How to get your ‘om’ on while on summer vacation. (Photo: Ben Ritter)
Picnics on the beach, family vacations, and road trips with friends are what the summer is all about, but don’t let your globetrotting come between you and your mat. Taking your yoga on the go is a great way to physically recover from a long plane or car ride, to energize yourself after a red-eye, or to mentally relax while in close quarters with your kids for what may seem like an eternity.
Don’t be worried about not keeping up with your regular practice while away — yoga is all about no stress; but you’ll be more likely to get a few sessions in if you’re prepared- even if it’s on the three by nine space of your hotel room balcony. Whether you want to unroll your mat at a class in a foreign city or on the dock at your seaside Airbnb, you’ve got plenty of options to get your flow on.
Use an app.
To find yoga classes anywhere, there are a few great apps that can help you avoid an endless Google search, such as MindBody Connect App, YogaFinder or GoRecess. Just pop in a zip code and within a few mile radius you’ll be able to research studio options and workshops internationally from your phone, and schedule them into your itinerary. During your travels, lugging around extra bags or sleeping in an unfamiliar bed can wreak havoc on your body, so look for classes that focus on shoulder and hip opening, and twisting in case your digestion is thrown off track.
Do a 5-minute sequence.
Only have a few minutes before a surf lesson or group jaunt into town? Don’t ditch your practice because you can’t get in a full hour- you can easily find pose instruction and sequences that you can do in just five to ten minutes. Download Yoga.com, Yogify or 5 Minute Yoga for quick pose guides you can do in a jiffy; or try this 10-minute ab-focused yoga flow if you’ll been hitting the ice cream hard.
Subscribe to video classes.
If you have time for a longer, guided practice, then pop onto YogaVibes, Yoga Download, or Daily Burn Yoga to choose specialty guided classes. You can narrow your search down to time, teacher, style and level. These sites all require a subscription, but they offer at least a week of free classes, so you can sign up while on vacation.
Invest in a travel yoga mat.
In my 20 years of practicing yoga, I’ve only borrowed a yoga mat once while traveling, and it smelled like feet; so I vowed to never be without my own, or at least a travel towel to cover one from the studio. And trust me, let alone the smell; you don’t want to catch any funky skin diseases either. Manduka makes one of my favorite travel mats, the Eko Superlite, which weighs only two pounds, has a great grippy surface, and is made from sustainable tree rubber. If two pounds will limit your sandal collection, then opt to cover a mat with a lightweight, picturesque Yogitoes towel, which will remind you of your week watching beach sunsets even after you return. Running from class to lunch on the go? Pack your mat and a change of clothes in the new Go Free 2.0 hybrid; one part mat carrier and two parts backpack. You can belt your mat on the outside, zip up your sweaty clothes in one pocket, and even safely tote your laptop in the padded compartment.
Pack the right clothes.
Unless you’re staying at one of those “special” resorts, you probably won’t be doing nude yoga, so you’ll need to cover up. Bandier’s got you covered whether flowing under a waterfall in Costa Rica, or saluting the sun from a rooftop in Rome; their Lena Compression Leggings and Aguilera Tank worn over the Loren Sports Bra will help you stand out from the sea of black capris. Need a little more ventilation? The mesh panels in Kira Grace’s Romance collection provide ultimate ventilation that will keep you cool even during a midday class on the beach.