A practice is a routine.
I am currently traveling throughout Spain. I know, rough life. My yoga practice at home consists of about four to six classes per week. Here, I have taken one formal Bikram class in Barcelona and done some YouTube sessions or series of my own devising about five times. That’s in a period of one month, mind you. My body is mad at me.
What has occurred to me most often in this missing yoga/not-doing-yoga-vicious-circle is that a practice is not only what you do when you have the convenient yoga studio nearby, it is what you do when you don’t. A practice is a routine. If yoga is as necessary to my life as the other things in it—such as eating, drinking, sleeping, breathing—then I will find a way to do yoga even without a formal class.
I tried doing yoga by the pool, and became embarrassed. I tried doing yoga in a hotel room and did not have enough room. I tried doing yoga in someone’s living room and lost interest. In all of these cases, I could have persevered, “yoga’d” my body and been a happier person for it, at least for the day.
Today, I unfurled a beach towel on a stone floor, wrote down the Bikram series from memory, and committed myself to doing the series (once through on each pose, minus the heat and sweat). Forty-five minutes later I was stretchy, limber, more balanced, and smiling.
I’ll remember the feeling tomorrow, I think, and duplicate my efforts. The traveling practice must begin!
Alexa Maxwell is a writer, teacher, traveler and student of yoga. She is a huge fan of elephant journal and is honored to be part of the herd. You can read more at her blog here, follow her on Twitter @catnipkiss, or wait for her upcoming travel memoir which is a work in progress.
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July’s Full Moon in Capricorn: The Heart wants what it Wants. The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. How to Love a Woman who Scares You. Our Soulmates are Rarely Who We Expect. I Still Think of You. Men, Let’s Stop Fooling Ourselves: Size Matters. To the One Who Tried to Break Me. An Open Letter to the Fixers. How your Stored Memories in the Amygdala can lead to PTSD. How My Sister’s Death Transformed my Self-Perception.