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Benefits of Practicing Yoga While Traveling

Posted on December 27 2018

Cathy practicing Dragonfly pose on a log.

Are you one of the 108 million Americans traveling for the holidays this year? Along with the fun of spending long hours in a plane or car, travel can be detrimental to our sleep patterns and energy, which can lead to high amounts of stress, sore muscles, and fatigue. This is why yoga is so important when you travel. Yoga brings us back to center in the midst of chaos and allows us to calm the stress we gained from traveling.  Plus, you can do it virtually anywhere!

Here are 5 benefits to practicing yoga while traveling:

1. Relaxes Sore or Tight muscles

Lifting heavy suitcases and sitting in the same seated position with little to no movement for hours on end can be straining on your body to say the least. Yoga relaxes and releases tight muscles and gets the blood flowing to help wake up your body. It can also help strengthen your body to keep you safe from injury. Remember that every little bit counts!


2.  Gives You the Opportunity to Practice Yoga in New Places

Humans are creatures of habit, and we tend to find ourselves practicing yoga in the same places every week. Whether it’s at your local yoga studio, or even just in your living room, we often gravitate towards the same places to practice yoga. The fun part about traveling is that we get to experiment with new places to practice. Maybe you can try a local yoga studio near where you’re staying, or even try going outside! Practicing in different locations can do wonders for your mind and cultivating creativity. What a unique opportunity to change up your routine!


3.  Helps Regulate Your Sleep/Wake Cycle

There can be a lot of stress and excitement that comes with traveling, and often it leads to a change in your sleep/wake cycle. Even a one-hour time zone change can throw off your body and make it hard to wake up or go to bed at a reasonable time. Yoga can help get you back on track! Studies have shown that yoga not only helps you fall asleep faster but also improves the quality of your sleep. Certain poses such as ‘triangle pose’ and ‘legs up the wall’ before bed can help calm the body and bring blood and oxygen to your brain. Yoga also helps relax the muscles, lowers stress, and helps you get ready for a great night’s sleep!


4.  Boosts Your Immunity

We all know how quickly germs can spread in an airport or any sort of public transportation for that matter. Did you know one person’s cough or sneeze can travel up to 20 feet, and stay in the air for up to 10 minutes?  Gross! Yoga gives a holistic approach to help your body stay strong and reduce stress levels, which a primary factor for a weak immune system. Keeping up with a regular yoga practice can help your body keep sickness and diseases at bay.


5.  Anxiety Reduction

Did your flight get delayed? Maybe your terminal changed last minute, and you had to go sprinting through the airport to get to your gate on time? We’ve all been there! Travel tends to be a stressful activity anyway, but with the addition of the holiday crowds, it can cause your anxiety to go through the roof. Yoga provides you with some time to come back to the present moment and focus on your breath. Yoga (especially vinyasa) increases blood flow through the body and can help fight anxiety, tension, exhaustion, and fatigue.


Here are 3 travel-friendly poses you can practice the next time you leave home:


Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Benefits: When you're looking for a pose with relaxing and restorative powers in combination with a great hip opener and inner leg stretch, this is the one!

How it's done:

  • Begin this pose lying on your back with your knees bent, heels close to your sits bones, and feet together.
  • On inhale, as you let your knees slowly fold outwards, keep the soles of your feet together.   You may use blocks under your knees as support.
  • Place hands where most comfortable and relaxed.

Niharika of @niharikayoga demonstrates this position for you here:

Parivrtta Anjaneyasana (Revolved Crescent Lunge Pose)

Benefits: In addition to approving your core strength and balance, this posture stretches your obliques (side muscles), and strengthens your thighs. 

How it's done:

  • Beginning in Downward Facing Dog, lift your left leg to the sky, and then bring it forward between your shoulders. 
  • Drop your right knee (this is the modified version) for high lunge version, keep your right knee off the ground. 
  • On inhale, twist your torso so that your left elbow is hooked over your left knee.  
  • Bring your palms together, elbows and shoulders in line with each other
  • Lengthen your torso, keep it straight, avoid folding on one side or another
  • As a checkpoint, ensure that your palms are at the center of your chest.  If they've moved to the side, you're not twisted with a long line.  


Vrksasana (Tree Pose)

Benefits: This is often our first encounter with a balancing pose. As simple as it seems, it helps you develop good balance.  It strengthens your core,  legs, ankles, and feet. 

How it's done:

  • Stand tall with your feet together
  • "Ground" your feet - feel them root into the earth
  • Slowly lift one leg so that your foot rests on the opposite ankle, calf, thigh, or groin (avoid the knee)
  • Focus your gaze on a fixed point ahead of you
  • Raise your hands into the prayer position, overhead, or whatever feels good to you or helps maintain your balance
  • Relax your shoulders
  • Concentrate on maintaining your balance








Stephanie Morgan is a yoga instructor and lifestyle blogger from Chicago! Yoga has impacted her life in so many ways, and she loves having the opportunity to teach and share her practice with others. She hopes to encourage and inspire other people to follow their dreams and find new levels of possibility in their minds and bodies by bringing their practice off their mat and into their lives! You can find her blog at






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