Use these lessons from yoga for a happier and less stressful holiday travel experience this season!
We all know that travel can be stressful, and with the holidays, that stress can be compounded even further. All that stress, along with disruptions to your normal schedule, can really take a toll on your health. With being cooped up in a car or airplane for hours with little opportunity for movement, disruptions to your sleep schedule, and unhealthy food at every turn, stress and discomfort can easily turn into illness.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to combat stress and improve your health even during the busy holiday travel season. For example, yoga is a great way to both relieve stress AND physical discomfort such as pain and stiffness caused by travel.
We’ll be covering some helpful yoga poses, exercises, and sequences that are perfect for traveling over the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, here are a few lessons from the yoga mat that can lead to healthier, happier, and overall better holiday travel experiences:
1.) Panicking doesn’t help. You know that moment when your plane is taxiing into the airport and you realize you only have 15 minutes to make it to the next leg of your flight. The gate is on the other side of the airport. You have a window seat toward the back of the plane, and you just know it’s going to take 15 minutes just to get off the plane. There are two ways to deal with this situation. You could freak out, unbuckle your belt, and do everything in your power to get off that plane so you don’t miss your flight. Or you could take a deep breath, try to relax, and be patient. You can’t control how fast your plane moves or where your gate is or who happens to be sitting next to you, but you can control how you react to the situation. Freaking out probably won’t help. So you might as well relax and make the most of an unpleasant situation.
2.) Delight in the unknown. I admit it. I’m a control freak. So I have a hard time when I’m in situations where I have to be a guest in someone else’s home. It’s polite to let my host be in charge of scheduling activities, food plans, etc. It can be scary not to be in control mostly because I don’t know what to expect. Yoga has taught me that each day my body will be different and my mind will react differently to different poses. On my mat when things don’t go exactly as I expected them to, I don’t get upset I just realize that this is the nature of things. I try to remember this when things don’t go exactly as I would have planned when I’m away from home. After all, if I knew exactly what was going to happen every step of the way, it wouldn’t be much of an adventure, would it?
3.) Remember you can take your yoga practice with you anywhere. Whenever I can, I grab my yoga mat (or that pair of socks I have with the rubber grips on the bottom) and take a long Down Dog: I breathe deeply. I shake out my head. I stretch my heels toward the floor. But even when my schedule on the road doesn’t allow for even a few quiet moments alone, I know that the principles of yoga are with me no matter where I am. My breath is the best prop for finding my center amid even the most chaotic moments of life.