This is for those of you who have to travel often for work. As a two-time Platinum and two-time Gold flyer, I’ve spent my fair share of time in the air, at airports and in hotels. Just the act of traveling can leave your body a complete wreck. Thankfully, yoga is a very portable practice.
All you need to pack are your yoga clothes and a yoga towel.
Why the yoga towel? Most hotel rooms have that industrial carpeting installed, so it has enough firmness AND squish to mimic a yoga mat. The towel is more of a clean surface to separate you from the carpet and give you the dimensions of a mat that you’re used to. Also, the yoga towel has those silicon nubs on the bottom to keep the towel from slipping around while you move. The best part: Yoga towels take up very little room in your suitcase after you fold and roll it up.
A few brands offer travel-weight yoga mats that fold. They’re essentially thin rubber yoga towels. Personally, I find these travel mats to have fewer uses, and they cost just as much as a towel.
If you have a choice in booking your own accommodations, look for hotels that offer yoga mats to use during your stay. (You can also just use the yoga towel, as I mentioned.)
Starwood’s aloft Hotels keep yoga mats in the workout room, which is kept clean and neat. The workout rooms usually have plenty of space to set up without fear of getting hit by the elliptical machine.
The boutique chain Kimpton offers complimentary yoga kits you can check out from the front desk (includes mat, blocks, strap, Tazo tea bags and a towel). At Kimpton hotels, you can even find a yoga channel on your room TV or a few yoga programs on-demand for free. Ever since we stayed at a Kimpton for our honeymoon, I have been a loyal patron and look for one whenever I travel.
Depending on the layout of the room, sometimes the best place to set up your mat is the little entryway right at the door. Moving the desk chair to the side or placing the mat next to the bed are also good places to try.
The rest is up to you! Use some of the tips for Starting a Home Practice. Bring a yoga podcast with you. If you want to get out of your hotel room, ask the front desk for a nearby studio. It’s fun to mix it up a little and see how they do yoga in another city. You definitely don’t need to leave your practice behind just because you’re on the road.
What other ways have you taken yoga on the road with you?