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How many times during your last trip did the serene thought of a few rounds of Sun Salutation float into your mind? Knowing how stressful traveling for work or pleasure is these days, probably quite often. But finding the time or space to engage in a full yoga practice while on the road is more than a challenge.
Tense muscles from airplane seats, be gone! We’ve tracked down the most useful and portable yoga goods to help you keep up your practice while trekking the world. From DVDs and bags to kits and clocks, you’ll be able to maintain your sanity while sleeping in any hotel bed from now on.
Gaiam Yoga Studio brings expert teachers home
For the cost of a venti chai latte each week, you can give the gift of a complete yoga practice, privately taught by two renowned instructors! Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman created the Gaiam Yoga Studio, a 12-week audio program that instructs students of all levels through 75 poses in all different categories, including emotional balance and meditation. It’s a must for anyone wanting to refine the alignment of their asanas. With VIP online access to Rodney and Colleen, a take-it-anywhere format, and access to the GYS community blog, in a few weeks, your yogi will progress in body, mind and heart, all for about half the price of one private yoga lesson! Now that’s money well spent.
In-Room Guided Yoga Programs
Where you stay can be just as important as what you bring from home. Two major hotel chains now offer guest programs that feature Gaiam DVDs and props. Kimpton Hotels, with luxurious locations throughout the United States and Canada, offer a free (and soon to be eco-friendly) tote bag with a mat, strap and other props for your in-room practice. You’ll find yoga, Pilates and meditation content on the hotel’s Mind. Body. Spa. Channel. For those who prefer a little company, the hotel staff will also direct you to quality local classes and studios.
If you won’t be near a Kimpton location, ask your chosen hotel if they use the LodgeNet video system in their rooms. LodgeNet features Gaiam yoga and fitness programs through its in-room on-demand TV programming, which is available in nearly 2 million hotel rooms (and growing).
Hemp Mat Sling
When on the go, keeping it simple is the key to saving your sanity. With Gaiam’s Hemp Mat Sling, your mat will be able to breathe, whether it is jammed into an overhead compartment or wedged in your trunk. Made from 100% sustainable hemp, this mat sling is the most lightweight and durable way for you to keep a most vital yoga tool close, no matter where the wind might take you.
Packable, Lighweight Travel Yoga Mat
It's so impractical to pack a yoga mat when you travel; but doing down-dogs on a hotel carpet is no fun either. Instead, toss in this brilliant foldable, reversible travel yoga mat that barely takes up an iota of space in your bag. You can even slip it into a carry-on, and you'll be glad you did if you end up with a cancelled flight or lost bag.
Yoga & Meditation Timer/Clock Combo
Whether you have only 10 minutes to kick back before a big meeting or need to be reminded to stop and enjoy the scenery, Gaiam’s Enso Clock will help you stay both centered and true to your schedule. Able to hold up to 99 sequential timers, the Enso Clock features an onscreen countdown timer, perfect for any on-the-go yoga or meditation practice. Big plus: you won’t be jarred out of your peaceful state by a buzzing alarm – the Enso Clock’s alarm is the soothing chimes of Tibetan singing bowls. Includes carrying pouch and two AAA batteries.
Travel Cards – Earn Discounts and Visit Local Yoga Studios
Make your travel expenses work for you with the new Enlightenment Card featuring the Visa logo. This is not just another credit card. The Enlightenment Card was founded on the principles of positive intention and the power to change the world. By using the card, you earn points that can be redeemed for sustainable and socially responsible goods and services, such as charity donations, spa visits, yoga classes and eco-shopping.
For those who travel often and like to experience the local yoga scene, the OmPass is your ticket (or rather, pass) to swank studios around the country. For just $20 a year, you receive “free class trial coupons for affiliated studios within 50 miles of your home, and a travel pass to use at over 200 national affiliated yoga studios, gyms, spas, retreats and resorts when you travel over 50 miles from home.” On top of that, you’ll receive e-mails featuring discount codes for eco-stores both on and offline. Sustainable, social, supportive – OmPass is a key to the future of traveling yoga.
Victoria Everman is a freelance writer, model, environmentalist, crafter and yogi in San Francisco, California.