Travel and Yoga
By Angie Davis
“We travel the world in search of moments that leave us speechless. Humbling moments, confronting moments, spontaneous moments. And in these moments we are left with the choice to retreat or grow, life’s greatest inspiration can be found on the road. “ – Angie Davis, Double Barrel Film.
Why do we travel?
For over a decade I have made travel my life’s focus, and working has a travel editor I have followed my heart around the world. From the sacred Ganges River in India, the mystic Alps in Japan, and yurts of Mongolia, to the canyons of Colombia, the vibrant Caribbean, Peruvian Andes and South American surf breaks, just to name a few memorable experiences.
Traveling removes us from our comfort zones, giving us great opportunities to expand our hearts and souls as we meet new people, visit new destinations, and open the gates for personal growth and transformation to take place.
I remember when I first visited Africa as a university student with my family; I was mesmerized at the playfulness of the children living in the slums, so happy with so little, and this put life into a great new perspective for me. I am particularly drawn to adventure hard and challenge myself when I travel, taking every opportunity to confront and overcome my fears and truly grow with every foreign encounter.
When we cross those illusive borders that attempt to divide ourselves from each other, it can be incredibly awakening to realize we are all truly connected and our separation is a false judgement. Travel, if you allow it, will inspire you to raise unity consciousness.
Travel and Yoga
I never step foot on a plane without my Divine Goddess Yoga Mat. I fly frequently, and my mat is my favourite travel partner. I roll her out on airport floors and stretch at every opportunity pre-boarding or on lengthy layovers. I have slept on my mat on overnight ferries in Japan, in a tent in a national park in the Colombian Caribbean, and taken her to sunrise yoga class in Spanish at a permaculture farm in Santa Marta.
Taking my yoga mat on my travels ensures I am always able to ‘hit the mat’, and encourages me to seek out yoga classes and teachers in each new destination I visit. Attending yoga classes as a solo traveller is a fantastic way to meet friends, and I have heard of many friends who have even found new love at yoga classes on their travels.
I thrive on meeting like-minded yogis, and enjoy the difference teaching styles and approaches all across the world. Just rolling out my mat at an airport gate often strikes up conversations with strangers and I find particular joy in interacting with those who are curious about yoga but have never tried but get inspired watching me bend before a flight.
Tips to practicing yoga on your travels
- Research online before you fly. Even if you have a half-day layover in a major city, providing you have a visa to exit the airport you will have plenty of time to attend a yoga class. Search for classes near the airport before you depart and contact the teachers in advance to ensure you can drop-in and pay for a one-off class;
- Invest in the right equipment. Are you visiting warm or cold climates? Do you have one easy flight or multiple changes? Your choice of yoga mat, clothing and accessories will enchance your travel experience. The Divine Goddess Eco Lite Travel Mat is designed for the roving gypsy, weighing a mere 700grams without sacrificing traction and support, making it our favourite global-roaming travel mat;
- Carry your mat on board. Airlines are getting stricter every year in regards to carry-on luggage allowances, but I am yet to be pulled up for sneaking my yoga mat under my arm as an extra piece of carry on. If I know I have layover flights and won’t be collecting my luggage for a day or two, I make sure to keep my mat on board with me so I can stretch between flights.
Destination yoga retreats have become hugely popular, with a plethora of short experiences to longer term teacher training opportunities as abundant as Coconut Palms in Colombia. Be sure to do your research and ask other yogis about their experiences and preferences for retreats, teacher trainings, and workshops. Instagram is a fantastic medium to reach out to fellow yogis and follow their travel journeys from classes to retreats to long term training programs. Divine Goddess founder Susi is well connected in Bali and is a wealth of information should you find yourself booking a ticket in search of a tropical paradise to unroll your mat and enhance your practice.
Why do you travel? Where do you drift towards when a journey beckons your experience?