Yoga on the Go

Yoga on the Go with Melina Meza

If you have a steady yoga and meditation practice at home or attend regular classes at a studio and now find yourself on the go for work or pleasure, it’s not uncommon to lose momentum in your practices.

Over the years I’ve started traveling more as a yoga teacher and Ayurvedic Health Educator and have figured out a few ways to maintain my wellness routines and yoga practice no matter where I go.
On the road, yoga is a lovely companion and can help you physically recover more quickly from fatigue, time zone changes, and long airplane rides. It mentally supports you in staying grounded and calm in the midst of all the unexpected circumstances you may face in travels! Here are a few of my favorite ways to incorporate yoga on the go:

Before Traveling:
  • Purchase a thin traveling yoga mat for your adventures.
  • Schedule a private with your local teacher to design a practice that is realistic and suits your personal needs.
  • Research possible yoga studios close to where you are traveling and schedule them into your itinerary.
  • Find a yoga-inspired book to help you learn more about the philosophy or history of Yoga for those long airplane rides or to help you relax before bed.
  • Build a wellness-travel kit with tongue scrapper, neti pot, sea salt, nasya oil, triphala (take in the evening if you suffer from constipation when traveling), tea tree oil spray (to sanitize your hotel room), and your Ayurvedic oil to treat yourself to an oil massage before bed or your morning shower.
On the Road:
  • Wellness Practices = Healthy Yogi Expand your morning routine to include a large glass of room temperature water to hydrate. Also, scrape your tongue to remove bacteria in the mouth, use the neti pot to rinse away airborne pollutants, and squeeze a few drops of nasya oil post-neti to lubricate your nasal cavity.
  • Mindfulness Practice Meditate in bed for 5-20 minutes first thing in the morning or lying down in bed at night listening to a Yoga Nidra recording. Meditation can be very helpful to prepare you for the unexpected and new experiences that accompany traveling.
  • Schedule Your Asana Time Write down in your calendar when you plan to do your asana practice. Create a 15-30 minute sequence of standing poses in case you don’t have a mat or clean floor to do a full practice. If you’d like some ideas for your home practice, check out my Art of Sequencing books, available in our boutiques at Namaste.
  • Online Yoga Classes Ask one of your regular teachers if they can recommend a yoga video or audio practice for your travels. If you travel often enough, you might consider joining something like My Yoga Online, which allows you to stream or download numerous videos to your computer.

This post was originally published on MelinaMeza.com

10002927_10152263344729450_1907427944_nMelina Meza has been sharing her knowledge of Hatha Yoga, Ayurveda, and whole foods nutrition with yogis around the world for over 20 years. Melina pioneered Seasonal Vinyasa, an innovative multi-disciplined approach to well-being, and is the author of the Art of Sequencing books, creator of the Yoga for the Seasons – Fall Vinyasa DVD, and co-director of 8 Limbs Yoga Centers 200- and 500-Hour Teachers’ Training Program in Seattle, Washington.

She teaches Mondays at 5:30pm at the Grand Lake studio and will be teaching the upcoming Intro to Yoga workshop at Namaste on Saturday, April 30.

Photos ©Melina Meza.

 

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Yoga for Travel: Quick Tips

Maintaining a steady practice during the holidays can be a challenge to say the least but during this busy time of year, even the simplest form of movement can increase our capacity to handle stress and fatigue by leaps and bounds. Whether you are hoping in a car or jumping on a plane, here are three simple tips for staying limber in both body and mind during the winter festivities.

1. Dolphin Pose 

Travel Yoga

This is a great twist on the standard Downward Dog or Adho Mukha Shvanasana. Dolphin Pose or Makarasana (also called puppy pose) helps to stretch out tight shoulders, hamstrings, and alleviate headaches. It is perfect for combating indigestion,  asthma, insomnia, fatigue, and back pain (especially sciatic). When we are stuck in cars or planes for long periods it is common to not be eating as healthy as possible and often we are unable to stretch out. The combination can lead to a lot of the above problems making the holidays a time of pain rather than joy.

2. Half Lord of the Fishes 

Travel Yoga

This seated half spinal twist, or Ardha Matsyendrasana, is another way to unwind and give your internal organs some love with a gentle, twisting massage. Generally during the holidays we tend to drink and eat a little more than usually. This pose is great for cleansing and eliminating toxic waste from the body while stabilizing and toning the core. Stimulate the important parts of your body, like your spine and digestive system, while relaxing the mind and shoulders. For more info, check out Namaste teacher Annie Carpenter’s blog post on Yoga Journal.

