The sun is out! Summer is here! And in the words of the song, “We’re all going on a summer holiday, no more working for a week or two…”
And even though for most of us that summer holiday is a ‘staycation’, it’s still a joy to have a change of scene, even if it’s not abroad.
So what should you be packing for your cute cottage on the coast? Knowing the British weather, it’s probably worth taking sunscreen, a sunhat, wellies, and a thermal vest. Cover all bases…
But what about your yoga mat? Is it worth taking up precious space in your bag for your yoga stuff? Er, yes!
Here’s why you should pack your mat this summer.
First, Invest in a Travel Mat
But before we do that, let’s start with the mat itself.
If you don’t have a car it’s understandable that you might want to travel light, but there are so many super light-weight mats out there now.
You could argue that you don’t need a mat, but there’s something about the physical reminder that a mat brings, rolled out in a corner of your hotel room, that means that it’s harder to get away with skipping that yoga practice before heading out to the beach.
For example, the Jade Voyager mat is super lightweight, can fold up the size of a yoga brick, and is very light.
Make the Most of your Holiday
We’ve all been there. The much-longed-for holiday arrives and then the stress that comes with going on holiday starts to bite. The packing, tidying up the house, the traveling, the traffic, the arguments over who gets which bedroom… By the time you arrive, you need a holiday just to recover from going on holiday.
This is when your yoga mat comes into its own. Recuperate from your travels with a calming yoga practice. Bookmark 20 minutes a day when you are unavailable (especially if you’re a parent) to any requests except emergencies. Then your holiday actually starts to be a real holiday, rather than just some nice photos to put on the family WhatsApp.
Holiday yoga is actually the best kind of yoga. If you manage even five minutes you get extra smug points. This means that you are allowed to sunbathe all day, read ten books, indulge in food and booze, all guilt-free because you’ve done your yoga practice for the day.
Yoga for YOU
If you’re a yoga teacher, your holiday practice is all about focusing on what you want to practice. While you’re teaching the focus is often on lesson planning or attending your own lessons to keep up your practice.
While you’re on holiday you have time and space to be more instinctive with your practice and to focus on areas that might sometimes be neglected in the havoc of the weekly grind.
Yoga with the Family
If you have your mat with you, it’s also a chance for your family to join in with your yoga practice. Tear them away from their screens and get them jumping about with you in an energising yoga session.
Or, if you’re heading away for a romantic break with your partner, try some couples yoga for some extra bonding (or just for a good laugh).
Explore your new location and adapt your practice to fit your location. Use whatever you can – towels, sofa, a bed to adapt your yoga practice.
Take your mat on a walk with you and do a headstand in an Instagram-worthy location. If you have someone with you who’s a dab hand with a camera you’ll also be able to get a little photoshoot into your holiday.
Rest and Restore
If you’re heading on your first proper holiday for what feels like a lifetime (due to the madness of the past year and a bit), then perhaps now is not the time to stick to a rigorous 90-minute workout session.
If restorative yoga isn’t usually your bag, then try it out this holiday. Experiment with supported inversions, soft, slow flows, and plenty of supported supine poses. You might even just spend one practice in a 30-minute śavasana just observing the breath.
Make Your Yoga Practice Non-negotiable
By taking your mat (and/or other props) on holiday you’re sending yourself a message. That your yoga practice is a central part of your life which, for your own wellbeing, you bring with you to wherever you happen to be, even on holiday. This attitude will serve you well when you return to daily life, and you’ll be grateful that your yoga practice came with you on holiday.