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 🙂

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?

Bullet Journal Page for your Yoga Practice

If you haven’t ventured in to the world of the bullet journal, or BuJo as it’s also known, then it is well worth a little Pinterest investigation.  It was created by digital designer Ryder Carroll as an ‘evolving, adaptable practice meant to be self curated as you determine what works best for you’.  Essentially, a creative, personal life planning & organization tool tailored to your own personal needs.

Bullet Journaling for Yogis

As a yoga teacher and student, a bullet journal functions as one dedicated location for time planning, class notes, to do’s, book lists, self care and yoga practice tracking. (for a great article about self care and bullet journaling take a look here!)    The beauty of BuJo as a system is that it is totally personal to you!

Yoga practice tracker for bullet journal
A simple yoga tracker

Here is a simple yoga practice tracker to log asana practice and meditation.  A simple grid that is easy to complete and helping to  make you accountable and build up a routine to reinforce  your yoga and meditation habit.

a bullet journal functions as one dedicated location for time planning, class notes, to do’s, book lists, self care and yoga practice tracking

Yoga tracker for bullet journal
Yoga tracker using a simple color coding system

Get Creative with your Bullet Journal Practice Tracker

There are lots of great notebooks and pens available that work really well for bullet journaling purposes but, for me, the best notebook I’ve found is one of your BuJo fan’s favorites, a Leuchtturm, accompanied by fine liner felt pens by Staedtler.  The Leuchtturm works well as it lays flat when open and the pages are lightly dotted in a grid system making it easier to draw simple charts.  Staedtler fineline felt pens are a good felt pen match at a reasonable investment.

a creative, personal life planning & organization tool tailored to your own personal needs.

The beauty of a bullet journal is that you can embellish and decorate it exactly as you like it so get creative with your colors and copy or create your own headings and borders.  Just a doodle works well.  Here are a handful of simple examples for doodle inspiration!  If you are looking for a fun felt pen for more creative work try another bujo planner’s favorite, the  Tombow range of double ended markers that combine a sweeping stroke brush with a fineliner.

Bullet journal doodles for yoga tracker
Simple hand drawn doodles to personalize your yoga tracker

Enjoy getting creative as you track your progress and be sure to share your yoga trackers with us!

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Please know that as an affiliate for some of the items included in this post I may be paid a small commission if you buy something you link to from this post at no extra cost to you.  I am also an Etsy affiliate.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

7 Reasons Why I’m Happy to be a Middle Aged Yogi….

yoga for middle age, middle aged yoga, menopause, yoga and self care,
7 reasons I’m happy to be a middle aged yogi

As a middle aged yogi there are many yoga trends I’m happy to let pass me by.  Here is a list of 7 of them…


  • Any yoga class that has been heated to a temperature worthy of an industrial laundry.  My own body creates that heat spontaneously so why would I consider turning up the temperature…..on purpose?

Continue reading “7 Reasons Why I’m Happy to be a Middle Aged Yogi….”

The Value of Practicing Yoga with an Experienced Yoga Instructor

practice with an experienced yoga teacher, experienced yoga teacher, yoga for middle age, yoga and injuries
A recent report by the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine discovered a rise in yoga related injuries for older students

Yoga is popular, it’s as simple as that, and today more and more older people are embracing the practice attracted by the wealth of health and self care benefits it offers.


However, as the number of yoga students has grown, so too have the number of yoga related injuries being treated.  Bad news whichever way you try to spin it.

A recent article published on the leading website yoga journal.com has found that there has been a marked increase in yoga injuries, particularly for those in the age categories 40 and upwards.  This could be seen as a reflection of the growing number of older students led to yoga on the advice of healthcare professionals.  Or increasing numbers of students practicing yoga following many years of other exercise disciplines or very limited exercise habits.

Are physical injuries increasing with yoga’s popularity

The study by the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine examines injuries over thirteen years starting in 2001.  This is a period of time that also coincides with a large increase in yoga teacher trainings and the number of opportunities to study and teach yoga.

Although most trainings cover a spectrum of yoga topics, in many cases, only around 20 of those hours are dedicated to anatomy study.

This growth is great news for everyone as it increases choice and accessibility along with employment and experience for yoga teachers. However, currently, the only criteria that needs to be met in order to teach (in most cases) is the completion of a 200hour training.  There are many 200hour yoga trainings around which, like most things in life, can differ in style and quality.  Although most trainings will cover a spectrum of yoga topics, in many instances only around 20 of those 200 hours are dedicated to anatomy study.

Even for an experienced teacher, a class that provides safe sequencing for a large group of students with an array of physical & medical issues can be challenging.

It is unfair to suggest that any brand new teacher would intentionally cause anyone harm but it takes experience, study and understanding of the physical body and a broad range of conditions to safely and effectively lead a class.

With aging bodies comes the inevitable wear and tear of joints, weakening of connective tissues such as ligaments and other musculature changes as well as the range of physical conditions that spring up in later life.  These are all important aspects to consider when teaching an older group of students.

Even for a very experienced yoga instructor, a class that provides safe sequencing for a large group of students with an array of physical & medical issues can be challenging.

This is not to say that a recently qualified teacher does not have the ability to teach a class well.  It’s just that older students need to be mindful and responsible for their own self care too.

Listen to your own body and be selective about the classes you attend particularly when starting out.  Yoga is all about losing the ego so don’t let your own ego dictate that you attend that fast moving, level 2 class.  Take time to build up your practice with a well informed, experienced teacher making gradual progress to the faster, stronger classes if that appeals.

From a student’s perspective, the more yoga experience and study that a teacher has, the more it will also benefit their own learning. Doing some research to find a class that combines your choice of instructor with the appropriate level is important.

 Inexperience or little knowledge about a condition could unintentionally cause injury.

Although it may be uncomfortable for you to ask an instructor directly, you can research online or chat with other staff and students at the location where you attend class.  Most yoga teachers, regardless of experience, welcome questions as no teacher would want to knowingly hurt a student.  However,  inexperience or limited knowledge about a condition could unintentionally cause injury.

The benefit of continuing yoga study for experienced yoga instructors

Depending upon the yoga school or tradition the teacher follows, many 200hour graduates may continue in their studies with an additional 300hour teacher training.  Others may diversify and focus on a particular school of yoga or facet of practice.  These trainings provide practicing teachers with an opportunity to study yoga in more depth including aspects of injury management and yoga therapy.

So take a little time to research further and consider experience, qualifications and ongoing study to find your perfect yoga match.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave