Travel and yoga are experiencing extraordinary growth in the United States. According to the latest stats published by Yoga Journal, 20.4 Americans practice yoga. A survey conducted by Eventbrite and OnePoll found that “the average yogi spends $62,640 over their lifetime on classes, workshops, and accessories,” and that “the average yogi is willing to spend $40 on a single, special, one-time yoga experience.” If you find those numbers impressive, and you should, consider this: the U.S. Travel Association reported that “direct spending on leisure travel by domestic and international travelers totaled $792.4 billion in 2019.” As more people allocate funds to leisure activities, it’s no wonder yoga retreats are growing in popularity. However, vacation doesn’t need to revolve solely around a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline.
“Traveling feeds the curiosity of the mind and adventurous spirit, but an itinerary packed full of excursions and activities can take a toll on the mind as well as the body,” says Jolene Cherry, a yoga instructor and personal trainer based out of Portland, Oregon who is committed to helping clients curate exercise and well-being plans fit for anywhere in the world. “Yoga destinations are terrific environments to rejuvenate, but we often want to maximize our travel spending, which means we’re likely to prioritize cultural events, tours, museums, and dining over our exercise routines. Still, amid the excitement, it’s important to tend to the needs of the body and mind. Yoga, even mobile, can be a terrific method to restore balance in our lives as we travel.”
To refresh your energy levels and elevate your relaxation during your trip, consider the following tips from Jolene Cherry that are ideal for yoga practice regardless of length, destination, or purpose of travel.
Suitcase space is a valuable real estate, and packing a traditional yoga mat is impractical in most situations. Though a mat is still essential to practice since it improves balance, holds as well as thermo-insulation, and serves as a physical reminder to work out. Instead of foregoing it altogether, invest in mats designed for travel. Several reputable brands, such as Mandukua and Gaiam, offer products with lightness and compaction in mind.
While some travelers may prefer fluidity in their schedules, a structured yet balanced itinerary can help you make the most of your time away from home. Create realistic practice goals that either capitalize on downtime or help you take a break from the hustle and bustle. Duration is less critical, as is consistency. Be flexible (bend but do not break) and appreciate the time you’ve set aside for yourself.
Travel, especially abroad, encourages us to step out of our comfort zones. Whether it’s ordering an unfamiliar cuisine or participating in a local festival, embracing the new helps us grow. The same can be true of yoga. Try taking a stroll throughout the city or town to discover an unconventional setting to practice. Or put your research skills to the test and find a local studio or yoga meetup in your community. This option is a terrific way to experience the local flare, meet new people, and observe the universal language of yoga in action.
About Jolene Cherry: Jolene Cherry is a certified and experienced yoga instructor and personal trainer based in Portland, Oregon. She has always been interested in fitness, meditation, and nutrition and decided to help others reach their desired levels of physical fitness. Her international training and experience, ranging from Hawaii to Thailand, along with her nurturing one-on-one sessions have helped propel her to a prominent personal trainer and yoga instructor in the Pacific Northwest. She excels in a variety of yoga styles, especially Vinyasa Yoga, traditional Ashtanga Yoga, Power Yoga, as well as meditation-oriented Yin Yoga.
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