Keeping up with your yoga practice can be extremely difficult when you’re traveling and meeting up with friends, stuffing your face with delicious local dishes and enjoying a few glasses of vino. While you might have a solid self practice, sometimes all you want to do is attend a teacher-led class, try out new yoga studios and teaching styles, and meet other yoga lovers in the community. If that sounds like you, here are some tips for finding places to practice yoga when you’re on the road, even if you’re only in town for a few days.
1. Plan and research ahead of time.
This may seem obvious, but before you jet off to your destination, reach out to your friends, family and yoga teachers to see if they have any recommendations for studios and classes. Read reviews on Google, Yelp (mostly only helpful if you’re visiting the U.S.), Facebook and download the MindBody Connect app, which most yoga studios around the world use for scheduling and class registration. If you end up booking a class through the app don’t forget to leave a review for other traveling yogis!
2. Make the most of new student offers and community classes.
Many studios around the world offer discounted introductory rates for new students (e.g. 3 visits for $30 or $99 for unlimited classes in the first month). These deals are always worth it from a financial standpoint, but you may need to provide a local contact number or address.
Many studios also host community classes at a lower price point during non-peak times and are worth attending if you can fit it into your travel schedule. If you love outdoor classes, look up free or donation-based classes that are often hosted in local parks and community centres; to find these events, look up local yoga events on Facebook or Eventbrite.
3. Location, location, location.
Where are you staying? Where will you be spending the majority of your time? These are all important things to bear in mind so that you don’t end up spending wads of cash and tons of travel time to get to the studio. If you have plans before or after your yoga class, plan to attend a class at a studio close by. Use Citymapper or Google Maps to find out how to get to the yoga studio, how to get to your next destination and how much travel time you should set aside to get from place to place.
4. Check out the class schedule and what yoga styles the studio offers.
What style of yoga do you normally practice at home? Do you prefer a vinyasa flow class? Or Mysore-style Ashtanga? Alternatively, are you a fan of Yin yoga? Check out the studio’s class schedule online or via the MindBody Connect app and make sure they offer the style of yoga that you are after. You don’t want to show up to a restorative class thinking it is an Ashtanga-led class, or vice-versa!
5. Does the studio have the amenities you need?
To this day, I’m envious of anyone who manages to “lightly perspire” or “glow” after a challenging class. If you’re anything like me, then access to a fully functional shower and changing room is essential. Find out if the studio has lockers, showers, towels (some places will charge a dollar or so), toiletries, blow dryers and so on; some places even offer GHD hair straighteners!
These are just a few things to consider when you are traveling to a new destination and don’t want to miss out on stepping on your mat. When you show up to a new class, don’t forget to introduce yourself and let the teacher know if you have any injuries or conditions that they should know about! If you don’t end up making it to a yoga studio during your trip, don’t beat yourself up over it; instead, remember that yoga is more than asanas (poses) and that there are many other ways that you can incorporate yoga into your travels. For example, if you’re feeling overwhelmed because your flight was delayed by 8 hours, try some Sama Vritti (equal inhalations and exhalations) to calm the body and mind!
Do you have any other tips for how to choose a yoga studio while traveling? Feel free to comment and let us know below!
Combining travel and yoga is a wonderful way to fill your cup, explore new parts of the world and be a part of the international yoga community. If you want to practice yoga with like-minded people, eat delicious and nutritious food every day and soak up some sunshine then check out the upcoming yoga retreat hosted by Florence in Sri Lanka from March 11-15! Prices start at US$600 and include accommodation in a deluxe open-air villa, food and all your yoga classes and workshops!