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How to Practice Yoga While Traveling

How to Practice Yoga While Traveling
Using Yoga to Defeat Travel Stress

If traveling causes you physical and emotional stress, take up yoga before you take your next trip. A recent study revealed that participants who practiced yoga were better able to regulate their body's levels of cortisol. Cortisol is known as the "stress hormone" for its role in creating the human fight-or-flight response. Yoga could therefore be used as a potent anti-stress tool for travelers worldwide. Talk to your yoga instructor about how to lower your stress through yoga.

Yoga is more popular today than ever before, with as many as 20 million enthusiasts in the U.S. and up to 250 million in its birthplace of India. As people integrate this healing, relaxing discipline into their daily lives, they find themselves less and less willing to set it aside when business trips or other events require regional, national or even international travel. If you want to keep up your regular yoga routine as completely as possible you'll be happy to know that yoga travels uniquely well -- as long as you keep some basic considerations in mind.

Yoga adherents may take one of two approaches to packing for a journey. If you want to approximate your full yoga routine closely, you may want to take a mat, yoga ball, or other "tools of the trade" along with you. If this is the case, smaller is better. A "travel" mat designed for mobility will be lighter, thinner and smaller than your average yoga mat. If you normally use a large yoga ball, consider buying a smaller one specifically for travel. At the same time, pick up a lightweight portable air pump that can clip into your luggage alongside the deflated yoga ball. (Make absolutely certain that the pump works properly before setting off on your journey.)

On the other end of the scale, you may wish to take advantage of yoga's inherent efficiency as a mode of exercise by carrying as little equipment as possible. It is quite possible to use a hotel towel or bath mat instead of a yoga mat, for instance. If you normally practice yoga in a studio, do some online research to locate the available facilities in your destination city. You may find this strategy the best way to enjoy "all the comforts of home."

Music is another yoga essential that enjoys a high degree of portability in today's MP3 era. Take the time to transfer your preferred yoga music to a portable player so you can work out to familiar sounds. Keep in mind that you'll probably have to use earphones unless you've stored your music files on a device with a speaker. In such as case, you'll find it worthwhile to purchase in-ear monitors that fit snugly inside the ear canals. Test your portable setup's practicality in advance by running through several yoga moves at home.

Sources:

Bergland, Christopher.. "Cortisol: Why “The Stress Hormone” Is Public Enemy No. 1." Psychology Today.

Klein, Alex. "Who Is the Yoga community?" Yogi Times.

MD Anderson Cancer Center. "Yoga Regulates Stress Hormones and Improves Quality of Life for Women with Breast Cancer Undergoing Radiation Therapy."

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