Jump and let the world catch you.
I’m so grateful to have been able to travel the world, and even more grateful to have maintained my yoga practice while doing so.
As the Ambassador to Adidas, I I hit nearly every continent and a new country monthly. Recently, my daughter and I took the “Eat Pray Love” trip—Italy, India, and Bali—and before that, we spent a couple of weeks in Egypt…and I have I mentioned Mach Pichu?
With all that said—my favorite place to unplug is via a five-hour flight to the garden island, Kauai, where I’ll be spending the next month and hosting a seven-level teacher training and retreat. It’s an honor to serve as I reconnect to the elements of Earth (foundation) and water, sacred sexuality, fire and core power, air and backbends, ether and therapeutics, vision and inversions, and divinity and meditation. We are blessed to stay in a beautiful Indian estate not far from the beach. Our playground includes waterfalls, jungles, and a nearby Hindu temple.
I’ve gotten good at not stressing about traveling because it’s already too much to adapt to new foods and cultures, plus days at a time spent at 36,000 feet.
Here’s the best yogi advice I can offer:
1. Have a basic blueprint.
First, you have to know how to do yoga wherever you go. So this summer, take a mini teacher training retreat to gain an in-depth understanding wherever you travel. This provides you with tools you can pack and unpack—no matter where you go.
2. Bring your tools.
The good thing is that if you don’t have room for an extra light yoga mat, there are now yoga towels! Or hey, grab any towel—any kind will do.
Always bring some comfortable clothes to practice in, essential oils to relax and ground you, and maybe your favorite mala beads from somewhere special to remind you of how at peace you were. Think oils and mala beads are a hoax? Try a rock from a river, or maybe a freshly picked flower from wherever you are.
Keep a pen and a journal nearby to write your thoughts and dreams. Comfortable shoe options are a must, too. I like Uggs, flip-flops, tennis shoes, and when I can, I go barefoot to help connect myself to the elements when I am somewhere healthy and clean, like Hawaii. Lastly, bring a great book that inspires you—and chills you out—while you’re waiting or taking a rest.
3. Be clean and relaxed.
I like to take a hot bath and dunk my head before I travel. Then, I use coconut oil and my favorite essential oils from relaxing plants—lavender, sage, white fir, lemon, frankincense, vetiver or doTerra’s custom blend Balance, which also contain chamomile and ylang ylang—to keep me grounded and free from anxiety. I use the practice I have cultivated to get comfortable in any position, and alternate resting with some of my favorite stretches wherever I am. I can literally sleep in a ball just about anywhere, but I have to admit that lying flat and meditating in my Egyptian mummy pose is my favorite.
4. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables whenever you can.
This is a great idea to keep you hydrated. Refraining from consuming grains and proteins just while you are flying can help you settle into your new time zone even quicker. And drink lots of water and lemon or decaffeinated tea. The best snacks to have are things like sweet and satisfying dried fruits (without preservatives or sulfites), high-energy raw almonds, and cacao nibs. Or, try some super antioxidant-rich foods like goji, golden, or longan berries.
5. Support yourself from the outside and inside.
When you’re flying, remember to do your stretching to improve your digestion, twisting to the right and left. Perhaps place some digestive essential oils on your belly, protective blends under your nose, relaxing ones on your chest, or grounding ones on the soles of your feet. My favorites are the CTPG (certified pure therapeutic grade) oil softgels to get me though the transitions and maintain my cool.
6. Be flexible and don’t over think it.
One of my favorite healers (and the founder of Gaia Herbs) said this when he visited the most hard-to-visit corners of the earth. Always bring twice as much money and half as much stuff. Bring gifts to give and buy stuff to bring back, which helps to support the local economy and creates a treasure trove of good memories.
7. Wherever you go, there you are.
I truly believe in the old saying: Home is where the heart is. I’ve watched true masters feel at home wherever they are. So breathe deep, dissolve your thoughts, and allow your heart and courage to lead you into new and exciting adventures, connecting and learning from interesting people. Life is short. The more we give, the more we receive.
Be brave. Try new things. Be open, flexible, and have boundaries. These are all the same things a good yoga pose teaches us when we add breathing, intention, and alignment.
8. Let go.
The best way to ruin your presence is by being attached or having too many expectations. If we lead with our hearts, we are able to appreciate things for how they are. I watch people have too many agendas and not enough time to just let everything unravel how it’s meant to. I think it’s important to make time to do nothing and see what that brings you.
9. Get involved with the elements.
Whether you find a local hot springs, jump in the ocean, re-hydrate in a waterfall, or just take a long bath, it’s important to let water soothe your skin. I like to get grounded with a hike in nature or enjoy a hot stone massage. Breathe in the clean air during some exercise—whether it’s a walk to the beach, or some soothing stretching to let the bones situate (which is also a good way to stay injury-free). Consider placing a diffuser with water and essential oils in your room, and always keep lots of healthy snacks nearby, so you don’t crash and do things you might regret later.
Bonus book recommendations:
My current favorite books are stories that allow me to stay inspired without overthinking. If you haven’t yet read these great traveling books, some top recommendations are: The Alchemist, Autobiography of a Yogi, Child of Fortune, The Mists of Avalon, Initiation, and Rachael’s Destiny.
It’s important to let our minds be inspired and to expand through stories, therefore opening ourselves up to new possibilities. My newest favorites are: The Perfect Matrimony, Dream Yoga, and Introduction to Gnosis.
Author: Rainbeau Mars
Images: Author’s Own
Editor: Catherine Monkman