Yoga for Tight Spots When Traveling
For those of us who enjoy travel, whether you are staying at a ritzy hotel or in a hostel’s shared room, it’s tough to squeeze in a workout, especially for weightlifters and treadmill runners. In comparison, one of the benefits of yoga is that it’s a portable workout regiment, because of its use of your own body weight instead of free weights or machines. Moreover, yoga trains your mind to adapt to your limitations in gentle harmony rather than push the body aggressively, particularly because of the love and respect that inevitably arises for your body and your being.
Preparation for the Squat Pit!?!
Of course, there are undoubtedly situations when you may be comfortable in your own body, but not so much for your environment. For the traveler who has enjoyed backpacking through Southeast Asia and to other remote areas, you will unavoidably find yourself using dirty toilet stalls…or a squat pit.
Although a squat toilet is much better for you, let’s face it: most people are happy with the comfort of a clean toilet seat instead. So when you are in a tight spot, hovering over a dirty toilet seat and faced with the less-than-encouraging messages of the graffiti on the walls, there are several benefits you can achieve through the applications of yoga to endure this unflattering and rarely avoidable scenario.
This is Why You Need To Pack Yoga for Your Travels
- The first benefit is obviously the physical, which can be done through asanas. Recommended asanas are Tree Pose, Powerful Pose, Half Pigeon, Eagle Pose, and Half Lord of the Dance. These will tone your legs, calves, and balance so that you can handle yourself as you do your business, as well as give you the strength to relax into yourself as you hover over the abyss. Additionally, it’s good to do a few sun salutations sets regularly so that you can get a good blood and prana flow in your legs, especially after riding on a plane or train for more than a few hours.
- The second benefit is the mental training from yoga. Besides the gentle flow and harmony of balance and movement that teaches you how to work and gradually push your potential, it’s a way to find comfort in your own skin. This is important when the stench and the floor aren’t terribly pleasant corners of the universe.
Just Bring Your Body and Awareness
- A good challenge in preparation for this is to deviate from the textbook a little with the asanas and off of your yoga mat, in a smaller area, such as your room with a few borders set on the floor marking where no part of your body can go past. You can use these markers as “training wheels” before you go into an actual tight space of your own creation or making, but you also may not want to do this in your shower where you could potentially slip and seriously hurt yourself.
- Lastly is the emotional aspect: if you are at peace with yourself and your place, then a few minutes in an uncomfortable spot is just that—a moment out of the infinite wonder that is your life…even if your olfactory is offended and the sights around you are less than inspiring. Remember however that every lotus rises out of the mud, and this is your time to take in the totality of your experiences on the journey of life, just as it makes for interesting stories in any traveler’s tales.