I have always been on again off again with my yoga practice but over the last year and a half it’s become an, at minimum, bi-weekly meeting of my toes and mat. It’s felt great and I’ve actually felt my body progress in poses I never thought possible.
On our most recent trip to Chile I contemplated stuffing a mat into the luggage but in the end it didn’t make the cut.
Travelling to Chile means visiting my in-laws. Ummm, delicately put things do not always lean towards butterflies and rainbows instead rather heavily towards awkward silences and biting my tongue. This trip was no exception.
But if you have ever gone to just one yoga class your entire life or maybe never attended one you probably still know the first rule of yoga is: breathe. In through the nose out through the mouth it is simplicity at it’s finest. For me one big yogic breath and I’m a cool, calm and collected every, single, time.
Just the breathing exercises alone was a huge support to my mental stability through the trip but what really helped me get through was actually hitting the mat. As is usually the case after long flights, and inconsistent sleeping arrangements (pull out couches, hard mattresses, soft mattresses, etc) my back was starting to scream. So I arranged time with my husband to have an hour to myself, borrowed a mat and went through a class in my mind. There was children crying and yelling in the background (not mine), adults speaking loudly and more than I would have liked, interruptions, but by the end I was left alone for just enough time to focus on my practice.
I felt lighter, longer, straighter, centred and most importantly I felt like me again. All the stress from travelling with the kids, dealing with our family in the context of the extended family and trying to make it a positive experience for our kids simply melted away momentarily. On top of that I felt like I was “doing” yoga myself, not just being led but taking control of my practice for the first time ever. It probably wasn’t the perfect flow sequencing but it was certainly empowering getting the results I was looking for from my own knowledge. Hmmmm maybe I’m ready to really take the plunge into ramping up my own home practice?
The second chance I got onto the mat was at a surf lodge we stayed at in Pichilemu. They offered a free evening class 6 days a week and I eagerly jumped at the chance to take part. It was the first time I’ve taken a class not knowing the language but yoga lends itself to invitation no matter what language you speak. I may not have taken home all the “lessons” the teacher was speaking about but following along and getting the basics was easy and felt just right.
Inhalamo, exhalamo, smile.
At this point in the trip, nearing the end, I just needed a bit of “me time” as may or may not be the case for you sometimes travelling to visit family is not exactly relaxing but after this class I practically bounced back to the room ready to take on whatever the evening had in store.
My suggestion when you’re feeling stressed on your vacation find time to do something you love even for just a few minutes it’s amazing how quickly your soul re-energizes when you show yourself some love.