Day 18: Yoga on the go and when you're out of your element...on the 30-Day Yoga Journey to Enlightenment

Miss a day, or just joining: TABLE OF CONTENTS
“The key to success is often the ability to adapt” ~ Unknown
Day 18 Activities:
1) Mantra meditation
2) Minimum 30 minutes of calorie burning
3) Write down everything you eat and sketch your Balance Chart
4) Continue to remain aware of your speech patterns
5) Cut Cords
6) Disconnect
7) Incorporate portable yoga practices into your travels (FREE YOGA & MEDITATION DOWNLOADS are at the bottom of this post...please scroll down, if that's what you're looking for...ommm)

Feel like practicing your yoga asana (postures), but you're in a less than ideal setting? Here are some tools when you're on the a hotel room, or anyplace you might end up over night. (I'll cover airplane yoga in a future post.)

For years as a management consultant, I was a "road warrior" and spend most of the week in hotels. I learned after a year or two of stiffness and shoulder pain from carrying my laptop, that it was even more important for me to bring my yoga on the road with me that it was for me to practice at home.

For today's activity, you can try out some different asana practices and pick and choose the ones that work best for you when you are "out of your element".

I've included some restorative postures (these are a must for me when I'm traveling) and some audio files for you to bring along with you. Think of what I offer as a menu and pick the tools that serve you best at the moment.

Restorative postures using hotel room "props":

I usually don't travel with a yoga mat; but instead, substitute with towels from the hotel. By all means, feel free to bring along a mat (light travel mats are very inexpensive). All you'll need for the following "Hotel Yoga Postures" are 3 large towels.

Hotel Yoga Posture 1: Legs on the wall

Spread out a towel, short end directly against the wall. You may need to maneuver some furniture especially in small hotel rooms like NY and in Europe. Don't be shy about moving things....anything goes for your you mental health!

Legs on the wall is just what it sounds like. Lie with you back on the floor and your legs straight up on the wall. Your buttocks can be all the way against the wall. But if this is too intense, move your hips away from the wall. Keep your legs straight without locking your knees. This is a great spinal lengthener, hamstring and calf stretch. It is also from the inversion family of postures (i.e. headstand, shoulder stand) and has all the great benefits of reversing the flow of energy in your body.

Feel free to stay in this posture for up to 20 minutes.

Hotel Yoga Posture 2: Restorative Backbend

Move your spread-out towel away from the wall. Roll up (not fold) one of the large bath towels and turn it into a bolster. Place the bolster in the center of the towel with the ends of the bolster facing the short sides of the towel (i.e. the bolster cuts across the towel....doesn't run the long way of the towel).

Next, sit down with your back facing the bolster, so the bolster is touching your lower back/hips. Gently, slowly, lie all the way onto your back and keep your knees bent with feet on the floor. The bolster will be underneath your lower back and sacrum area. You want to feel a DULL not a sharp sensation from the bolster. So if you feel a lot of intensity unroll the bolster a few rolls or add more rolls to make it more intense. This is NOT meant to be an extreme stretch, rather a very gentle stretch to restore the natural curve of your spine.

Remain for 3-5 minutes on the bolster. Optional: extend your legs straight.

Hotel Yoga Posture 2: Restorative Back bend part 2

Using the same idea as the previous posture. Ease the bolster up your spine to the middle of your back. You will likely need to adjust the width of the bolster to bring it into a comfortable gentle stretch. Remain here for 3-5 minutes.

After, move the bolster one more time toward your head, so that it is just below your shoulder blades. Again make adjustments to the width and lay back and relax for 3-5 minutes.

Hotel Yoga Posture 3: Downward Dog on the wall

Shoulders are casualties of long travel days and lugging bags around. So usually, the first thing I do when I walk into a hotel room is drop my bags and face a wall. Stand about 3 feet away from the wall and place both palms on the wall as high as you can reach. Keep your arms straight, but try not to lock your elbows.

Slowly, slide your hands down the wall and you'll start to feel a great stretch in your shoulders, upper back and maybe all sorts of other parts of your body. You may need to step your feet back away from the wall slightly to find the best stretch for your body. Continue to your arms straight, just like in downward dow. Keep sliding your hands down until your arms are parallel to the ground (no worries if they don't get that far). Slide your hands back up and down the wall, lingering where you find a great stretch. Follow this with ragdoll (next posture)

Hotel Yoga Posture 4: Ragdoll

Ragdoll is a standing child's pose, but gives a bit more of a hamstring stretch. Begin by standing and bend your knees a lot. Tip your chin toward your chest and slowly roll your whole upper body forward until your belly is resting on your legs. Bend your knees even more. Hold on to your elbows with opposite hands and let your upper body sway from side to side. Your head just hangs down heavily toward the ground. Just relax and breath in and out through your nose. No effort to stretch goes into this posture-let gravity do all the work. If you don't like this posture, feel free to substitute with a child's pose.

I'll introduce additional postures (including twisting and side stretches) in future posts...but this should get you going if you're traveling this week.

I recorded a few short guided yoga practices. Feel free to mix and match them or use them one at a time.

On one of the recordings, I intentionally omitted downward dogs from the flow since down dog can be hard without a mat, and some folks just don't like the posture. So even if you're a seasoned vinyasa may want to try it out for variation.

Guided Yoga and Meditations
Download Adobe Flash, if you don't see a play console under each practice.
Alternatively, download the files onto your media player (itunes, Roxio, etc.)

Centering Meditation #1


Centering Meditation #2
(includes chanting)


Sun Salutation A


Sun Salutation B


Vinyasa Flow without Downward Dog (instructions)


Vinyasa Flow without Downward Dog


Savasana (Deep Relaxation)



Anonymous said...

Thank you for this mp3s, so useful!