8 Ways Yoga Can Ease Your Travel Discomfort

Samantha Allen
8 Ways Yoga Can Ease Your Travel Discomfort

G. K. Chesterson once wrote, “Adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.” No one understands that better than travelers.

In many ways, travel is an exercise in inconvenience and discomfort. No matter how well you plan your trip, something will inevitably go wrong. Delayed flights, lost bags, and language barriers simply come with the territory—and when considered rightly, it’s all just part of the fun.

While anyone can learn to deal with travel discomforts, yogis have a big advantage when it comes to coping with reservation mix-ups and cramped plane seats. Here’s why yoga can make you a better traveler, and help you see all of your inconveniences as adventures!

1. Suffering is temporary—and so are those minor travel ailments.

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Yoga and meditation teach us that all suffering is temporary. And the good thing is, whatever’s making your life miserable right now is temporary, too. Whether you’re dealing with bug bites, sunburn, or even a touch of food poisoning, keep in mind that whatever’s ailing you, it won’t last forever. Your sanity will thank you.

2. Cramped plane seat? No problem for flexible yogis.

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Is it just me, or are plane seats getting smaller? It sucks to feel like a sardine in a tin can—especially when that tin can is hurtling 30,000 feet above the surface of the earth. You’ll thank yourself for that yoga-created flexibility when your neighbor decides to put his seatback down in front of you.

3. Focus on the present—not that awkward faux pas you made yesterday.

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So you accidentally told an old French lady “I’m horny” when you really meant “I’m excited.” Whoops! Don’t sweat it—these things happen. Fall back on your yoga practice to keep your awareness firmly rooted in the present, so you can enjoy your travels without blushing about yesterday’s mistranslation.

4. Missed your train? Don’t freak. Try yogic breathing instead.

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Missing your train, plane, or bus WILL happen—it’s a travel inevitability. But instead of getting angry or panicking, take this opportunity to practice dealing with unpleasant emotions. Best of all, you won’t ruin your whole day just because of one inconvenience.

5. Courage to try scary poses = courage to try other new things.

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Don’t let nerves hold you back! Whether it’s scuba diving, bungee jumping, or simply striking up a conversation in the local language with a stranger, do that thing you’re scared of. If you can master your fear of inversions, you can do anything.

6. Overindulged on the local cuisine? You yogis know what to do.

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One too many street tacos? There’s a yoga sequence for that. Break out your best digestive flow routine to get your belly back to normal—so you can indulge some more tomorrow, obviously.

7. Get a better night’s sleep on uncomfortable hostel beds.

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A terrible night’s sleep is a recipe for a cranky day of sightseeing. Practicing some relaxing Yin yoga before bed to help you sleep more soundly, even when there’s a spring from the ancient hostel mattress poking into your back.

8. Gratitude for your amazing adventures!

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The best travelers know how to take it all in—a trait that’s also universal to yogis. Take time to meditate on your gratitude for awesome experiences, or start a gratitude journal for your travels. It’s the experience of traveling that you’ll be taking home with you, so make sure to really enjoy it.

How has yoga helped you in your travels? Share your stores fun, awkward, or downright weird stories with the DoYouYoga community!