Why Yoga Should Be Every Traveler’s Fitness Mantra

Benefits of Yoga
Benefits of Yoga

Why Yoga Should Be Every Traveler's Fitness Mantra

Yoga: Traveler’s Fitness Mantra – Benefits of Yoga

Yoga, the ancient and esoteric discipline with roots in India that can be traced back to the sixth and fifth century BCE has evolved into an effective means for keeping the body and mind fit. Today Yoga has metamorphosed from its ancient and exotic avatar and made its way into the fitness rooms, gyms, and spas of millions of resorts and homes across the world. Though the lofty objectives of Yoga which are in many ways utopian and dreamlike are beyond the reach of ordinary mortals, the benefits of Yoga are many and there to be reaped by all. But what exactly is Yoga and how did it originate? Why should Yoga be every traveler’s fitness mantra? What are the Yoga benefits?

Yoga and its origins

Yoga is mentioned in the earliest philosophical texts of India that date back to 1500 BCE. Yoga finds mention in texts including Rig Veda, Upanishads, and Bhagavad Gita. However, the most famous treatise on Yoga is the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali which is a collection of 196 sutras or principles of Yoga compiled by a sage called Patanjali. The tenets of Yoga first found its way to the Western shores with the arrival of Swami Vivekananda at Chicago in 1893 to represent Hinduism and India in the Parliament of the World’s Religions. Today though Patanjali may turn in his grave looking at the commercialization of Yoga and the mushrooming of a plethora of techniques and types of Yoga that are passed off as Yoga, still there are millions who are reaping the benefits of Yoga. If you want to dive deep and understand the philosophy of Yoga then the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is the Yoga book for you.

What is Yoga? 

Benefits of Yoga

Many believe that Yoga is just a system of effective physical fitness and nothing much more. But Yoga is much more than that and transcends physical, mental, spiritual, and even metaphysical dimensions. The multifold benefits of Yoga are to be experienced to be believed. Even though many of the objectives of Yoga are unattainable by the lay practitioner, Yoga has the latent potential to transform an individual. Yoga means union which refers to the union of the conscious with the sub-conscious and the supreme consciousness.

At the basic level, Yoga is a discipline which can be practiced easily for better physical health and fitness as well as mental relaxation. The health benefits of Yoga are manifold and in the subsequent paragraphs, we shall see how Yoga benefits your body, mind, and soul. The beauty of Yoga is that it requires no props and can be practiced anywhere. The benefits of Yoga accrue to the sincere and diligent practitioner.

The Main Components of Yoga

Yoga is more than just a fitness regimen, it is actually a way of life. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras talks about Ashtanga or Eight Limbs of Yoga. These are the primary tenets of Yoga and serve as a guideline to live a healthy life in harmony with the world and nature. These eight pillars of Yoga are sometimes referred to as Ashtanga Yoga and are as under:

Yama

Yama is a prescribed code of conduct for leading an ethical life. There are 5 Yamas namely:

  • Ahimsa which means practicing Non-Violence
  • Satya which alludes to the adherence to truth always
  • Asteya which means abstinence from stealing
  • Brahmacharya which means continence in thoughts and action
  • Aparigraha which means avoiding the thoughts of greed and covetousness

Niyama

Niyama is self-discipline and following a strict regimen that includes spiritual practices. There are 5 Niyamas that are:

  • Saucha which is personal hygiene and cleanliness
  • Samtosa which is contentment
  • Tapas which refers to spiritual austerities
  • Svadhyaya which is the study of religious books and introspection for self-awareness
  • Isvara Pranidhana which translates into surrender to God

Asana

Benefits of Yoga
This is the most visual and well-known aspect of Yoga. Asana refers to the different postures that the Yoga practitioner needs to practice. Yoga considers the body as a temple and the vehicle for greater spiritual advancement. It thus is imperative to ensure that the vehicle is fit and in perfect condition to drive along the road of meditation and reach the spiritual goal of self-attainment. All the Yoga Asanas are geared towards making the body flexible as well as inculcating concentration and focus in the mind of the practitioner. Many see Asanas as the main font of the benefits of Yoga.

