How to Maintain a Yoga Practice While Traveling: 10 Experts Share Their BEST Tips

How to Maintain a Yoga Practice While Traveling:
10 Experts Share Their BEST Tips for Practicing Yoga Around the World

Practicing yoga while traveling can feel frustrating & impossible.

Jet lag, lack of space, decreased energy, & all that jazz can stop you from practicing yoga while on the road.

I get it, I’ve been there time & time again.

Let’s exchange these feelings with new & powerful strategies.

To provide you with the most value, I reached out to traveling yoga experts and asked for their help.

 

It’s my goal to help you practice yoga & traveling the world, so I thought I’d enlist some help.

Here’s what these 11 experts said when I asked:

“What are your tricks for maintaining your yoga practice while traveling?”

Before we get started, grab your Free Traveling Yoga Lover’s sequence. You’ll want this sequence because it’s designed to aid in the negative effects on the body from travel.

Click below to get yours.

Travel Yoga App

Did you receive your packing list? Sweet.
Let me move my asana so we can get started!

All photos were taken from the expert’s Instagram account. Click on each  photo to view it on their page.

Morgan (The Southern Yogi)

The biggest thing to remember when traveling is the constant state of change your body is going through. Change in eating, sleeping, and going through different time zones.
I always get on my mat with a grain of salt knowing my practice may not look like it did the previous week or even yesterday.
I also think there’s a general myth that you HAVE to get on your mat for at least an hour to be a ‘real’ Yogi which is complete bull in my opinion. Sometimes you don’t have that much time on the road. I’ll hop on my mat in between flights at airports for 10-20 minutes and it’s the most rewarding and beneficial thing I could have done for my body
🙏

The Southern Yogi’s Website..
The Southern Yogi’s instagram.

Matt Giordano (The Yogi Matt)

Maintaining a traditional asana practice while traveling is challenging. For me I have developed what I consider to be a Yoga practice, and while it doesn’t look like a standard yoga practice, it is effective and keeps me feeling great. Most important to me is that my body feels good, if my body feels good then my mind is at ease. What makes my body feel great is Sleep, Food, Hydration, Meditation and Physical practice.
Sleep: this tends to be challenging when switching between time zones. One thing I try to do is book overnight flights where I can sleep about 3-4 hours. Sleeping on an airplane doesn’t always work but late night flights help, because often my body and mind give up and just pass out. Once I get to another time zone I don’t sleep until its night time there. This is KEY to not having Jet Lag. The first day is always a bit foggy, but by day two I am right on track.
Food: When I travel I try to eat as clean as possible. I am Allergic to Wheat and Gluten, and I keep meat, cheese and sugar to a minimum so eating can be the hardest part some times. This year I decided to be an airport lounge member which gives me access to some veggies and humus, that is working out great. Once I arrive at a location I enjoy a heavier meal at night to ground myself and feel relaxed. For Hydration, I obviously drink water, or warm water and lemon, and in addition I put sesame oil or coconut oil all over my body prior to flights which I believe helps keep the dry airplane air from sucking out all my attempts to stay hydrated.
 
The Yoga Practice: I do what I consider to be the most important poses. If you haven’t practiced with me it is important to note that I don’t do much passive stretching, everything I do has some sort of isometric engagement, which is perfect for travel because it doesn’t require warming up at all. The approach is simple, you use muscular engagement to heat the body up while lengthening your muscles. Some of my favorite poses are twisting low lunge with a thigh stretch, low lunge with a thigh stretch, lizard, pigeon, side angle pose, twisting low lunge (elbow on thigh), chair pose, standing ankle to knee, and then of course Handstand followed by some shoulder stretches. All of these include muscular activity so by the time I am done there is a strong heat built in my body, not quite a sweat but an inner fire that feels amazing. Its perfect bore or after flights.
 
My Meditation Practice: consists of finding the nearest Sauna and doing 2-3 rounds at 15 minutes apart with an intention to connect to the Universal Power of Energy that pulses through my body. These few things help me feel great when I travel, and allow me to arrive in any location and feel excited to connect to everyone and share yoga.
The Yogi Matt’s Website.
The Yogi Matt’s Instagram.

Lauren Taus

I love to take yoga classes in local studios while I travel. When there isn’t a place close by or if my schedule doesn’t permit, I just lay down a mat, or get on the ground and move. Motivation is generally the problem for most people. Remind yourself how great you’re going to feel WHILE you stretch, and AFTER. Every little bit counts. Wiggle around. Find a flow that you like or make one up. Just move. Once it’s part of your daily experience, it will be natural to practice wherever you go.

Lauren Taus’ Website.
Lauren Taus’ Instagram.

Expert Yogi Saurus talks about practicing yoga & meditation while traveling.

Alex Tacket (Yogi Saurus)

Since I practice asana almost daily, when I travel, I actually work on trying to surrender my commitment to the routine of my asana practice. Having to let go of control over when and where I get to practice ends up being a yoga practice in itself…. To keep me grounded on the go, I make sure to bring my Insight meditation app (it’s free!) with me so that I can get some quality meditation in during a free moment. I make sure to play it before bed every night so that I can be (mostly) mindful wherever I am. I also try to find and interesting places to practice asana while I’m on the move (in airports!) and at outdoor landmarks that I visit. I often end up meeting people this way and it tends to make for some awesome memories from my trip.

