When you’re traveling, it’s not always easy to keep your yoga regime going. Maybe you’re staying in a hostel or just don’t have space in your hotel room. Taking your yoga mat with you isn’t always going to work. So why not get outside wherever you’re traveling to?
There are many benefits to being outside and doing yoga. Taking in the blue sky and seeing your hands on the green grass is good for the soul. It also speaks to the inner energy you have. Blue is the representation of the throat chakra and green is the representation of the heart chakra. Surrounding yourself in nature gives you a great means to really going deep into your practice.
Wherever you go, find a park or an outdoor space where you can do your yoga. Here are some poses that work well outside. Finding some grass space means you don’t have to bring your mat with you.
Mountain pose seems easy but there’s actually a lot to it. You want to stand with your feet slightly apart. This makes it easier on perhaps uneven grass or dirt.
- Roll your shoulders back and down with palms facing forward.
- Focus on balancing your feet on all corners.
- Engage your core and glutes.
- Stand tall with your neck in alignment.
- Your torso should be directly over your hips.
- Stay here for a few breaths and really ground yourself into the earth.
Standing Side Stretch
Once you’re ready to move on from Mountain Pose, you can start to move into a standing side stretch. This opens up the side body and allows you to stretch it out nicely.
- With your feet at hip width, you’ll lift your arms over your head.
- Grab your right wrist with your left hand and lean over to the left.
- Your chest should be open and not collapsed.
- Come back to center and switch to the other side. Grab your left wrist with your right hand and stretch to the right.
With this pose, you will just use your arms. It’s a great stretch for the shoulders and upper back, which may be sore from carrying luggage.
- Cross your arms. This is done by bringing your right arm under your left arm. Your elbows should be on top of each other.
- As you breathe in, lift your forearms to the sky.
- To be fully in the pose, your palms should face each other and clasp. If this isn’t possible for you, you can have the back of your hands touching.
- As you exhale, bring the forearms down and forward.
- Do this five times and switch sides.
Standing Forward Bend
This pose is great for relaxing the back and neck. You will also feel the stretch on your hamstrings. If you’ve traveled far, you’ve probably been sitting down for a long time. This will feel great.
- Stand with feet as wide as your hips.
- Bend forward from your hips. You may need to bend your knees liberally to touch your hands to the ground. You can also wrap your hands around your calves. Yogi’s choice.
- Your belly should be touching your thighs and your back should be long.
- Stay here for up to 10 breaths. This pose allows you to breathe quite deeply. The deeper you breathe into it, the more relaxed you become.
If you’re going to be outside doing yoga, it’s great to mimic nature with poses like this. It also helps you with your balance and gives a nice stretch to the inner thighs.
This pose requires total mindfulness and should be a slow transition.
- Slowly put your weight on your right leg. Slowly peel your left foot off the ground.
- You can put it on the side of your right shin to start. Work your way to your inner thigh.
- Bring your palms to your heart or about your head.
- Stay for a few breaths and really concentrate on making the right foot and leg sturdy. Make sure not to let your hip fall out of alignment.
- Take five breaths here.
- When you bring your foot down, do so gently and with intention. Switch sides.
Standing Upper Body Twist
A twist is a nice way to stretch out your back muscles and allows the spine to move around. You can use a tree for this pose.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart from each other. You should be in front of the tree.
- Put your right hand on the tree and twist towards the right.
- Only the top half should twist.
- You can make it a deeper stretch by moving the torso with your right hand.
- Keep your chest open. Turn your head to the tree.
- Stay here for as long as 10 breaths.
- Switch to the other side.
These yoga poses will give you some relief of tension and are a good basis for keeping yourself relaxed, free of tension, and balanced. Try them the next time you’re traveling and only have the option to do yoga outside.
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founder and owner of SiddhiYoga.com.