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.