Wander 4 Mini Yoga Vacations to Spice Up Your Summer Practice Want to transform your practice without leaving the country? We’ve got the trips for you. By Amanda Kohr Still filling up your summer schedule? Celebrate the season with our remaining summer festivals. Summer may be coming to a close, but there’s still plenty of time to deepen your yoga practice. After all, you don’t need a plane ticket or fancy retreat to tap into your True North; you can do that all on your own. To garner some end-of-the-summer peace of mind, we recommend you try these mini “yoga vacations.” Whether you’re on the road, out in the woods, or in your own backyard, you can make the most of these last few summer days by a few deep breaths at a time. 1. Yoga Roadtrip A great way to practice mindfulness is to travel. When things are new, you’re more inclined to pay attention to the present moment. And breaking your normal day-to-day routine can help relieve any feelings of boredom, which tend to pop up come summer’s end. Gather a fellow yogi (or head out all on your own) with your mat and a full tank of gas. Pick a destination, and make a few steps to try out new foods and new poses. Practice outside of rest stops, alongside scenic vistas, or on the shore. Socialize with a stranger at the local diner. Apply patience and presence off the mat. At the end of the day, journal the details of your explorations and think about what you learned about yourself. Were their any unexpected challenges? Did it make you feel more independent? More mindful? Traveling not only teaches us about the world, but ourselves as well. Throwing yoga in the mix only heightens the experience. 2. Yoga Campout Love yoga? Love the Great Outdoors? Put your hands together and head out on a yoga campout. The end of summer is the perfect time for camping. In many places, Mother Nature is in full bloom, offering up a plethora of gorgeous fauna just on the cusp of the fall season. The stars are sprinkling out to play, and, if you’re lucky, you might even catch a late-summer meteor shower. Try out one of our favorite National Parks or head to your local camping spot (yoga mat in tow). Unplug and enjoy your natural surroundings by combining yoga and hiking. Decide on a routine that’s best for you, whether it’s a sunrise asana followed by a mid-morning hike, a healthy lunch, a light walk, and then an evening flow. After all, nature is proven to have positive effects on our health, and can help you achieve an overall sense of mindfulness. 3. Yoga Dinner Party It may sound a little weird, but this can be one of the most fun and unique activities to add to your end-of-summer repertoire. Chances are you have a friend who’s a yoga teacher, and if not you can ask around your local studio for someone who’s willing to do a private group session. Invite a group of friends, and then join forces to indulge in an early evening flow in your backyard or living room. You’ll likely have to charge a small fee, but it would be far cheaper than a fancy dinner out or faraway retreat. Afterwards, either make dinner together or have everyone bring a dish and go potluck style. You’ll already be in a zen mindset, making mealtime especially mindful and delicious. For added fun, plan this around a full or new moon. Add some spirituality with poetry reading, tarot cards, or intention setting. It may only be one night, but the benefits will last for weeks. 4. Yoga Staycation Of course, you can reap the benefits of yoga without even leaving home. Commit to a two-week challenge, striving to focus on a different element or type of yoga every morning. Create your own routine by setting aside two hours every morning to meditate and flow. Journal your experiences. To heighten the experience, you can even turn your home into your own “yoga retreat.” Keep flavored-water in the fridge and design a makeshift yoga den in your living room, backyard, or study. At the end of the day, allow yourself another few minutes of meditation and mini-spa treatment. — Amanda Kohr is a 25-year-old writer and photographer with a penchant for yoga, food, and travel. She prefers to bathe in the moonlight rather than the sun, and enjoys living in a state of the three C’s: cozy, creative, and curious. When she’s not writing, you can find her driving her VW Bug, looking for the next roadside attraction or family diner. She also roams the internet at amandakohr.com.