Around the world in yoga

Featured in OM Magazine, July 2010

“It’s time to leave!”, our husband calls to us from the other room. “We’re going to be late for our flight.” Oh boy, this is it; we’re off to stay with the in-laws and for not one, not two, but FIVE WHOLE DAYS. How will we cope? It’s the last thing we want to be doing after a long stretch at work, but nevertheless no use complaining. We’ve agreed to it now and we really don’t want to be letting our husband down last minute. And besides, it’s not his fault his parents are so annoying. “OK I’m coming” we shriek back, suddenly aware that we really are going to miss the flight if we don’t hurry up.

But, just as we’re about to leave the house, we notice something; our yoga mat, resting in its bag against the shoe rail and we stop for a moment, letting out a big sigh. Ahhhh. We wonder how on earth we’re going to survive without yoga for the next five days. We’ve barely missed a single day over the last five weeks and our sanity is kind of depending on it at the moment! We wish we could just take the mat with us… and then it dawns on us, maybe we can?…

Scenarios like this crop up all the time. We’ve planned to go away somewhere and we’ve doubted or overlooked the possibility of taking yoga with us.

“Surely it’s not possible to take the mat with me?… There’ll be no time or space to practice… Auntie Sarah isn’t going to appreciate me sneaking off for 30 minutes every day… I’ll just have to leave it until I’m home. Shame though.”

But, if only we knew that we can take yoga with us; that we don’t need to feel restricted to only practicing at home or at the gym. This is the real beauty of yoga – we can take it anywhere. Whether it’s a day trip, a business weekend or a few days to our parent’s house. Or for longer breaks, such as a week’s holiday in the sun or a months travelling – anywhere that we’re going to, yoga can come too.

And when we open ourselves up to this idea; of yoga being available to us anytime and anywhere that we are on the map, wide and wonderful opportunities present themselves. Suddenly we can relax and enjoy ourselves, no longer afraid of going away from home and leaving our precious practice behind us. We can look forward to our holiday without getting that sinking feeling in our belly. “I can take yoga with me. Yippee!”

What’s more, we don’t need to feel dependant on having our mat with us. Yoga is so versatile, so flexible that it can be practised both on and off the mat. We can meditate on the train home from work or on the hotel bed. We can salute to the sun at the beach or in the garden. We can practise our breathing in the car, sitting on a park bench or waiting in the supermarket queue. The list is endless. Yoga is in us. And we can decide on bringing it alive wherever and whenever we so choose.

© Rosanna Gordon 2010. All rights reserved.