Practical Well-Being

Yoga on the Road

In a strange town or foreign land and want to take a yoga class but feel intimidated? Here's how to adapt to the local scene.

Yoga on the Road
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If you’re traveling this summer and want to explore the local yoga scene, choosing a suitable studio and teacher when you’re on the road can be a bit of a gamble. But with a little research and some attentive mindfulness, you can ensure that every class is fulfilling and engaging. And perhaps most importantly you can avoid injury by ardently tuning into your own practice and respecting your daily boundaries.

If you have no personal references for classes, start by reviewing each yoga studio’s website and reading the bio’s for each teacher appropriate for your level and style of class. Scan the bio’s for the type of certification they have, their number of training hours (often written as RYT-200 or RYT-500, RYT means Registered Yoga Teacher) and look at their photo for their approximate age. Age doesn’t matter unless you feel more comfortable with someone close to your own age—perhaps choosing a teacher that is younger and energetic, or one that would have first-hand knowledge of issues like morning stiffness, old injuries and the result of many years of athleticism. Often the design of the website and the teachers’ photos can give you an intuitive feeling of the tone you’ll be greeted with when you arrive: serious or lighthearted, purely physical or more spiritually oriented, whimsical or quiet and pensive.

Arrive at the studio earlier than usual, leaving plenty of time to check in, find your way and have some time alone on your mat. As you step into the classroom for the first time, survey your surroundings and take some slow deep breaths. Breathing mindfully like this will start to settle your nervous system even before you sit down.