Pranayama

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga recognizes breath as the flame of life. Life exists as long as this flame burns. Pranayama is the control of the breath. It is believed that the control of the breath rejuvenates the body and even extends life itself. Pranayama along with Asana is that part of Yoga that is practiced widely today. Pranayama, if practiced regularly yields a wealth of benefits of Yoga.

Pratyahara

Pratyahara refers to withdrawing one’s senses from external objects and stimuli and turning the searchlight inwards. This leads to self-awareness which enables the practitioner to understand his own mind and its failings and cravings.

Dharana

Yoga is like a staircase that leads to higher goals. Each step equips one to climb the next step and reach closer to one’s goal. If the earlier step Pratyahara withdrew the senses inwards and away from external objects, Dharana is the act of concentration prior to actual meditation. It is the collection of all mental energy and focusing it on a single point.

Dhyana

Benefits of Yoga

Dhyana is the act of actual meditation. It is the uninterrupted flow of concentration. One might ask what is the difference between Dharana and Dhyana? both seem the same! yet there is a fine line of difference between the two. While Dharana refers to a one-pointed focus, Dhyana means letting go of even that one point and being keenly aware effortlessly without even that one focus point. At this stage the mind is quiet. The thoughts have subsided. The mind is enveloped in a blissful calm. Dhyana is the essence of the benefits of Yoga and meditation.

Samadhi

Yoga

Samadhi is the culmination of all Yogic practices. It is described by Patanjali as a state of ecstasy. It is in this state that the meditator becomes one with the universe and feels a divine connection with it. This is the ultimate state of Yoga, which is enlightenment. Something that can only be experienced. Samadhi is the pinnacle and ultimate of the benefits of Yoga.

Yoga in Everyday Life

Though at first glance the system of Yoga in its entirety may seem highly impractical in modern day life, it is worthwhile to note that many elements of Yoga in India are already intertwined into the daily lives of different communities in India. Pranayama, Asana, Dhyana are part of the daily rituals that many practices diligently even today. It is unfortunate that many of these rituals have given way to contemporary lifestyle and the benefits of Yoga getting lost in the race of modern lifestyles.

It is Hatha Yoga, a branch of Yoga which emphasizes the physical aspects and benefits of Yoga that is widely practiced today across the world and has come to be known as Yoga. Many use Yoga for weight loss while others practice it for better agility and flexibility, while still others do Yoga for back pain. There are multiple ways that the benefits of Yoga can be harnessed. But it should be borne in mind that though the physical benefits of Yoga accrue in the short term one should aim for the loftier objectives of spiritual Yoga.

Yoga and Travel

Benefits of Yoga

Health is wealth. This is an undeniable and universal truth. We are sure that everyone has some or the other fitness regimen that they follow regularly. Some may be hitting the gym, some may be sweating it out at an aerobics session, some may be doing Yoga workouts, and so on. But what happens when you travel? Does your fitness regimen go for a toss?

Traveling frequently also means the generation of more stress, disturbed diets, and metabolism, erratic sleep patterns, and so on. In short, a guaranteed prescription for ill health. On top of this if your fitness workouts too go for a toss, then it is definitely inviting a health and fitness disaster.

This is where Yoga comes in as a savior. Simple Yoga poses and breathing exercises can be practiced in the comfort of your hotel or hostel room. You don’t need any equipment or much space. The benefits of Yoga can be experienced by all and sundry. All you need is a strong will and determination. Here are some simple Yoga positions or asanas that will keep you fit and rejuvenated during your travels.

Click to check out and buy best Yoga accessories

Padmasana

Benefits of Yoga

The Padmasana which translates as “Lotus Posture” is a classic posture of Yoga. It is considered to be the ideal position for meditation. The posture is achieved by first sitting cross-legged on the floor and then placing the feet on their opposite thighs in a symmetric manner resulting in both knees touching the floor. The posture ensures that the spine is ramrod straight. The benefits of this posture include calming of the brain, stretching of the ankles and knees, increasing awareness and alertness, as well as helps develop a good posture. Padmasana is a great way to reap the benefits of Yoga.

