Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A little namaste for your vacay: Four reason to practice yoga while traveling

***So...it is pretty obvious that I haven't been around as much as I was awhile back (I've been writing for a different audience). That audience, however, provided me the opportunity to write this piece for class, and I couldn't help but share it here as well. So while this may have been completed as part of my required coursework for my MA in Communications at Johns Hopkins University, it will now live here for your information and entertainment.***

From dawn to dusk, TLV is pure beauty.

My last trip to Tel Aviv coincided with Lilah Lavan, or White Night; one night a summer; Tel Aviv stays awake for a celebration named after the alabaster buildings that earned the municipality the nickname 'The White City." This included concerts in Bialik Square, late-night museum exhibits, and even opera productions at the most unexpected times.

My favorite part of the evening, however, was the morning; after a night up, I was looking forward to the beachfront downward dogs and child’s poses that awaited me at the Tel Aviv Port’s morning yoga, one of the final events of the night.  Yoga is an amazing exercise—it helps a body in so many ways. Personally, it is a lifesaver when I travel. I like to be active, but it is hard to accomplish when one is actually active. For that reason, I have four reasons why yoga should become anyone’s favorite travel companion.

The mountain fortress of Masada...the perfect location for
a mountain pose. 
  1. Yoga is a portable activity. It doesn’t require much equipment; even a hotel towel will do just fine as an impromptu mat if one is not available. My hotel offers large beach towels for guest that head down to the sea, and trust me, these will do just fine out in the sand or in the room for a pop-up yoga session.
  1.  It helps with the stress of travel. I am rarely motorized when in Israel; I don’t rent a car nor do often I call a cab--I tend to take the country by foot. Yoga is an amazing way to calm and stretch my screaming muscles and joints so I don't have to spend a day holed up in a hotel room. It keeps me limber enough to lumber out the door and into the new world I am exploring.
  1. It provides moments of meditation during important discoveries. There is something really meditative when armed with the ability to strike a yoga pose when the moment is right, such as at top of Masada when I wanted to practice kapalbhati and stare from the mountain into the depths of the Dead Sea in the distant and just float in that magnanimous moment for as long as my guide would let me.
  1.  The yoga community is a tight-knit bunch, and if you don’t find them they might find you. Everywhere I travel I have been able to find some sort of yoga studio; even if I don’t have an official place, any location will do. If this spot is a public location, don’t be surprise if it becomes a magnetic activity—either you are drawn to others, or other come to you to practice together.
Whether you find yourself in the Middle East, the middle of a city, or even just the middle of nowhere, there is no excuse for leaving this low-impact but high-in-rewards activity at home. As the Bhagavad Gita says, “yoga is the journey of the self, to the self, through the self;” it would be appropriate, then, for this journey of self to coincide with any adventure.
All that is left to say is namaste:)


  1. This situation breaks their focus and tends to make the towel just another thing to be concerned about as opposed to a stable base for their practice. yoga towel

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