Yoga Retreat Travel Tips for the Traveling Yogi

The time has come for those Summer yoga retreats. Whether your trip is by bus, train or plane there are a number of easy to pack items you need to include in your travel tote alongside that yoga mat.

Don’t forget…

  • Essential oil is a great way to ease headaches or tension. I love this calming aromatherapy rollerball oil in lavender to ease tension.
aromatherapy on the go
  • This Origins product packs a minty punch but a tiny amount rubbed in to the temples helps to soothe headaches and relieve travel grogginess.
headache & tension relief
  • Make your own tiny travel altar to transport some sage, meditation cards and crystals. This tiny tin is a great way of taking your yoga & meditation practice with you on the go. (or maybe a candle but buy your matches at your destination!)
travel yoga altar open tin
travel altar tin for your favorite items

Don’t Forget your Yoga Retreat Journal

  • Journal to note down your travel information as well as journal your yoga retreat. This handmade yoga retreat journal is made specifically for a retreat or yoga workshop trip. Dedicated pages for you to note down your itinerary, packing list, contacts and schedule as well as a bunch of separate pages for your notes and thoughts. Totally expandable using a disc system binding it also includes pockets for your receipts & tickets and dedicated envelopes to tuck away your favorite teabag and business cards. Also included is a coordinating bookmark, tags and clips for personal customization. Take a look at this one here on yogaskinny’s sister Etsy store – maycontainpaper.
handmade yoga retreat journal
don’t forget to journal your thoughts
  • A turkish towel makes a great, soft scarf/ blanket for traveling. Perfect for chilly planes and folds up super small for toting around! (It’s also very quick drying if used as a beach towel 😉
Soft turkish towel – perfect for traveling
  • As well as your digital gadgets, you’re going to need a great paperback to absorb you on your travels. Warrior Won by Meryl Davis Landau is a fiction novel with a spiritual edge. It centers around the main character, Lorna Crawford, facing challenges during pregancy when she learns that there may be something wrong with her baby. Filled with references to authors and practices that many a yogi will be familiar this is a captivating read. It ticks the box as a must read, Summer read for those of us looking for a mindful, contemporary womens novel.
Warrior Won – a mindful, contemporary womens novel
  • You’ll need to stay hydrated during the course of your trip. Water bottle or tea mug are critical.
Hydro flask are really good at keeping things hot or cold for a long time!
  • Throw in your favorite herbal teas. Choose ginger to settle your stomach and chamomile to aid with sleep (but only if you’re not driving!)
Pukka Teas make some great herbal teas and the packaging colors are awesome too!
  • Finally, don’t get so comfortable with your travel goodies that you forget to move! Do some simple twists in your chair, get up to stretch and find a moment to focus on some smooth & deep breathing.

Go gather up your goodies and get set for your yogi travels. Bon voyage!

Please know that I am an affiliate which means that I may make a small commission, at no extra cost to you, from any items you may buy through a link from my website 🙂

6 Great Iyengar Books for your Bookshelf

Open book image
photo credit jonas jacobsson

Whether you’re an Iyengar fanatic or not, if you love yoga then there are a few Iyengar books you need on your bookshelf. Now!

BKS Iyengar and his family have dedicated their lives to the study, practice & sharing of yoga. Take a dip in to these six books and get yourself some yoga learning.

Light on Yoga – BKS Iyengar

The yoga text book of the Gods! If this isn’t on your teaching training book list you probably need to find out why. This. Instant!

Amazing to think that it was first published in 1966 and yet it is still one of the most popular and relevant yoga texts. I bought my copy many years ago when I started teaching and refer to it regularly!

Filled with photographs of a young Mr Iyengar in the yoga poses. Each photographed pose is accompanied by a breakdown of the pose’s sanskrit meaning, a detailed, step by step description of the pose technique and a conclusion describing the effects of the pose.

There are also separate chapters discussing bandhas, pranayama & therapies along with other aspects of yoga. I review Light on Yoga in more detail here.


It’s amazing to think that Light on Yoga was first published in 1966

The Tree of Yoga – BKS Iyengar

If you are keen to understand yoga in all its depth then this is a book for you. Not an asana book but a study of the whole of yoga philosophy in the words of Mr Iyengar.

It is a small book of small chapters but it packs a punch with its meaning and insight. Yoga is a vast topic but this book manages to break down and explore those topics with clarity in just a few pages.

It’s the kind of book that you can dip in and out of and use as reference. I love those sort of books!

