Keeping up a yoga practice while on holidays can be hard. New studios and lack of routine can make it difficult to really find your yogi mojo. Which is why having a few simple flows you can practice anywhere and everywhere is the best idea.
Now that the post WellFest blues have finally eased, it’s time to start looking forward to your next adventure! The sun is definitely warming up – giving us some sweet anticipation of the summer months yet to come. But do you practice yoga on holiday? Summer is the perfect time to explore your home yoga practice. Whether you got a taste for practicing outdoors at this year’s WellFest and want to bring your practice out into nature, or you have a holiday booked and want to make the most of every day of your break – these bite sized easy to follow sequences are for you.
The great thing about yoga is you can take your practice everywhere with you and get some movement into your day. All the sequences are suitable for travel with or without a travel yoga mat. Throw your beach towel down by the pool, or better still the beach, and get moving. Yep you might get some curious onlookers, but you’ll find either you’ll notice a few more yogis follow suit, or your onlookers quickly get bored of watching and go back to reading their holiday novel, everyone’s a winner!
As exciting as travel and holiday are it comes with a few drawbacks that, with a bit of movement, can be ironed out or avoided. Each of these four sequences are designed to incorporate some of the asana that specifically target these travel obstacles.
Stretch & realign
Travel can be very tiring and leave you feeling drained, dehydrated and tight in the shoulders, back and hips, from carrying bags and sitting for prolonged periods of time. This sequence has plenty to help you feel stretched and realigned – some cat/cows to release the spine; lunges to stretch out the hip flexors; arms raised to get the blood flowing again; pigeon to stretch the hips and release physical and emotional tension; twists to juice up the spine; and wild thing to get your holiday off to a great start!
Travel can also disconnected from the support of the grounds. As soon as you arrive at your destination take your shoes off and spread your feet wide, lift your toes and place them down one at a time, press into your big toe mound, little toe mound and the centre of the back of your heel. Feel reconnect with your new surroundings. This sequence helps you ground down and find your spacial awareness – low and high lunge flow to wake up the soles of your feet; Ardha Chandrasana and tree to challenge your balance; seated poses to get low down and find your connection through your sit bones; and headstand to stimulate circulation and ease travel anxiety.
Rest & restore
One of the best things about holidays is catching up on sleep but sometimes it takes a bit of time to settle into new surroundings and a new bed. This sequence is designed to help bring some well earned rest and restore – gentle supine hip stretches to release tension and stimulate the rest, restore and digest parasympathetic nervous system; forward folds to calm the busy mind; and ending with a long Savasana.
Holidays can be a bit of a challenge to even the most regular gut! Warmer climates, dehydration, and eating different foods can leave your gut a bit confused and out of sorts. You might find it goes on strike altogether! This sequence is an essential for a happy gut – squats to let gravity do its work; backbends to stimulate the gut into action; and twists to squeeze and compress the gut and bring fresh blood flow. With a happy gut comes a strong immune system too. Pranayama breathwork, drinking plenty of water and, if all else fails, bring a secret stash of psyllium husk or chia seeds with you to help keep everything moving in the right direction!
Use the sequence throughout your holiday for even 10 minutes a day. Repeat the sequences or weave down through the four sequences. You’ll find you can drop more easily into your holidays when you keep up a little gentle movement and will come home feeling refreshed with the added benefit of picking up a yogi glow too!
Ruth Delahunty is a 200hr Yoga Alliance certified teacher and founder of Yogaru.ie, a yoga lifestyle website that promotes a yoga way of living both on and off the mat. For more information visit yogaru.ie.