On vacation, moments to practice are often scattered through the day. Time here and there when kids and significant others are occupied. Vacation yoga is almost a form of yoga unto itself.
Is form perfect? Probably not. Do I do an entire flow, or series, or class? Um, no, but dropping to a down dog to feel the sand slide under me as I try to reach my hips up to the sun is a very different feeling from down dog in the studio. Yoga is everywhere and on vacation its easy to find spots to slide into an asana.
I like to take the opportunity to visit out of town yoga studies while away. Its difficult enough to get to class during the week at my hometown studio. So before I go away I’ll often narrow down a search and find a studio near my vacation spot. And as we are taught, each class has been a gift, exactly what I needed that day and that time. I’ve gone to sports injury classes (always looking for some new shoulder work!), ashtanga lite, vinyasa flows that were inventive yet familiar at the same time. Sometimes it’s just hearing another teacher’s voice or wording that makes a difference. But it’s always welcome
The only time I had a problem with a “vacation” yoga studio was one closed in the Keys for renovations. Luckily it was beautiful outside and there was a pool with a deck. I know some students who, while on vacation, will try things they don’t generally do in practice. Others prefer to stretch. I think we all agree that none of us really push ourselves very hard when practicing without a teacher – so make it luxurious. Stretch. Let your body unfurl with the breath. Really reach the arms up and the legs down. Unless you are taking sort of vacation where every second is planned, let your day to day stress roll off away with breath and movement. Take advantage of these moments with your practice. Don’t preplan your practice just unroll your mat and let it happen. Whether you just stay in savasana and let your mind clear and breath go deep or if you let your body lift you up into a natural warrior flow, let your practice lead you during vacation. Play around with different things but no further than your body and mind want at that time.
Vacations are supposed to be relaxing and fun. Yoga is portable. Take the opportunity to let your practice relax too.