As yogis, we sometimes find ourselves in new places and countries where we want to roll out our mats. However, being abroad can be disorienting. Here are some ideas of places to do yoga while traveling abroad.
Whether your travels be for business or pleasure, here’s some inspiration to get out of the car, off the plane, and on to your yoga mat.
1. At the Airport
Believe it or not, airports can be a wonderful time to welcome mindfulness. Some innovative cities are even creating dedicated yoga spaces in their terminals! Burlington in Vermont, Helsinki in Finland, San Francisco, and Chicago all have yoga rooms in the airport.
The good news is that even if the airport doesn’t have a studio space, you can unroll your mat in the lounges or waiting areas. In general, these are spaces with loads of natural light, quiet corners, and frankly, no one wants to be bothered, nor will they bother you.
It’s not a big deal—put on some headphones and be that yoga weirdo in the airport.
2. At the Hotel
Similar to the airport, hotel rooms have a ton of natural light, big windows, and usually enough floor space to practice. Most are carpeted too, which is great for increasing confidence to practice inversions and arm balances.
If you’re feeling brave (or forgot your yoga mat), hit the hotel gym. Many hotels have conference rooms and meeting areas. With enough kindness and eyelash batting, many concierges will be convinced to let you in the space for an hour.
3. On the Highway
Yes, you can do yoga on the highway (the side of a highway). Highways have rest stops! These are lovely grassy areas where, if the weather is nice, you can enjoy some uninterrupted stretching. Don’t be shy to pull over at scenic vistas along your drive and take some thoughtful breaths and a few Sun Salutes.
You’ll feel refreshed, energized and ready to get back on the road.
4. At the Beach
Beaches: giant public places where privacy can be found if you walk far enough, and where inspiration will come if you look out in the distance. Yoga on the beach is simply the best. Even better during low tide when the sand is flat and hard packed.
5. In the Forest or on a Hike
Asana does not have to be limited to a yoga mat or a horizontal plane. Play with your practice. Connect with nature. Get outdoors and see how you can be a warrior in the forest. Try planking between rocks, Tree Pose on fallen logs, try sitting and breathing and listening to the sounds around you.
6. In the Town Square
This requires some bravery and maybe a friend or two. But reach out on social media and you might just meet some fun yogis in the city or town you’re visiting. Invite them to play around outside amidst monuments and fountains. You’ll have so much fun, you won’t even notice people staring at you!
7. At a Local Studio
This one seems obvious, but it is surprising how many yogis are afraid to try out a new studio away from home. Remember, yoga studios are some of the most inviting places anywhere in the world. The idea behind each of them is to cultivate a safe space, a haven for wellbeing and self-exploration.
Do some research, find out who the local yoga superstars are where you’re visiting, and try out a new class. It doesn’t matter if you don’t speak the language. Your body does.
8. On a Dock, Wharf, or Pier
Getting out in nature often invokes a special connection, a feeling of purpose, a sense of spirituality.
When abroad, look around at the bodies of water. See a pier, wharf, or dock? Get on it! Practice on it. You will be so close to the water that all you’ll hear is the sound of it lapping against the structure you’re standing on. You might also feel a beautiful sense of isolation on a narrow strip of land.
9. At a Library, Museum, Temple, Church, or Mosque
If you’re traveling in a bustling city and are looking for a quiet place to meditate, sit still, or practice pranayama, a museum, library, temple, church, mosque, or really any place of worship will usually offer a place with wonderful architecture, near-palpable stillness, and mostly a safe space to sit and be.
10. On Paper
Remember, yoga practice is not limited to asana. Mindful journaling, creating sequences for class, reading inspiring material, writing a kind letter to a friend—these are all yoga.
Well, what are you waiting for? Get creative. Get out in the world. Get your yoga on!