Yoga while you travel? Here’s what to bring.

Spring break will be upon us soon here in Texas, so I thought it’d be a good time to share some of my favorite yoga travel items.
I love doing yoga on the road — it’s a great time to try different studios and styles of yoga, to examine your home practice with new perspective, or to smooth out the kinks from hours in the car or plane. I always try to work in yoga while traveling; doing so helps me maintain continuity and consistency in my day-to-day practice. When I neglect my practice on the road, I’m much more likely to neglect it when I return home.

Having a few basic yoga travel items helps me maintain this consistency. Of course, you can do yoga anywhere without these creature comforts, but I’ve found that bringing them along makes navigating yoga during my travel plans a little more doable.

1. Mat + roomy mat bag OR travel yoga mat

I first bought my Manduka mat bag when I tired of juggling all my yoga clothes and accessories to my yoga studio. As it turns out, the bag comes in super handy on road trips. The bag has a compartment for my mat and another compartment for clothes or other items. When I bring my bag on trips, I’m sure pack my mat and yoga clothes inside. That way, when I head to a yoga studio, it’s easy to grab my bag and head there without a lot of preparation.

If space is an issue during your travels, consider getting or borrowing a travel mat. When we went to England last summer, I was determined to check just one bag. Since I’d only have one carry on — my backpack — I knew bringing my regular-sized mat in a mat bag wouldn’t fit my desired plan. So, a few days before leaving, I embarked on a hasty search for a travel mat that I could fold and place in my luggage. I hit the jackpot when I found a Prana travel mat: It’s lightweight, grippy, and just thick enough to feel fairly comfortable on hardwood floors. I still use this travel mat — particularly on family road trips when space is a commodity!

2. Yoga pants with pockets.

I think packing yoga clothes are worth the tiny bit of extra room they take up. To me, comfortable, moisture-wicking exercise wear makes my practice more comfortable and therefore more enjoyable.

That being said, I do like to have yoga pants that are multipurpose — meaning I can wear them while traveling, when out and about in my destination city, or when I’m on my way to a yoga class. Darker legging-style pants seem to fit the bill for this — but they Must. Have. Pockets. Having pockets for my hotel key, a five dollar bill (just in case), an ID, or a phone makes a pair of pants quite versatile, and versatile pants mean I spend less time changing clothes or searching around my luggage for something comfortable and presentable to wear. Plus, the pockets also mean I don’t always need to bring my purse when schlepping around the town.

3. Cell phone.

You’ll probably have your cell phone with you on your trip, so you may as well use it to aid your yoga practice. Check Yelp to find a well-regarded yoga studio when you’re in a new city; be sure to check reviews (read a few recent ones to get a good idea of the studio) and use the app to find studios that are close to your hotel.

If you don’t have time or money to go in-studio, tune in to YouTube for a quick video or download a tutorial from CodyApp. Video practices can be great ways to make sure you still get in a little yoga while on the go.

For more ways to incorporate yoga into your travels, be sure to come back for  Wednesday’s and Friday’s posts. I’ll offer you some yoga poses for working out those travel kinks, plus a quick hotel-friendly flow that’ll be easy to work into even the busiest travel day.

See you soon — Namaste!

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