I have to admit, being on vacation my practice suffered. The duration and frequency of my practices was cut at least in half, and probably more. But then I have to think, does it really matter? I’m sure many people with a consistent daily practice would totally freak out and judge the loss of that ‘discipline.’ But should I have missed out on the 1000-year old temple because some yoga rule says I should get my required quota on the mat?
With some reflection I realised a few things about yoga and travel, and how my daily practice was changed for a few weeks.
- I’m far better equipped than those reliant on an inflight wellness video to teach them how to cope with airplane travel
- A pranayama practice is a great way to deal with late night flight delays in Hong Kong
- All that balance practice has made my feet quite capable to deal with newly land mine free hikes in Cambodia
- It’s easier to fall asleep when you’re 7 hours off schedule if you know how to calm the mind
- There are stretches one can do to deal with 12 hours of walking around with a tripod strapped to your back
- It’s good to know how to be quiet and reflective around giant Buddhas
- Back corners of mall gyms in Kuala Lumpur are good places to confuse and frighten people whilst you invert against a mirror
- Twists can help you digest too much durian
I could go on and on, but the point is, we shouldn’t just fetishize the practice on the mat. How we use yoga tools and practice to live our lives better is the larger question. Sure, there are times where a daily practice is important to build up strength and ability to live our lives fully. But sometimes it’s ok to let it go and find the practice through other challenges besides pincha mayurasana, or whatever it may be this week.
So I’m back to London, back to routine, and my normal practice is settling back in. But no matter what, yoga practice should be a response to the requirements of your daily life. It shouldn’t BE your daily life.