Sukhasana

Benefits of Yoga

Sukhasana is an easier version of the Padmasana. The very name means a posture of comfort or happiness. Sukhasana is a physically simple act of sitting cross-legged on the floor. Though the asana looks simple, once you sit in this posture and turn your mind inwards, it is extremely effective for meditation. Some of the benefits of Sukhasana are stretching of the spine, calming of the mind, and improvement of body posture. Though Sukhasana looks simple and easy, regular practice of this asana and inculcating it into ones’ lifestyle will see the benefits of Yoga increasing day by day.

Tadasana

Benefits of Yoga

Tadasana is like a primer for the practice of many other asanas. It is also known as Mountain Pose. This asana is done by standing erect with both hands hanging lightly by the side. After firming the thigh muscles one should feel the energy flowing from the feet to the head. One should then gaze upwards and focus on the breath. The Tadasana has manifold benefits that include improving posture as well as strengthening the legs, hips, and stomach.

Virabhadrasana

Benefits of Yoga

The Virabhadrasana is a visually appealing as well as a dramatic yoga posture. It ia also referred to as the Warrior posture. This asana is great in stretching and strengthening the back and legs. This asana is a godsend for those having a sedentary lifestyle as it strengthens the spine and stimulates metabolism. The asana is also great to reduce stress and calm the mind as well as improve concentration. This asana can be practiced by placing the feet apart, taking the right foot forward, lifting the arms above the head and looking forward.

Uttanasana

Benefits of Yoga

This asana is also known as Hasta Padasana or Padahastasana. This is a very effective and powerful stretch exercise and has a great effect on the improvement of blood circulation. During the asana, fresh blood flows to the head resulting in a very refreshed feeling. Additionally, the Uttanasana also stimulates the functioning of other organs of the body like kidneys, liver, as well as the digestive system. This asana is done by initially standing in the Tadasana posture and bending down from the waist while exhaling the breath. The hands are placed on the feet by the side of the feet which should parallel to each other. This position is to be held for a few seconds.

Bhujangasana

Benefits of Yoga

The Bhujangasana is also known as the Cobra pose owing to its appearance. This simple asana has manifold benefits that include the stimulation of the reproductive, digestive, and urinary systems. Metabolism too receives a boost with the help of the Bhujangasana. This asana is practiced by lying down on the floor flat on the stomach. Then raise your upper body with the help of the hands by placing the upper body weight on the elbows. Hold the position for a few seconds while breathing in followed by release.

Shavasana

Benefits of Yoga

The Shavasana or corpse pose is the final asana that one should do after the other asanas towards the end of the yoga workout. It allows the body to harness the energy and benefits of the earlier asanas and relaxes the body. The asana releases all tensions from the body and mind and is an excellent posture for relaxation. The Shavasana is practiced by lying on your back with hands by the side and palms facing upwards. Experience and feel the flow of energy in every part of your body from the feet to the head with your eyes closed. Focus and be aware of your breathing as you breathe normally.

These are just a few and easily doable Yoga asanas from the 84 asanas that adorn the discipline of Yoga. These can be practiced anywhere and one can choose to do all or a few of them wherever you are. Regular practice of these asanas along with breath control and meditation result in benefits both in the short and long-term for the body, mind, and soul. Yoga is indeed an answer to the many ills that plague our lifestyles and the world around us. The benefits of Yoga are seemingly unending and it depends on the practitioner what riches he can acquire from this inexhaustible gold mine. The World has woken up to the importance of the integration of Yoga into mainstream lifestyles for a healthier world.

