.
These are just a few of the many reasons yoga can make your entire trip more enjoyable, more comfortable, and healthier for your body and mind. If you want to make sure that you don’t end up needing a vacation from your vacation, you would be well served to keep up a consistent yoga practice while you travel.