Think you have to find a room full of yoga mats to recharge when you travel? Think again. You can use these three simple yoga techniques to rebalance and recharge during your travels regardless of how little space or time you have. The best part? They’re all free.
Benefits of yoga
You don’t have to bend like a pretzel to benefit from practicing yoga. With all the advantages of the mind-body connection, even just a few minutes of yoga helps you gently balance your mood and your body. Yoga also:
- Burns calories
- Tones and strengthens muscles
- Enhances flexibility
- Calms the mind
If you’re new to yoga, you might be surprised to find out that yoga's foundation is in breath, not movement. Simply sitting and breathing mindfully is actually “doing” yoga. That’s great news if you’re on a plane, bus or boat ride and need to calm your nerves.
An easy way to breathe mindfully is to sit in a comfortable position and breathe in slowly for a count of four, then breath out slowly for a count of four. Focus on how your breath moves in and out of your body. Feel your lungs expand as you breathe in, and let go of stress as you breathe out.
To help you gain more benefits from breathing, follow a guided breathing session. You can find these as apps, YouTube videos, mp3 downloads and on yoga websites. Most use relaxing music with guidance by a soothing voice. Times vary from a few minutes to half an hour or more.
Seated yoga poses
Don’t worry if you don’t have a huge room. If you have enough room to sit comfortably on the floor, you have enough room for seated yoga poses. As for the mat, you can use a rug, a towel or a pillow to cushion as you sit. Try these poses for quick and simple relaxation.
Easy Pose: Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position with your hands on your knees.
Butterfly: While seated, bend your legs so that the soles of your feet touch each other, forming “butterfly” wings.
Staff Pose: Sit with your legs extended straight out in front of you.
Seated Forward Bend: From staff pose, bend forward and reach for your knees, calves, ankles or feet.
Meditation is a form of active concentration and contemplation. It’s a way to connect with yourself and the bigger picture. There are forms of meditation, and you may need to experiment before you find the one that’s right for you.
A simple way to start is to find a peaceful place with few distractions. Choose one of the seated poses and start your breathing. As you breathe, thank yourself for taking time to breathe. Let feelings of gratitude wash over you.
To learn or expand your yoga practice, look for apps, videos and mp3s to take with you. Most of all, remember to focus on your breathing, and you’ll reap the benefits of yoga wherever you happen to be.