5 reasons why travel is an essential part of life and practice
Whether you are venturing far and wide, or close to home, travel is an important factor of a well balanced life. It's important to carve out some time in our busy lives and take flight or set out on the open road. Take some time and do a little research, and you can travel in a way that won’t break the bank! Check into these following sites:
1) Scott’s Cheap flight – this site has received great reviews! Subscribe to the email list and get updates.
2) Expedia – Great for flights and rental cars
3) Go the Air BnB route! You get a much more cultured experience and it’s more economical!
From a yoga perspective, exploration is essential for your practice. So get to reading my 5 reasons why travel is essential, I hope you become inspirited and satisfy that wanderlust!
1) Grows Respect: Exploring new cultures enriches the mind and soul. It grows your understanding and respect of other ways of life, including your own. Fully taking in the landscape, language, cuisine, music and vibrancy of where you are is an experience that will last a lifetime. You will communicate better, and expand your knowledge through all there is to take in. I highly recommend taking in a yoga class and talking with the teacher afterward. You will walk away with a golden nugget of lesson or information that will sculpt your craft.
Here are a few studios to visit if you are ever in these states
Nashville – Steadfast & True Yoga
Asheville – Asheville Yoga Center
Chicago – Yoga Six Studio
San Francisco – Yoga Garden SF
2) Humbles you: Just as you will gain respect for the culture you explore, as an individual, travel will help to ground you by bringing in a different perspective. One of the main reasons we venture out into the world is to escape our daily routine and environment. During the first moments of our journey, we are leaving the stresses of everyday life behind for a while. Being in a new place for a day or two will bring some enlightenment to what we may perceive as large issues back home. You are given the chance to shed some light on challenges and issues so that you can look at them in another, perhaps softer way.
Tip: Talk to the locals and hear their stories! Meeting new people is one of the best things about travel! Hear the story of the person sitting next to you at a coffee shop or local bar. Take an Uber and get to know your driver! Let them give you recommendations on some good spots to go. Have a structure while traveling but be spontaneous! Hit some landmarks that you want to see but leave the to-do list at home. You might just surprise yourself and realize you can do more than you ever thought you could!
3) Builds Patience: As a yogi, cultivating patience is a big part of my practice on and off the mat. To be patient does not always come easy. Whether you are traveling solo, with someone, or multiple people, patience is the name of the game. If you are alone, you are in charge which is liberating, but when there is a bump in your trip, it is up to you to stay calm and figure out your next move. By practicing patience on a trip, you gain a better understanding about yourself, and the others you are with. Patient mindsets will also easy the exhaustion that travel can create.
Here is some advice: Take 10-15 minutes each day of your travels for yourself. Maybe you sit out on the balcony of your room, in the community center of a hostel, or outside in a park. Where ever you may be, use these moments to take in the experience of the day, assess how you are feeling, take multiple deep breaths. Run through a mental gratitude checklist and be grateful that you are where you are, exploring, being brave enough to do it alone or with others. Practice an optimistic way of thinking and be open to learn from those you are with.
4) Vibrant Inspiration: I come up with my most creative ideas when on the road. The sights I see, the people I meet and those I deepen a connection with, all play a role in how I come home and communicate with my students and those important in my life. When I have those moments of not knowing what to do, or feel as if I am not doing enough, I look back on some of the most influential moments on my travels and become inspired again, and overwhelmed with gratitude that I was able to have the experience!
Note: Journal during your travels every day, even if it’s just a sentence! As yoga teachers, we want to have a meaningful and genuine impact on our students through movement, breath and words. When you get out of your element, your mind becomes clearer, which leads me to my last thought on the importance of travel.
5) Centered Mind: This is the best souvenir that you can take home. All of the above bring you to this moment and feeling of a centered mind. Throughout the adventure, you are given the chance to open your mind, fully release any assumptions and stress and just take in all of your surroundings. You make your way back home with memories that can never be replaced, realizations that you probably would have never had. This feeling…Priceless…
Practice: Focus in on the breath. Make note of how you are breathing when you first start your journey, pay attention to the differences throughout the trip while you take those moments for yourself. Assess the breath on your way home…write a short journal entry and come back to this breath, this centered mindset when things at home get heavy. You will be reminded why having a balance of taking time to venture out of your comfort zone, into the great wide open, is an essential part of life!