I try to practice every day but it’s not always possible (especially if you had five glasses of pinot grigio the night before). It can be even harder when you’re traveling and you’re meeting up with friends, stuffing your face with local cuisines and enjoying a few mojitos. If you’re anything like me, you enjoy teacher-led classes and trying out new yoga studios and teaching styles, and are too lazy to pack your own yoga mat. Here are some tips from my own personal experience of finding places to practice Yoga, even if you’re only visiting a country for a few days.
Guess what? Practicing physical Yoga poses are not the only way to practice Yoga while you’re on the road! Click here for 20 easy ways to incorporate Yoga into your travels!
1. Plan and research ahead of time
This may seem obvious, but before you jet off to your destination, ask friends, family and yoga teachers at your regular yoga studio if they have recommendations of where to go. Before I went to London, I asked around and found out about Indaba Yoga and ended up going there almost every day during my week-long trip.
Read reviews on Google, Yelp (mostly helpful if you’re visiting the U.S.), Facebook and download the MindBody Connect app, which most yoga studios around the world use for scheduling and class sign-ups. If you end up booking a class through the app don’t forget to leave a review afterwards for future traveling yogis also!
2. Take advantage of new student offers and community classes
Most studios offer discounted introductory rates for new students, either for a set number of classes (e.g. 3 visits for $45) or for a set period of time (e.g. $99 for the first month). These deals are steals and well worth it. Some studios like Satori Yoga in San Francisco have community classes at a lower price point during non-peak times (early morning or later in the evenings) – these may work well with your travel schedule if you’ve got a packed day.
3. Location, location, location
Where are you staying? Where will you be spending the majority of your time? All things to bear in mind – you don’t want to be traveling 30 minutes to the studio. If you have plans before/after your yoga class, can you visit a studio close by? When I was visiting a friend in Melbourne, I chose not to visit the studio close to her home, but instead opted for a studio in the city close to her work – so I could meet her for lunch straight after.
4. Check out the class schedule and what yoga styles the studio offers
Do you normally practice vinyasa at home? Or ashtanga? Or are you a yin fan? Look at the studio’s class schedule online or via the MindBody Connect app and make sure the style you want is offered. There’s nothing worse, and I mean nothing worse, than walking into a class you thought was hatha and it turning out to be hot power vinyasa instead.
If you’re not sure, this is a good explainer of the different styles of yoga. Be sure to introduce yourself and let the teacher know if you have any injuries.
Another pro tip: if the class description is a tad vague, give the studio a call to check if the class is suitable for beginners who are new to Yoga, or those who have been practicing for some time. When I first started practicing Yoga, I once walked into an “intermediate” class where 50% was doing forearm stands without a wall, and the other 50% was doing handstands. Suffice to say, it was definitely not the right class for me at the time and the teacher wasn’t able to provide much support and assistance.
Want to know which Yoga apps every traveler should have on their phone? Read my article on 6 Yoga Apps Every Traveler Should Download Now!
5. Does the studio have the amenities you need?
I’m not one of those people who “glow” after exercising, so if you’re anything like me then access to a fully functional shower and changing room is glorious, absolutely necessary and saves you a trip home. Find out if the studio has lockers, showers, towels (some places will charge a dollar or so), shampoo/conditioner, blow dryers and so on. Some places even offer GHD hair straighteners: fancy.
These are just a few things I look for when I’m traveling to a new place and don’t want to miss out on stepping on a mat. If you don’t make it to a yoga studio, don’t fret! Remember that yoga is more than asanas (poses) and there are a plethora of ways to incorporate yoga into your life, even when you’re on the road!
Have other tips for how to choose a yoga studio while you’re traveling? Leave a comment below!
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