8 Ways Yoga Helps you
Travel with Ease

By Sejal Shah | Posted: December 8, 2017

Traveling is good for your soul, improve your outlook towards life, and helps you experience greater levels of happiness.  But when we travel, we are away from our comfort zones and we constantly put our body, mind and soul in new surroundings, unforeseen situations, and new challenges, thrills, and adventures. New experiences  pop up wherever we go, we have the opportunity to test our limits, we meet new people, and we open new horizons. While you are making your travel plans, check out these essential travel tips for safe, healthy and happy travels.

Coping up with travel discomforts

No matter how well you plan your trip, something will inevitably go wrong. Delayed flights, reservation mix-ups, cramped plane seats,  lost bags, hotel rooms below your expectations, exciting activities that you want to do being sold out, jet lag and fatigue, language barriers that come with travelling to a new country, and many other frustrations may arise. Taking in and coping with all of these challenges is not always an easy task. If we are not equipped with the right mindset, these can easily turn a happy vacation into a one filled with stress, disappointment, and regret.

While anyone can learn to deal with travel discomfort, yoga practitioners have a big advantage when it comes to coping with the typical challenges that arise during travel. Travelers practicing yoga and meditation are able to feel at home everywhere they go. Whether it’s the flexibility of yoga that makes you comfortable in the cramped plane seat, or yoga’s power nap -- Yoga Nidra -- that helps you cope with jet lag and travelers’ insomnia, yoga helps you enjoy the moment fully. Here’s why yoga can make you a better traveler, and help you see all of your inconveniences as adventures -- making your travel experience a whole lot more fun, interesting and enriching.

1. Yoga helps you stay grounded

Wherever we go, whatever we do, and whatever happens, our body, mind, soul and the practice are always there for us! The practice of yoga helps us stay rooted and grounded. Whether it’s missing a train connection, scuba diving, bungee jumping, or simply striking up a conversation in the local language with a stranger, practicing yoga transfers your focus and attention to your body and breath, which can help to temper nervousness and anxiety and quickly refresh your mind.

2. Yoga puts you in the here and now

Studies show that practicing yoga helps us to stay in the moment, in the HERE and NOW. The literal translation of the Sanskrit word Yoga is "yoking“, which means uniting. By uniting the mind with the present moment, we can enjoy our travel experiences to the fullest, moment by moment, breath by breath.

3. Yoga gives you ‘me time’

Usually we travel with family or friends. Yoga helps us take time for OURSELVES amidst traveling, which can be difficult while on the road. Creating space for ourselves – even just 10 minutes -- helps us to slow down, to stay connected with ourselves, and to find that lost serenity and peace inside. That peace can spread through the whole day, giving you a concrete tool to handle the challenges that you come across in much better way.  

4. Yoga balances your perspective

When traveling, our attention is mostly focused outwards. We fully engage in new experiences, and our attention is on who and what surrounds us. The outer world is constantly communicating  with our inner world. Yoga is an inward practice that connects you with your inner being, and this aids gauging and digesting the impressions that outer world is constantly creating, helps keeping inner and outer perspectives in balance.

5. Yoga keeps you in shape

Going on an adventure trek through the jungles of Africa? Surfing the beaches in Hawaii? Climbing a mountaintop in the Himalayas? Rafting the Ganges in Rishikesh, India? Carrying your backpack all over South America? Through the practice of asana our bodies become stronger and more flexible, making you ready physically for your travel adventures and helping you prevent injuries and sprains in activities like hiking, rock climbing, and surfing.

6. Yoga prepares you for extreme sports

Staying present and cultivating self-awareness with your yoga practice will prepare you for the thrill seeking activities you may do. Proprioception, the body’s awareness of where it is in space, is improved with balancing poses, while meditation and pranayama, the breath techniques, will help you with the body’s stress response in extreme sports like bungee jumping, scuba diving, sky diving, skiing, etc.

7. Yoga helps you cope with change and discomfort

Yoga is all about letting go. Our travel plans might change on short notice, or sometimes we may change them on purpose because we decide to take a different path as we make our way. At times, unexpected things happen, and we are forced to let go of our original plan. Change can be stressful at times, and yoga helps us to let go, to accept things as they are, and to move on. It’s all about the right mindset. Yoga and meditation also teach us that everything is impermanent and temporary. 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.

8. Yoga sparks inspiration and self reflection

Have you ever tried practicing yoga on the beach or desert, meditating on a mountaintop, or doing your breathing practices while in a boat in a beautiful river? Take the practice of yoga to new places, and I promise you will be inspired by discovering deeper facets and dimensions of your yoga practice. Your chattering mind automatically starts becoming silent. You dive deep into self reflective bliss. The concept of the infinite and immortal nature of our spirit will no longer remain just a concept,  but suddenly may become an enlightening realization. Don’t be surprised if you start feeling a lot of gratitude for life!

You can practice yoga anywhere

While you are traveling, make sure you continue with your yoga practice. You do not always need a lot of physical space for Yoga. In fact, not even a yoga mat is needed for practice! Come as you are, and do it anywhere, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, or 1 hour or even more. The only thing it takes is your INTENTION and DEDICATION to make it HAPPEN!

Try this Rejuvenating Yoga Routine to recover from travel fatigue and hangover.

Try a yoga retreat

Why not combine yoga and traveling by sneaking a little yoga retreat into one of your next trips? You could dedicate time to your own yoga practice in a magical place surrounded by like-minded people, where all your needs are completely taken care of, and you can just be with your yoga practice. What could be a more rewarding travel experience for a yogi? Try the Art of Living’s signature Happiness Program on your next travel into magical blue ridge parkway in North Carolina.

We would love to hear from you. How has yoga helped you in your travels? Share your inspiring, fun, awkward, or downright weird stories with the Art of Living community! Write to us at

By Sejal Shah, E-YRT 500 Yoga Teacher, Art of Living Teacher, Mind-Body Wellness Writer, Yogi, Meditator, Homeopath

Art of Living Part 1 course: Discover Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s ancient secret to modern well-being.

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