The Tree of Yoga is broken down into five parts exploring the following:

Part 1 – yoga & life. Covering aspects of love, family, faith & death

Part 2 – the tree of yoga. How the elements of the tree symbolize the eight limbs of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras

Part 3 – yoga & health. The health benefits we are all familiar with

Part 4 – self & its journey. Spiritual journey and the growth of the yoga student

Part 5 – yoga in the world – the art of yoga and the role of the teacher

Scattered Iyengar yoga books with cup of herbal tea

Light on Life – BKS Iyengar

 Mr Iyengar incorporates his yoga journey and personal anecdotes in the pages of this fascinating exploration of yoga.

Focusing on his own experiences and discussing the role of yoga and how it can improve our lives for the better. Delve in for a clearer understanding of the yoga journey.

I’ve also found this book to be a great help from a teaching perspective. Many of the quotes and passages are a great inspiration.

“Spirituality is not some external goal that one must seek but a part of the divine core of each of us, which we must reveal”

Iyengar books are great resources for the yoga practitioners and yoga teachers

YOGA – The Path to Holistic Health – BKS Iyengar

If you’re a yogi you’ll love this book. If you’re a yoga teacher you’ll need this book.

This is one Iyengar book that is more of a manual than a yoga text (although there is a section on yoga philosophy). This is a great book describing poses and sequences using the props that Iyengar yoga is synonymous with.

If you are a visual person like me you will find this book to be worth it’s weight in gold. (And that’s a lot because this book is heavy!)

Individual poses are broken down in to there sanskrit meanings, instructions on the one and necessary cautions.

There is a large chapter on the topic of ‘yoga for stress’ which also incorporates a number of restorative yoga poses.

The chapter ‘yoga for ailments’ incorporates pages of yoga sequences to address specific ailments and conditions.

Soooooo useful. Don’t underestimate its value for your class planning and yoga teaching career.

BKS Iyengar isn’t the only family member publishing books

Yoga, A Gem for Women – Geeta S. Iyengar

Ok, so not by BKS but, nevertheless, an invaluable book for practitioners and teachers alike which is why I’m including it in this list of Iyengar books.

Written by BKS Iyengar’s daughter, Geeta, this is the classic yoga book for women.

Wherever you are on your female journey, Geeta discusses the milestones in a woman’s life – menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. Separate chapters are dedicated to the poses, breathing techniques and meditation to support a woman through these milestones.

Another great book for teachers as there are lots of variations and special instructions for using props and adapting poses for all levels of practitioner.

Iyengar The Yoga Master – Kofi Busia

Although not strictly an Iyengar authored book, this is a collection of stories, anecdotes and essays about BKS Iyengar written by yoga practitioners.

I only recently came across this book and have loved reading the stories of the many yoga teachers and yogis who have contributed.

I always enjoy reading about the experiences of others. It is fascinating to learn from the different perspectives of other people.

This is not a complete list of all of the published Iyengar books available but if you haven’t yet got yourself a copy beg, buy or borrow a copy now for a dose of pure yogic wisdom.

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Great Yoga Business Resources for Yoga Teachers

Love the practice. Yep. Got the certification. Yep. All inspired to get started on teaching. Yep. Got the business side sorted. Hmmm……..

Yoga teachers are always bursting with enthusiasm and passion for teaching but sometimes the business side of it all goes a bit awry.

Every yoga teacher needs access to great yoga business resources as much as they need a classic yoga text. Take a look at these readily available and super useful resources to support your yoga teaching career.

Books

The Art & Business of Teaching Yoga by Amy Ippoliti & Taro Smith

A great business book to support your yoga teaching career

This book packs a punch and is presented in a down to earth and understandable way.  And like a good class, yoga themes are weaved in to the business advice.

These are the reasons I love it…

  • Written by a yoga teacher who walks the walk.  Personal experience of the whole ‘building a yoga business’ thing.
  • Lots of practical and realistic tips on the tedious but, nevertheless, important stuff.  You know the kind of thing.  Finances, insurances, liability issues etc
  • A great chapter on how to present yourself as a teacher.  You, after all, are the business
  • Useful and implementable social media marketing tips
  • Great yoga class planning and teaching tips too
  • Small paperback, throw in your bag, kind of format.  I love that this is not a hefty, intimidating textbook.
  • Overall, a ‘go to’ reference for any yogi building a yoga teaching career

The Yogi Entrepreneur – A Guide to Earning a Mindful Living by   Darren Main

Earning a mindful living for yoga teachers

Darren is a long term yoga teacher and his book shares many great tips for the entrepreneurial yoga teacher

Reasons to read

  • Lots of information presented in lists, bullet points and Q&A’s.  I find this kind of presentation much more readable.
  • A great chapter on website building.  Although a website isn’t an absolute must do initially it does have its benefits.
  • Comprehensive section on finances and taxes.
  • Very useful examples of how to figure out pricing for classes & workshops and bigger events such as retreats and trainings.
  • A big section with marketing suggestions that vary from simple & free to more complex & costly.

