Yoga 'Round the World

14 February 2019

By: Fernanda Prats www.pratserie.com

Want to keep your body and mind in shape while traveling? Discover some interesting ways for practicing yoga on the go.

Spoiler: this is not written by a super skilled yogi, that makes intricate postures with a blissful smile in the face. I’m just an enthusiast that has been taking yoga classes in multiple styles during my travels to diverse countries.

Sharing a bit of these experiences is my way to express gratitude, acknowledging the benefits of yoga in my life. And, hopefully, also inspiring you to give it a try. Let’s do it?

5 TRAVEL-TESTED YOGA STYLES:

Bikram (Hot Yoga)

I’ve been playing with puns on how this yoga style makes you feel ‘hotter’, but this is just a way to ‘let off some steam’ after my sessions at Bikram Yoga Colombia, in Bogotá.

Once I enter the studio, though, things become pretty serious. The class takes 1,5 hour and includes holding 26 postures for a few seconds (and repeating one time each) in a room with high humidity and temperatures ranging from 37 to 42 degrees Celsius (average of 100 F).

Strike a pose? Feel the heat? Forget about the jokes, there’s a lot more to benefit from this radical yoga practice. What really makes the difference is being fully present for 90 minutes, challenging your mind and body to dedicate each second just for yourself.

I like to make fun on social media, calling it yoga-sauna, but the transformation I’m experiencing is the real deal. After silencing my mind for so long, my thoughts come back as sharp and relaxed as my entire body feels at the end of every practice.

Yin Yoga

For those who might feel claustrophobic or unease practicing a challenging yoga style as mentioned above, this option would sound way lighter! But, in fact, it also involves high concentration and has a powerful impact on your physical and mental balance.

You get into the postures gradually, until it feels comfortable enough for sustaining it for quite a while. This permanence makes a mild yet continue pressure in some organs and deep conjunctive tissues – accessing some of them that are difficult to reach with regular exercises.

No major efforts are required. The instructor might even recommend the use pillows and blankets to leave some parts of your body resting while others do the ‘work out’ without resistance. Your simply have to breath, stay still and relax.

My first experience with this yoga style was at Radiantly Alive in Bali, Indonesia.


Aero Yoga

This is a daring and stimulating yoga style that I’ve got the opportunity to try on a retreat at Santani in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Up to a certain extent, it reminded me of the Neo Pilates postures I’ve learned with the brilliant Keite Mendes at Mendes Pilates in my hometown São Paulo, Brazil.

Having a great instructor is also paramount for those venturing in aero yoga, as much as the special equipment. So, mind your own safety by checking the studio certificate and your own physical condition before signing up for a class!

The practice can amplify the flowing sensation - that can feel like flying. If you are properly conducted and respecting eventual limitations, the benefits include the improvement of body extension while protecting articulations and spine.

SUP Yoga

After replacing my usual mat for a ‘flying’ session of aerial yoga, I felt ready to land on a stand-up paddle board for some practice, this time in Ahangama on the South Coast of Sri Lanka.

At that point, I’ve already had tried both SUP and yoga separately, so it didn’t seem so difficult to combine them, especially because the longboards were attached to a security cable. Moreover, our group received previous in-land instructions and optional safety vests.

As you might guess, the greatest benefits of this ‘adventure’ focus on balance and mindfulness – leveraging from the soothing effect of the water movements, the breeze, the views and the overall connection with nature. Do try it, whenever you can!!!

Any Yoga

I couldn’t finish this article without mentioning Do Yoga With Me, a website that a travel buddie from my Remote Year group has presented me. We were staying at a co-living space in Ljubljana, Slovenia, with a huge studio on the basement, and she invited everyone to join her yoga sessions following that site’s videos.

Kicking off my day with a morning practice was a great incentive. It was the sparkle for building a habit that makes me feel energetic and centered, independently if I hit the road or stay home.

Of course, it is better to have a ‘live’ instructor by your side and/or watch the full video before starting. But there are a wide variety of sessions you can choose, encompassing all levels and diversified styles.

From all those experiences, my best finding was simply the freedom to practice yoga whenever, wherever, whatever the style you choose. Because it ultimately doesn’t require nothing else than your own will to do it. Not even the mat, as Bex Tyrer said – and she’s a ‘real deal yogi’.

So, I hope my stories have triggered your curiosity to check out some yoga studio you pass by on your way… anywhere in the world!

Fernanda Prats

Feb/2019

Fernanda Prats is a Brazilian writer and translator that has been experiencing the nomadic lifestyle. Everywhere she travels, Fernanda gets into new routines and share her findings at www.pratserie.com