Yogi Saurus’  website.
Yogi Saurus’ Instagram.

Loren Lotus

 
Lucky for us traveling yogis, Yoga is a practice that can be done anywhere, anytime. It’s not always feasible to roll out my Manduka Pro mat with blocks, straps and a bolster… I’ve come to realize it IS possible to close my eyes, take a deep breath and reconnect to my sense of Self.
 
Through my travels I always bring a light mat, a book/journal and meditation stones. Traveling light is the key, so a light travel mat or even just a mat towel will always be enough! That is if I’m seeking a physical asana practice which I do most days. For the days of intense travel, sleep recovery, teacher training, or retreat leading I tend to replace a physical practice with simple meditation, 5-10 minutes a day of silence, stillness and mindfulness. Even when I’m teaching, I use a few minutes of my student’s savasana to silently meditate myself. It’s powerful to be able to drop in to the same practice with my students. Reading and journaling has become a huge part of my practice, to still the outside world and reflect through journaling, new moon intention setting, etc.
 
It always comes back to reminding myself that Yoga is the practice of being here now, and silencing the fluctuations of the mind. If even for 3 minutes on the bus, at the airport, between classes or walking to the beach. I can take a moment to connect to the true essence of being, the Purusha – the Atman, the core of our soul that connects us all together as one. Whether I’m on the Yoga mat, going through airport security, or getting ready for bed – I find true Yoga in finding my sense of Self and connecting with my true being! Rolling out my Yoga mat for a physical practice, sitting in silent meditation with my stones, or journaling the state of my being are all ways I find a true sense of my Yoga practice.
Loren Lotus’ Website.
Loren’s Instagram.

Rachel Smolinski’s (SmoSheFlows) .

Practicing yoga on the go isn’t always the easiest thing to manage. Maybe your hostel didn’t have as much quiet space as planned, that beach you wanted to meditate on has no parking in sight, and the class you booked… well you took note of the wrong time and showed up half an hour late. Oops. Even IF all these things happen, that doesn’t mean you have to lose your practice on the road.
When I travel I do always bring a mat with me, but if we’re being honest, you don’t NEED it. I book classes along the way so that I can build onto my practice by using knowledge of other instructors. Mindbody does a great job of letting you know about the best deals and studios in the area.
 
Another must is airport yoga… For so many reasons. It takes your mind off of the long delays and layovers. It keeps you from spending twenty plus dollars on unhealthy snacks. It makes your body feel good! Yes, at first it will feel weird to bust out your moves in the airport. Find yourself a nice quiet corner and the stretching may bring your sore and tired body back to life.
 
Finally, don’t stress! If things go awry remember that your practice has no rules, it is IN YOU. It can be as simple as pulling into a parking lot to take five minutes to breathe. It’s your practice, you do what works best in the moment and work with what you’ve got. 🙂

Rachel’s Website.
Rachel’s Instagram.

Click To Tweet practice has no rules, it is IN YOU.” quote=”Finally, don’t stress! If things go awry remember that your practice has no rules, it is IN YOU.”]

Jess Blackmun:

When I first started my yoga journey in 2009 I was embarrassed to practice in public. I was picky about the my surroundings, the conditions, and everything going on off of my mat. I was strictly a studio class practitioner who needed a structured sequence to feel comfortable.
 
As I got more into yoga, I started getting more in tune with myself. I started learning what kinds of flows felt good and began my personal practice. I found that the more you keep your focus on your mat, your body, your breath, and the movement of your sequence you can do yoga just about anywhere.
 
Open yourself up to the idea of yoga outdoors. Don’t be afraid to move your mat to the hallway if it doesn’t fit in your room. Keep your focus on your mat and learn to be okay if people stop and watch. Once I stopped feeling embarrassed about doing yoga in public my practice deepened. I’ve done yoga in some incredibly beautiful places. I have even made some awesome friends by rolling out my mat or towel on different beaches, parks, etc. When you’re traveling, carve out a little time in the morning before you start exploring. Pack a towel or travel mat and do yoga at the top of a hike or on the beach. Yoga is fluid so let it fit in to your day where it can. You don’t have to do a full 90 minute yoga session each time. Some days when I’m adventuring I just do 5-10 minutes of sun salutations or a little mini flow. There are even times when I’ll just toss my shoes and do some yoga barefoot in the dirt or grass. But that small amount of time helps me to maintain my practice. It also gives me at least a little chunk of the day where I can calm my mind and get connected with my body. Letting go of the rules of what I thought yoga should be and accepting yoga as it is in each opportunity and moment is how I maintain my yoga practice while traveling. I hope that you can take some of my ideas and use them to help you keep up your practice on the go too!
Jessica’s website.
Jessica’s Instagram.