Darren also published a book in 2019 that focuses fully on Social Media for Teachers and Healers.  Although I haven’t read a copy I’m sure it is worth a look.

Organization Stationery

Keeping your business organized and efficient helps to manage your time and, in turn, keep your career on track.

yogaskinnystudio’s range of yoga stationery is a great way to keep your classes, time and finances in check.

Use a printable timesheet to track your classes, student numbers, invoicing and payments.

yoga timesheet filled in example
Numbers are just an example!! Yoga timesheets available for full time & part time yoga teachers

Podcasts

Yoga Teacher Resource with Mado Hesselink

I came across Mado’s podcast and haven’t stopped listening and re-listening since!

She posts every week and her podcasts are a mixture of interviews, advice pieces and business tips. She’s covered a spectrum of yoga related topics from beginner teaching nerves to joint health in poses.

I love her podcasts as they are just like Goldilocks’ porridge.  Not too long and not too short.  Just right.

There are several podcasts discussing marketing and making a living – one of the biggest challenges for any yoga teacher!

I encourage you to take a listen.  You won’t regret it.

Every yoga teacher needs some great business resources

J Brown

If you are interested in listening to some thought provoking yoga interviews covering business (among other great yoga topics) then J Brown’s podcast is the way to go.

Over time J Brown has interviewed many amazing and inspiring yoga teachers and practitioners covering all sorts of yoga related topics.

The length of the podcasts are quite long so more of a time commitment for this one but a great deal of interesting and useful content.

Websites

Yoga Journal

Yoga Journal has been around for some time now and is always to be found on Barnes & Noble shelves.  The online version of Yoga Journal has some great content for yoga teachers.  You can also subscribe to Yoga Journal to gain access to sequence builders, teaching insurance and teaching advice.

Yoga International

Yoga International is a great resource for teachers and practitioners alike.  It features a great amount of teaching and business related articles.  It is on a subscription basis but you can sign up for a 30 day trial if you want to take a commitment free peek.

teach.yoga

This website offers a really inspiring and eclectic selection of articles from yoga teachers and practitioners.  It has a very welcoming community vibe to it and appeals to me as it doesn’t have the corporate glossiness of some yoga websites. Curl up in your comfy yoga pants with a cup of tea for company and have a browse.

Mindbodygreen

There are a number of yoga related websites similar to mindbodygreen in that they publish articles across a range of health & self care topics.  They’re all great with something to offer but my go to website is mindbodygreen.

Take advantage of all of the many resources available to you and make your yoga teaching career shine!

Please know that I am an affiliate which means that I may make a small commission, at no extra cost to you, from any items you may buy through a link from my website 🙂

Sari Silk Ribbon Bookmark – Handmade Gift for a Book Lover

handmade sari silk ribbon bookmark instructions

How about some craft time creating this simple sari silk ribbon bookmark? A perfect handmade gift for your favorite bookworm.

make a sari silk ribbon bookmark

This is a super easy make using sari ribbon and a handful of beads, charms & embroidery thread. Spend some time crafting these beautiful bookmarks for your own collection or as a gift for that special book reading or journaling friend.

Where to start….

Craft supplies for sari silk bookmark
  • Selection of beads. These were all spare beads from various other jewelry craft projects I have done. Try breaking up old dress jewelry you no longer like or from thrift store finds. Etsy has some great bead suppliers too. Try this Etsy store for a wide variety including Tibetan beads and charms.
  • Cellphone lanyard. These were a lucky thrift store find for me but you can also buy them online and on Etsy. Take a look here
  • Embroidery thread. Again, these were already in my sewing stash but you can find them very inexpensively at Michaels, Joanns and online at Etsy & Amazon
  • Small, flat charms. You ‘ll need to choose slender and flat charms as these may sit inside your book pages so you don’t want too much bulk. Try here for a large selection.
  • A pair of scissors. Glue or clear nail varnish (optional)

How to make your own sari silk ribbon bookmark


Cellphone charm loop with beads on

Thread your beads on to the cellphone lanyard loop. Be sure to leave a wide enough loop for your sari silk ribbons.

make a sari silk ribbon bookmark

Cut three sari ribbon lengths, group together and thread through the end of the lanyard loop. I mixed my colors but you could always stick to one.