UNESCO has listed Yoga as an intangible cultural heritage. Also, the United Nations General Assembly has declared the 21st of June as International Day Of Yoga or simply Yoga Day. Incidentally, June 21 is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

Why India is the Best Yoga Travel Destination

Benefits of Yoga

India is the country where Yoga originated. This is the land where ancient sages practiced and mastered this esoteric discipline. The art and science of Yoga were passed on to later generations. India is the place where you will find the best and most authentic Yoga teachers and luxury Yoga retreats. Some of the best Yoga travel destinations within India are Mysore in the southern state of Karnataka and Rishikesh in the northern state of Uttarakhand. These and many other cities and towns of India offer excellent facilities of Yoga for beginners as well as Yoga classes for the intermediate and advanced levels too and include Yoga for kids too. So if you are looking for the best Yoga holidays and retreats you know where to head to after packing your Yoga travel gear.

Summary of the Benefits of Yoga

  • Improved blood circulation
  • Enhanced muscle strength and tone
  • Greater flexibility of the body
  • Improved posture
  • Weight loss
  • Release tensions and calm the mind
  • Improved metabolism
  • Pregnancy Yoga/ Prenatal Yoga for expecting mothers

Requirements for Yoga Practice

Though as mentioned earlier Yoga per se requires very little to practice apart from a strong will combined with a keenness to learn, for convenience one may invest in accessories that include a Yoga mat, special Yoga clothes that allows convenient stretching of the limbs like Yoga pants or Yoga leggings or Yoga Shorts. One can also make use of Yoga books and Yoga videos to learn the nuances of Yoga.

Click to check out and buy best Yoga accessories

Do you practice Yoga? If not are you ready to take up the Yoga challenge? We hope we have given you enough reasons why you should practice Yoga. What is your fitness mantra while traveling? If you are already into Yoga what are the benefits of Yoga that you have experienced? Have you tried Yoga to lose weight? Do let us know your thoughts through the comments section.

Why Yoga Should Be Every Traveler's Fitness Mantra

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Why Yoga Should Be Every Traveler's Fitness Mantra

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42 thoughts on “Why Yoga Should Be Every Traveler’s Fitness Mantra”

  1. I’ve always heard about how good yoga is for your body and your mind, but I’ve never tried it. I think your post just sold me on it.

  2. Travel can absolutely put a dent in your practice. I find breathing exercises and a modified routine provide much needed relaxation from the stresses that can crop-up on the road. Love the article.

  3. Interesting and a very detailed article! I’ve never done Yoga before, so this learns me much more about the variations of yoga and the background. I would love to try it ones and to combine it with a trip to India. 🙂

  4. I like to attend different yoga schools when I travel and in this way I’ve enjoyed some amazing classes. If you are interested, my favourites were yoga barn Bali, Ashiyana India and green monkey in Miami.

  5. I know lots of people do Yoga. It’s not for me, because I tend to get the giggles. It’s just funny to see everyone bending in all sorts of directions. I am not mature enough for Yoga.

  6. I love yoga and appreciate all it does for me, both physically and mentally. The thought of experiencing a class in India sounds like a dream come true!

  7. I had no idea that the yoga I had been doing in gym class was called the Asana. I really need to work on becoming more flexible! I do try to exercise while on vacation and yoga is definitely one that we can be done in your hotel room (if it’s big enough :))

  8. I’m really glad to read this post. For the longest time, I’ve been really thinking about doing Yoga. I think its such an important exercise. You’re right, there are so many benefits. When I travel I have trouble sleeping I bet yoga will be helpful for me to relax in to the new environment

  9. I love finding new reasons to do something I already like doing. Yoga is such an essential practice I don’t know why everyone doesn’t practice it.

  10. Rose Ann Sales

    I love to travel a lot but I was not able to do that because of my busy schedules. But even if I am busy I don’t forget to meditate like doing yoga once or twice a week. It so helpful to my mind and body it relieves my stress and gives me a peace of mind.

  11. I guess we tend to lose sight of what yoga really is when you break it down. Great informative info on yoga and how it’s much more than just exercise.

