Traveling without a yoga mat is not impossible and here’s why….
Many backpackers, if not most, I’ve met and seen, always seem to have a a yoga mat strapped to the bottom of their backpack. It’s definitely a good addition to your travels, from sleeping in the airport to stretching after long nights of partying… and I was always torn between getting a mat or not.
I wanted to have a yoga mat, but as I decided to travel with a tiny suitcase, there is not efficient way to put the mat anywhere.I sadly thought I would be putting yoga on hold during my travels, until realizing that many times you don’t need to be lugging around a yoga mat.
That is not to say it isn’t helpful.
A mat is completely useful and makes practicing yoga easier, cleaner, and more enjoyable.
But also remember that a lack of a yoga mat doesn’t need to equate to a lapse in your practice!
Yoga doesn’t require a specific amount of space or certain equipment, just focus and breathing 🙂
Don’t make excuses, just make time!
10 suggestions for traveling without a yoga mat:
1. Try joining a local yoga class.
In a different country this could be quite the experience, and why not make it one?
Look up yoga studios on Facebook, Instagram, Couchsurfing, andMeetup!
Yoga can be really found anywhere; from a city park to a retreat!
2.Use your bed.
Okay, no matter where you are, you’ll have some place to sleep on. Now, while doing downward dog in a hostel bunk make be awkward and perhaps impossible… there are plenty of other poses you can do. Try to vary your yoga practice and try some sitting down poses. Some suggestions are pigeon pose, cobra pose, and camel pose.
3. Use a hard surface.
The floor of your room, or the terrace of a patio may not work for lying down poses, but they are fine for standing ones. As long as the floor is reasonably clean (you’ll be showering after anyways right?), go for some warrior II, lizard pose, and tree pose. Maybe you’ll even find a carpet or a rug around!
4. Use a towel.
If the surface is not so clean, or, if you’re doing yoga in the dirt itself, just lay down a towel. Towels are also much more compact than yoga mats… and you may even be able to get one from your accommodation!
5. Find a spot of grass.
Check for insects, glass, and other things first… but grass can work even if you don’t have a towel. Try some standing poses, and, if ants are all you see (hopefully they’re not red ones), why not try some lying down poses as well?!
6. Practice on the beach.
This could be difficult for balance.. but that’s something most of us yogis want to work on right? A cool spot in the shade of some trees might just do the trick.
7. Practice in the shower.
Okay, this doesn’t leave a lot of options for poses, and you don’t want to have an accident slipping during dancer pose, but it’s worth a try. Be careful though… death by shower yoga doesn’t sound too epic.
8. Make your yoga flow shorter than usual.
I say this because something is better than nothing! If you dread the thought of 45 minutes, just do 15. Heck your body will even be happy with just 5 minutes of yoga! I promise you, even the shortest amount of any exercise is beneficial.
9. Look past discomfort!
Isn’t this often what yoga is about? Try to let go of feelings and thoughts about a pose, and just breathe through it. Enjoy the moment for what it is, and be happy you were able to get some yoga in your day.
Over to you! Do you travel with a yoga mat, or do you leave yours behind?
What is the funniest spot you have ever done yoga? I look forward to seeing your comments below!