Why yoga is great for travelers (and everybody else)

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Yoga has been a part of my exercise regimen in one way or another since grade school. While I first started practicing to be a part of the “hype,” yoga has now become one of my favorite parts of the week, especially when I am traveling. I look forward to yoga class because it’s a time where I can truly let go and focus on my breath, body, and big, juicy stretches that almost make my body forget that it was crammed into a small airplane seat next to a armrest hog, and sitting in a conference room all day.

So, in celebration of International Yoga Day, I wanted to share a few reasons why yoga is fantastic for travelers (and everybody else)….

Learning to Set an Intention – It’s so easy in our world of endless to-do’s to just put your head down and grind through life checking boxes and moving from commitment to commitment on some sort of super human auto-pilot. While this is a fantastic way to get things done, it is also kind of scary. The realization that your life has been in pursuit of crossing things of of a list, rather than living with a deeper, more meaningful purpose would be terrifying (I would know, I’ve been there). Yoga instructors often encourage their students to set an intention for their practice. That intention could be an idea (peace, love, gratitude), for a particular person (your mom, your brother, that gorgeous yogi across the room…), or even just for yourself. Making it a practice to set an intention at the start of every moth, week, day, or even a simple task, is a great way to ensure you are focusing on the “big picture” rather than a to-do list. This more intentional lifestyle will direct your actions to be in line with your core values, ultimately making you a happier human.

Teaching Yourself to Let Go – So much of our mental energy can be spent on rehashing the past (Why did I say that in that meeting? How did I miss that typo on slide 5?), or worrying about the future (I hope my flight isn’t late, I am not trying to sit in the airport for 4 hours again…). Yoga teaches you to forget about the day-to-day drama, and focus on the present. As yoga provides its students with opportunities to explore new capabilities of our bodies and push our physical limits, all while breathing and balancing, there will inevitably be times when you stumble or fall. There may be poses that your body is not ready for yet, and you can’t understand how Bendy Becky over there has her ankles behind her head. By letting go, having a sense of humor, and realizing that it is just yoga, yoga students often begin to see their lives through a new lens. Hey, it’s not the end of the world if I had a typo on slide 5, and so what if my flight is late? I’ll have time to catch up on work (or have a glass of wine, who’s judging?)

Remembering to Breathe – Finally, yoga emphasizes the breath. The breath, the breath, the breath. When things get crazy at work, at home, or on the road, don’t forget to breathe. Everything will work itself out in due time, and while there is often not much you can control, you can control the way you handle unpredictability and change. Remembering that your breath is the one thing that will always be with you, through life’s ebbs and flows of people, places, jobs, and communities, is a powerful and humbling realization.

Okay, I’m done being a giant hippie now. Go forth and breath.

♥ Kathryn

{I took this photo at my favorite yoga studio in Milwaukee: Milwaukee Power Yoga}

2 thoughts on “Why yoga is great for travelers (and everybody else)

  1. kathleenwbarnes says:

    Love this! I love pilates but have always admired yogis and have wanted to know more about it. Appreciate this post!

    Like

    • kathryn gissiner says:

      Kathleen!

      I am such a newbie to this bloggersphere that I just realized you COMMENTED on my post! Thank you so much!

      I have the same admiration towards people that do Pilates! The Pilates Abs 100 is a seriously humbling experience for me…

      xoxo Kathryn

      Like

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