Have you ever wondered how you can keep up with your practice while on the road? If the thought of traveling sounds like it’s going to cramp your style because you never know where you’ll be the next day, you’ll have to learn to take your practice with you. This is just another lesson in flexibility – learning how to fit your yoga practice into unconventional spaces, even at unconventional times.
1 – Travel Yoga Mat
This one is a no-brainer. Whether you’re heading to a class, practicing on your own, or teaching a class — having a lightweight yoga mat is one of THE most important items you can bring. The plus side is that it can double as something to sit on the ground outside, because it also cleans off easier than a towel! I use the Jade Voyager Mat because I love a super grippy mat! It folds down and fits perfectly into any bag.
2 – Yoga Strap
Yoga straps are small and lightweight. They can easily roll up in your bags, or luggage, to take up little space. Even if you are an advanced practitioner, straps can be therapeutic during restorative practice. They are also nice to have on-hand for private lessons where they may not be otherwise provided! I travel with this all-natural yoga strap.
3 – Resistance Bands
If you haven’t hopped on the Theraband train, now is the time! If you don’t have space to chaturanga but you want to keep up with your triceps strength, these are the answer. Therabands come as a wide elastic band, or as a stretchy resistance tube with handles, that can be used for various exercises to tone the arms, legs, feet, and ankles. They are small and compact, which means they squeeze down easily for travel! Bonus points: You can use them anywhere you have room to move, even just a little bit!
4 – Massage Therapy Ball
Let’s get right down to it: we all get sore. And traveling can make you even more sore. From long, cramped bus rides, to hiking volcanoes, it’s important to make time for some sweet self-care muscle release. Just pop ’em out before bed, roll around, and you’ll feel better in no time! Use tennis balls if you’re on a budget! I use these Jill Miller’s Therapy Balls by Yoga Tune Up.
5 – Neck Pillow
Neck pillows are an absolute must for traveling! I realize they don’t exactly fit in with the typical backpacker lifestyle, but your neck will truly thank you during those long bus rides and flights. Plus, you’ll have something extra to snuggle with once you get to your destination!
6 – Earplugs
Depending on your budget, you may be staying in places that are noisy. Whether from street noise or even from someone snoring in your dorm. Even if you don’t have someone who snores in the bunk above you, it’s just nice to drown out any other noises because a good night’s sleep is priceless.
7 – Sage or Palo Santo
Keep your energy vibrating high and bless up your space, your luggage, and your sacred yoga space whenever your heart desires. If you take on a program somewhere for a longer period of time, it may be nice to have if you start an altar. I love this palo santo here.
A Bluetooth speaker is essential! You may need it for a self-practice if you have space, or even if you are an instructor and give a private lesson. A little nice music goes a long way to set the mood and atmosphere of your practice or teaching sessions.
9 – Reusable Water Bottle
This one should really be a no-brainer for anyone who travels, but I have often been really surprised to find yogis, who come on retreat, who have to order plastic water bottles from the restaurant because they don’t have one. Most places these days offer free filtered water to their guests (in hot countries, at least), but if this is not available, it is still helpful to buy a bigger jug and use your water bottle for outings. Say no to plastic, save the planet, and practice ahimsa 🙂
My favorite water bottle company is Earthlust. Their water bottles are BPA-free stainless steel and they use non-toxic paint to create funky and fresh designs!
10 – Muscle Rub (Tiger Balm/Arnica)
This goes hand-in-hand with the massage therapy balls. You may have a regular practice, but then try aerial yoga for the first time and find yourself more sore than ever. Arnica will help with any bruising and muscular discomfort, while Tiger Balm can help soothe sore muscles. Use at the end of the day to wind down and treat yourself!