Yoga can be done anywhere.
Wow, what a concept.
Although it may seem obvious, how many times do you actually stop to roll out your mat outside of the yoga studio?
This summer I lived “life on the road” hoping from train to bus to car to airplane and while I was covering a lot of ground, my body was taking a toll. All that sitting! All those cramped spaces stuck between King Kong and The Hulk. At the end of the day I felt much more footloose than fancy-free. Everything felt out of wack and I blamed it on my lack of ability to make it to a yoga class.
What a silly excuse. What was really holding me back from yoga? As I sat contemplating in achy misery, I had an “aha!” moment and realized, I am uncomfortable doing yoga without an instructor. The level of discomfort screamed growth opportunity and I knew that I must face the challenge. Instructor or not, I needed to take my yoga practice along for the ride.
And that’s when it started. Yoga in the airport? You bet. Yoga at the bus station? Sure thing. Yoga in the backseat of a car? The best.
The more I incorporated 5-20 minute yoga breaks throughout my day, the better I felt and the more I realized that really, yoga can be done anywhere. You don’t need a class, you don’t need an instructor, you don’t even need a mat.
The term yoga is derived from two roots, yujir yoga (to yoke) and yuj samādhau (to concentrate) and is defined by the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali as “the stilling of the changing states of the mind.” In our western culture, it is easy to forget this simple definition and to associate yoga solely with asana, the physical yogic postures.
Taking your yoga practice with you wherever you go is to take yourself to the present moment. Presence in the chaos of the ever changing now can be a true challenge. However, finding stillness within yourself at any given moment is a very powerful way to draw in and connect, breaking up the tensions that surround you.
Next time you find yourself classless with a terrible yoga-itch, take the time to step away from what you are doing and draw in. Call attention to your breath and connect it with a few rounds of Sun A. Feeling tired and uninspired? Pop into handstand and get the blood rushing to your head. Lower back pain? Hangout in forward fold for a few minutes. Achy back sitting at your desk? Cycle your spine through cat-cow seated variations.
Yoga is at the tip of your nose, literally, at any given second.
Nicole Lindstrom is the Partnerships Manager at Wanderlust HQ. As a native Coloradan, she spends as much time as she can outdoors and jumps on every adventure that comes her way.