When a yogi travels….


I’m on my way up to Santa Barbara for school (at Pacifica Graduate Institute) and was waiting at the train station. I had my backpack, roller suitcase, and of course, my yoga mat. If I were to be away for a day, then perhaps I would be ok to leave it at home…but anything more than 2 days would require me to bring along my well-worn, slate gray Manduka mat, which feels like home away from home, or more like a security blanket…or more the feeling of, “I feel naked without my yoga mat!” I wonder if other yogis feel this way…

Maybe it also has to do with the intensity of ashtanga yoga practice. As many of you ashtanga yogis may well be aware, the tradition strongly recommends a steady practice 5-6 days a week. I generally practice 5 days but sometimes reach 6. Six days feels like a lot (as I do other activities, like running and surfing)… But I start missing yoga if I skip a day or two. Perhaps there is something a bit compulsive about this practice and I suppose it attracts the more compulsive types. Still, I like to think that the body is wise and craves what is intrinsically good for it and the mind. And for me, being over conscientious and compulsive at times, I stick with the 5-6 day a week rule. As a result, I need my yoga mat around all the time! All I can say is that both my body and mind are a lot happier when I do this, so what the heck not?

Anyway, I was waiting at the Amtrak train station and noticed a few curious looks my way, as I had rigged my yoga mat with my rolling suitcase. A part of me felt a little self conscious, although it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It can’t be more curious than someone carrying a guitar or surfboard, I mean, really! Of course, I would have felt a bit more comfortable if I saw a yoga mat perched on everyone else’s suitcase at the station. Or maybe I’m just splitting hairs, being the compulsive obsessive type (when I’m not obsessing on how to perfect those jump backs without my feet grazing the mat)…

So I was wondering about others’ experiences…do you take your yoga mat with you when you are travelling? Do you get curious looks or even comments? What if you were stuck in an airport…would you do yoga right then and there? How far would you go to maintain your practice?

3 thoughts on “When a yogi travels….

  1. I love your blog!
    I was on a surf trip 2 weeks ago, and I did practice yoga early morning at the camp site.. it was difficult but I still had to do my practice. I was practicing on the grass or the beach, and I didn’t really appreciate my practice because of the unequal ”floor”. I don’t really care what people think when I practice, but I find it hard sometimes to take (or find) the time (2 hours practice in my case) when I am not at the studio or at home. But if I don’t practice, I know my day will be difficult and I will just think about doing yoga. I need my yoga, everyday as much as surfing (but unfortunately, I don’t surf as much as I would like to). So yes, I carry my mat everywhere I go and I would do yoga in an airport if I had to (I’ve already practiced between 2 motel beds because it was the only space available!) 🙂

    • Thanks Isabelle! Good to know that others feel the same way, and it’s great that you surf and do yoga also. Like you, I feel like I need both everyday but usually the yoga wins over. I don’t surf as much as I’d like to, maybe 2 or 3 days a week if I’m really lucky. But the yoga seems more essential because if I skip it, my days becomes difficult too. I need about 90 minutes for practice…if only there were more hours in the day, right?

      • I am from Montreal, and the surf season is more during summer.. but I will go sometimes in the states to surf in the ocean.. But my yoga is also essential, and I can practice even if it’s cold and rainy, which is another reason why yoga is awesome. 🙂

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