You can also continue your yoga practice on vacation. Read here which postures are best for traveling!
Morning rituals. I'm a fan of it. Invariably I get up an hour earlier than my children to fill this 'holy hour' with time for myself. That can be anything: meditation, yoga, breathwork or, for example, vibrating singing bowls. Only when I go on vacation or when I travel for work (and this is not a retreat) and this ritual is interrupted by a different rhythm do I notice how much it is an anchor for me. Starting the day with reflection as attuning yourself (instrument) to the universe (the rest of the orchestra) as mindfulness guru Jon Kabat Zinn so beautifully describes it.
So nowadays I always take my own mat with me on vacation or when I'm traveling for work. Those 2 square meters of rubber invite me not to sacrifice my morning ritual by a new environment. I've already rolled it out in the funniest places, a tight strip of floor next to my bed, a hallway, next to a swimming pool or on the rocks.
My newest addition is this fine super light Soft & Light yoga mat from the Yogisha brand (which you can win for free every month via Happy Soul Travel, read here for more!) . It weighs only 0.75 kg, is durable and is very easy to roll up small or just fold into my travel bag.
My 5 favorite yoga poses when I've just arrived at a new destination are:
Also such a winner when it comes to relieving your back. Especially when I sleep in a new bed somewhere, I often have to get used to the new mattress and my back is super grateful when I crawl onto my mat the next morning, sit cross-legged and then move my spine forward, sideways, backward and other side move sideways. Like a 'mortar' actually (hence the name grinding), or think of your spine as a spoon that stirs in the pan of your pelvic floor. Synchronize your breath: exhale backwards, inhale forwards. Halfway through, reverse your direction of rotation.
This flow on hands and knees from convex to concave back and vice versa helps me enormously to relieve my lower back, to feel where the stiffness in my back is located and to flow through this stiffness. Not only up and down but also in a kind of free flow cat cow in all directions that feel nice
3. Low lunges
from your catcow you can bring one foot forward and you come into a low lunge. You can sink a little deeper into your hips and then move backwards so that your front leg is straight. Move like this a few times from front to back to the rhythm of your breath (in forward, out backward). At the end, you can keep your front knee bent and bend both arms on the inside of your bent leg toward the floor (dragon pose). Repeat on the other side.
4. Sun Salutations
A classic of course, but these overall give me the feeling of really arriving. The sun salutation really addresses all muscle groups on a physical level, but also on a spiritual level this series gives me a sense of connection between the (new) ground under my feet and the universe, and my body as a channel in between.
5. Goddess pose
When it comes to grounding and feeling grounded, I think this is a wonderful pose. Feet point out at an angle, knees bent 90 degrees and your index finger and thumb form a circle. It also connects me to my femininity while also feeling the conduction and energy of the earth beneath my feet.
After these poses, you could do some more sitting poses on your mat to really feel the contact with the earth and connect with your new destination. Always end your series in savasana, the reclining "corpse pose," feet relaxed, hands open toward the ceiling. Time to scan your whole body from bottom to top and let all tension flow away. Take a few deep breaths out through your mouth…
So, now you've really landed, enjoy your journey and stay grounded!