Lauren Rudick:

After 8 years of traveling and the last 5 being a traveling yoga instructor, maintaining and evolving my yoga practice on the road has become an important aspect of this lifestyle. First of all, it is important to not get attached to a time, style and length of practice. I move somehow every day, but sometimes that looks like a simple half-dog on a wall and 5 deep breaths. Sometimes I get to do a full hour of vinyasa on a beach, sometimes I close my eyes and breathe on a long bus ride.
 
In my opinion, the most successful way to maintain a yoga practice on the road is to remember that yoga goes so much far and beyond asana. My practice while traveling is so much less about physical postures and more about mindfulness. I try to stay open to new experiences, move from compassion, connect with others at the level of the heart. Today I sit and meditate more than anything else and often receive mantra in my mind, counting repetitions on the mala beads I often wear around my neck or wrist. Maintaining a yoga practice while traveling is all about remembering why we practice and what is at the heart of this lifestyle: union, connection and love.
Lauren Rudick’s website.
Lauren’s Instagram.

Taylor Harkness (TJ Hark):

Sometimes, after long flights followed by longer hours of teaching yoga, the last thing I really want to do is more yoga. So when I’m traveling, my practice doesn’t always look very physical. Read: I’m exhausted and need to just chill for a while. Because of this, I make an effort to do a more restorative practice and meditation. Most often when I’m on the road, my practice looks like a bit of legs up the wall, reclined hero pose, a few sun salutations with my knees down, and some quiet journaling or breathing while I listen to music.
 
To stick with my practice, I remind myself that not every moment on the mat has to be an intense vinyasa flow or ashtanga primary. Taking fifteen or twenty minutes to regroup and get back to balance is how I stay grounded, even if it means knowing when not to exert myself. I save the intensity for when I’ve got the juice and savor the simple and sweet practices whenever I can get them. 

Taylor’s Website.
Taylor’s Instagram.

Florence Shih (Yoga Wine Travel):

In addition to packing my 3 mm travel mat, I try to maintain my self-practice by setting aside time and committing to it.
Sometimes it also feels amazing to practice alongside fellow yoga lovers. Plan and research ahead of time to see what studios offer drop-in classes. This may seem obvious, but before you jet off to your destination, ask friends, family and yoga teachers at your regular yoga studio if they have recommendations for yoga studios in your travel destination. Beyond the logistics of finding a time and place to practical the physical poses, here is my biggest piece of advice: remember that Yoga has 8 limbs!
 
People tend to focus on the physical asana aspects of Yoga and forget to practice the other limbs. Travel gives so many wonderful opportunities to practice Saucha (cleanliness – think about what you put on and into your body!), Santosha (contentment), Aparigraha (non-grasping), Tapas (discipline and building heat) and Pranayama!
 
Stay active, eat well, practice meditation (even if it’s only 5 minutes) and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t end up in a puddle of sweat on a Yoga mat!

Yoga Wine Travel’s Website.
Yoga Wine Travel’s Instagram.

Jessica Olie:

One thing that really helps me every time I travel is bringing my own yoga mat, that way I can practice whenever I want. I carry it with me when I travel and take it on-board as hand luggage. Sometimes if I’m traveling a long way I’ll roll out my mat and find a quiet area in the airport and flow to my hearts content.
 
Another thing that helps is making sure I’m aware of studios where I’m going. If I need space to practice, or I want to go to a class, I know exactly where it is and can access their schedule easily.
 
For me, regardless of whether I’m traveling I always find it easier to practice in the morning when I’m fresh. If I leave it to the evening, when I’m super tired from a full day of exploring, I’m less likely to be productive when I get on my mat.
 
One last thing is take a little pressure off of yourself. When I’m traveling I don’t tell myself I HAVE to practice every single day at a certain time. Enjoy your holidays and exploring all the new places and use your mat as “me time” to have fun, play, reset and recharge!
Jessica Olie’s website.
Jessica’s Instagram. 

May is the month of the traveling yoga lover!

To kick off high tourist season here in the United States, we are going to be celebrating The Exploring Yoginis all month! Here is what you have to look forward to!

  • The Traveling Yoga Lover’s App List
  • Traveling for Yoga Article  (May 7th)
  • #Jetsetyoginis Instagram Yoga Challenge (May 15-25)
  • Summer Yoga Fun in the Sun Article (May 21)
  • The Exploring Yogini Packing List (May 28)

There you go! The BEST strategies for practicing yoga while on the road from the experts!

Like everything else in life, don’t forget to explore your options. Try out these tactics, use what works & leave the rest. Perhaps you’ll find that something completely different works well for you!

Here’s what to do next: 

1.) THANK these experts for sharing their yoga travel wisdom with you today. Use the Click to Tweet buttons throughout the post, and the Share buttons on the left to thank them on social!

2.) RECEIVE your the yoga sequence designed specifically for the travel lover, it is full of yummy stretches to help you feeling your best while traveling.

Yoga Experts Influencers share their favorite ways to practice yoga while traveling around the world.

Share
Pin
Tweet
Share
+1
Stumble