Use ribbon lengths of 10-12 inches remembering that the finished silk tassel will be half of that length. The beaded cellphone lanyard loop will add an extra 2 inches to the tassel length.

For this bookmark I used three 10 inch lengths of ribbon to create a 5 inch sari silk ribbon tassel.

Sari silk ribbons secured with embroidery thread

Use embroidery thread to wind around the ribbons and tie in a double knot. You can secure your knot with a small dot of glue or some clear nail varnish if you choose. Trim the ends of the thread.

Looping through embroidery thread for a handmade bookmark

Thread a folded length of embroidery thread through the loop on your cellphone lanyard and feed the two tail ends back through to secure.

This bookmark would also make a great embellishment for a journal or sketchbook.

The embroidery thread is the part of the bookmark that will slide between the book pages so cut the length accordingly. For this project I kept the embroidery thread 5 inches long – the same as the tassel.

Pull tight and finish with your tiny charm. Knotting securely in to place.

And there you have your finished sari silk ribbon bookmark. Ready to go either on its own or tucked in to that new book you want to gift!

This bookmark would also make a great embellishment for a journal or sketchbook.

Three handmade sari silk ribbons

Sari silk ribbon bookmarks like this one are also available at our sister Etsy store, maycontainpaper, if you prefer to purchase!

Please know that I am an affiliate for Etsy and Amazon which means that I may receive a small commission from any purchase you make via my blog but at no extra cost to you 🙂

Yoga Wisdom – Inspiring Stories of Yoga Off Of The Mat

yoga wisdom book and tea on cozy blanket
Inspiration beyond the yoga mat

I love a yoga book and am always excited to explore the pages of a new one.  Like yoga teachers, all yoga books have something to offer the student and Yoga Wisdom, for me, is one of those with a great deal to offer.

Quite often yoga books focus primarily on the physical aspect of yoga. Nothing wrong with that at all but yoga has much more to offer. This book takes us beyond the mat to explore the bigger yoga picture.  

Yoga Wisdom describes the road she has travelled with yoga as her main traveling companion.

Yoga Wisdom documents the personal yoga journey of its author, Stephanie Spence.  Her book describes the road she has travelled, both physically and metaphorically, with yoga as her main traveling companion.

Weaved in to Stephanie’s memoir are the experiences and stories of a number of yogis & teachers.  She has interviewed a whole host of yogis who have embraced yoga as an integral part of their lives. This gives the reader an opportunity to dip in to the yoga journeys of others going beyond the physical practice on the mat.

Practicing yoga off of the mat and beyond the ‘workout’ can support us when dealing with life’s challenges.  

Their stories shared here describe how life can be messy and sometimes difficult. Taking our yoga practice off of the mat and beyond the ‘workout’ supports us when dealing with life challenges we encounter.  

The yoga journeys described are all unique with their own inspiring outcomes.  Each yogi interviewed has followed their own yoga path to overcome their personal challenges.

Copy of Yoga Wisdom with Mala and sage box on a yoga mat
Place a copy next to your mat or yoga altar to inspire your yoga & meditation practice

Yoga Wisdom is broken down into chapters that all have a specific theme and open with a phase of Stephanie’s life and story. This is followed by a section of other yogi’s personal stories and experiences.

The closing pages of each chapter, written by Stephanie, incorporate topics for self study, exploration and inspiration. I particularly liked chapter three’s ‘top 10 reasons to get to know your yoga teacher’. Chapter five offers great suggestions for supporting personal development.

Yoga provides us with the tools to help us embrace change

Yoga provides us with the tools to help us embrace change and do the inner work that moves us beyond habit, circumstances and self limiting beliefs.  This is one of those books that illustrates the magical transformation that can come from a yoga practice.

This is the perfect book to dip in to during quiet moments.  Place a copy next to your yoga altar as motivation for your yoga or meditation practice.  I for one will be adding Yoga Wisdom to my list of life inspiring favorites books.

Yoga Wisdom was recently awarded The Nautilus Award. This award recognizes books promoting spiritual growth, conscious living & positive social change.    

Go read a copy now because if that’s not a stamp of approval, then what is?