3. Knees to Chest

Travel

This is one of the simpler asana’s but still packs a mighty punch of benefits. Both soothing and activating, Knees to Chest or Apanasana is a great pose for reconnecting with your breath and releasing your gluteus maximus muscles. A quick pose you can do anywhere, sometimes all we need is a few minutes of laying on the floor to feel grounded, strengthened, and calmed.

Happy Holidays!
Check out our Holiday Schedule for regular and canceled classes.

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Survival Skills for the Holidays

by Ashley West Roberts

[This post originally appeared on Ashley’s Blog]

I am just going to come right out with it. We don’t do the holiday hustle and bustle in our house. In fact, most Decembers you can find us in Mexico or Hawaii or some other warm place straight CHILLEN. But unless you stay in the house all season long, you are going to have to deal with the disaster that has become the holidays in the US. Not interested in the crazy (and by crazy I mean, oh let’s see, camping out at Target for several days, or living off a diet of Christmas cookies for two weeks or pretending to like yet another gift you never wanted or needed in the first place) check out my survival skills for the holidays:

Be intentional.

Do not allow yourself to get swept up in all the hooplah. Sit down this weekend and make a plan for how you want your holiday season to go. What are your priorities for this time of year? My partner and I decided we want two things from the holidays this year: To take plenty of relaxing down time and to do some kind of service in our community. Sit down with your family and plan out what you all really want to do over the holidays and make it a priority. Just because you went to Grandma Janes house for the last 5 years does not mean you have to go this year. Politely explain that this year you are trying something different.

DO NOT REGRESS.

I repeat, do not regress. Spending the holiday with family can be beautiful but it can also be stressful. If you notice yourself acting childish around your mother or being the “boss” to your younger sibling, take a moment and pause. Remember that you are an adult and you should conduct yourself as such. Also, give your family members the space to do the same.

Ashley_West

Communicate wisely without being defensive.

Come up with one liners that easily shut down a conversation you’re not open to having. Your family may not agree with your dietary habits and things can become tense around the dinner table. “My body feels great when I eat this way” is a short and effective response. Or, perhaps a family member is disapproving about the way you celebrate with your children.You can simply say ” celebrating this way brings our family so much joy”.

When all else fails….BREATHE.

When all other strategies fail, simply return to your breath. It’s seems obvious but it works if you do it. If you feel yourself getting worked up or stressed, take a moment of pause or excuse yourself to the restroom and do this simple meditation.

Sit quietly and focus on how the inhalation and the exhalation FEEL. Match the length of your inhale and your exhale. Image a small circle around you-your personal space- and remember that you are in control of this space. Remind yourself that no judgement and no drama can come into this space unless you allow for it. As you breathe make space for yourself to be just as you are and for your friends or family members to be as they are.


Ashley West Roberts Yoga | Namate Yoga Ashley believes whole-heartedly in movement and meditation as practices for self healing. Her goal as a teacher is simply to help you become more yourself. She stresses “yoga is not one more thing to be good at” but a daily process of checking in with what is present.

Ashley’s classes are anchored in the traditional teachings of yoga sprinkled with experiential anatomy and creative play. Her classes are informed by her background as a classically trained dancer, daily meditation practice and her passion for minimalism and simple living. It is her greatest pleasure to integrate her yoga and dharma as taught to her by her teacher Katchie Ananda.

Ashley West Roberts

www.ashleywestroberts.com

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Away We Go: Badlands National Park

with Tosha

I recently had the opportunity to drive cross country, while relocating to the San Francisco area. The direct route would have been to go straight through the middle of the country, but I was traveling with my partner and dog, and we had plans to make the most of our trip. The one place we wanted to stop more than anywhere else was Badlands National Park in South Dakota. So we zigzagged across the country, making our way north. We were not disappointed. It’s cliche to say, but the photos just do not do it justice. The landscape is jaw dropping and so unusual, unlike any other place I’ve ever been. The colors were impressive.

IMG_1771    IMG_1744-1

There are many beautiful places in the world, and there is an undeniable sense of awe when you make a point to appreciate nature. We left the Badlands with one more gift, a sense of courage. We couldn’t help but think of the pioneers of our past coming across this land and passing it in their carriages and on foot. Their bravery and dedication still lingered in the air, and we carried that with us as we traveled to our new home.

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