  12. Thank you for this very detailed post on yoga and its benefits. Yoga has never been a part of my life, but as I age, I may try to incorporate it as I know I need to improve the flexibility of my body.

  13. This was a very thorough article about yoga, I’m impressed with how much information you put together! I personally love yoga and have been doing it for about 6 years now. I always travel with a yoga towel so I can throw that down on the floor of my hotel room or in the grass at a park and get in a good stretch. It’s also fun to seek out new yoga studios while traveling! I just went to an aerial yoga class in Vietnam and it was an amazing experience 😃

  14. I am embarrassed to say I have yet to try YOGA and I NEED to. Soon. I need to stretch as I had back surgery in November.

  15. I’ve never really been into yoga but know it’s so popular and great for mental health and staying fit. It’s something I should absolutely be doing especially with so much upcoming travel!

  16. I have no idea that there is so much more to Yoga than just it being a form of exercise! Without the need for any equipments, it is certainly what frequent travelers would need as a form of exercise and relaxation! Would love to head to India someday to learn more about it. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  17. I had no idea that there are so many different types of Yoga, or even different types of meditation! I know how to do the lotus posture only haha! I have been travelling for 7 months now and never thought about using yoga to reduce the lack of exercising! Thanks for sharing!

  18. Travel often stresses me out and ruins my fitness routine. After reading your post, I realize I need to do some self-care and set aside some time each day to do a little yoga. Thank you for the tips and rich information about the practice of yoga!

  19. I think yoga is great by observation, but I have never tried it myself. I need to one day as it looks totally zen and a good workout!

  20. A very insightful article on Yoga. As you said, it’s not just an exercise for the body. But a medicine for the soul and the mind as well. We practice some of the basic ones at home, but at some point I want to do a full course of Yoga.

  21. Yoga is quite popular here in the U.S. and I’ve tried it a few times. It definitely makes me feel better all around and I can understand why it would be a good idea to practice while traveling. I usually exhaust myself with walking while traveling, but maybe on slower-paced trips this would be a good idea!

  22. I really need to slow down and take this post to heart. Not just when traveling but in my crazy, fast paced, always feel like I’m 10 steps behind, life…

  23. I’ve always enjoyed yoga, but don’t practice it regularly. Thanks for the inspiration to do so! I’ve never looked into the history or details of yoga, so it is nice to finally learn more details about it and about how it’s evolved over the years. Very interesting to learn about the components of yoga too—Yama and Niyama are such great codes to live by. India would be a fantastic place to practice yoga and learn more about it—thanks for the great suggestion!

  24. Posts like these can go a long way in educating the world about India’s unique offerings. Most people equate Yoga with physical exercise alone. It is much more than just that.

  25. Incredible post on Yoga. I agree how you can include some yogasanas during travel to stay fit. Some basic postures is sure to help us during the rigorous treks.

  26. I too believe in Power of Yoga. Though not doing it regularly but try to do atleast 15 to 20 minutes everyday with some basic Asanas. I too believe India is land of Yoga and have many retreats and places where you can learn this magical skill. Thanks for sharing a very informative post!

  27. This is a great post. Everything is so useful in this post. Yoga is really good for health everyone must spend time on yoga. This is a such a great list. Thanks for sharing with Us

  28. Thank you for this comprehensive look at the physical and more spiritual aspects of yoga. I did not know that Asana was really the physical part of yoga. It reminds of when I went to a meditation weekend where the discipline and life practices were as important as the actual meditation process. I totally understand the benefits of yoga. Getting started is always an issue for someone who is older, less fit and bigger than average.

  29. I agree completely. No need to look for the crowded gym and swimming pool. All you need is some space in the room itself. I believe that if you are short on then just Surya Namaskar and Pranayama is good get you off to a great start.

  30. I do a lot of running, hiking and cycling whilst on the road but I am just getting into the yoga scene and truly enjoy it. Its gives me a brief moment of the day to relax, get fit and think wonderful things (like the time I found myself whilst on the road and what I want to do in life). Love yoga, love travel!

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