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Travelling is a joy and a trial. This past weekend I was gratefully able fly up to Boston to visit my new 1-month old niece, my brother, and his family. I traveled with my 3-year old daughter, who was so happy to see her 3-year old cousin. It didn’t matter that we were in damp, chilly Boston. It was so joyful to see them ecstatically happy to be with one another made it feel like a true getaway.

Travelling was a real reminder of how grateful I am to have my portable yoga and mindfulness practices. Not only did my short home practice rejuvenate me at my brother’s house, but my mindfulness practices kept me grounded while getting there and back.

Moving through the airports, I was really struck by how many stressed and unhappy people there were. Boy can you palpably feel the tension in the security line!

Until our eyes are opened to how good it feels to generate peace and loving-kindness during the day, many of us go through even regular days with low levels of stress and tension. This ages us quickly by not allowing our bodies to rejuvenate and relax.

Here’s what I did to practice yoga & mindfulness while I traveled:

  1. Used gathas (sayings) to be present wherever I was.  A getaway is a special time and I wanted to really be present for each moment with my family. I didn’t want to be lost in thought. So, at traffic lights I practiced, “Breathing in, I have arrived. Breathing out, I am home.” When I found myself getting caught up in children’s drama, I practiced, “Breathing in, I feel calm, breathing out, peace. Breathing in, I smile. Breathing out, release.” Try it right now. You will feel the difference.

  2. Ate nutritious foods. I definitely enjoy some special treats on vacation, but I know that if I go overboard, I feel terrible. So I make sure to eat as many vegetables and healthy proteins as I can while on vacation. At my brothers, I made them a big meal one night chock full of veggies as well as some green smoothies, so that kept me feeling good.

  3. Took of the watch and surrendered. I “surrendered” to wherever I was in the moment, whether it was lingering in a cafe or stopped in traffic. It’s so important to let go of our agendas and allow ourselves to relax! Taking off my watch is a symbol of that for me.

  4. Grabbed a short yoga practice when I could. While it’s fun to go to a class when travelling, I had only 3 days on this trip, so I wanted to soak up as much family time as possible. I did not want to miss those moments when my new niece was awake! So when we had some down time, I rolled out my mat for a short 20-minute practice. My brother joined me, and at one point, I was doing tree pose holding my 1-month old niece! It was fun, and everyone felt good afterwards.

  5. Modified meditation. Normally, I sit quietly for 30 minutes in the morning before the family wakes up. There, I was sharing a room with my daughter and our schedule was a bit different. I knew that I still needed some time to get quiet, so I fit my meditation in other ways. One day I sat on the stoop outside for 10 minutes while everyone else was still getting on boots and jackets. Another day, I woke early and sat in the living room while I listened to my brother getting my niece breakfast in the kitchen. It was enough time in stillness to keep me clear-headed through my visit.

  6. Wished Loving-Kindness to my fellow travelers. This practice has been key to making all of my journeys more relaxed. It’s kind of sneaky in that you are wishing peace for others but it helps you release tension and feel better too. I practiced this waiting in the security line, boarding my flight, waiting to get off my flight, and all around the airport. This is how it works: First, you wish yourself loving-kindness.

May I be filled with loving-kindness.

May I be well.

May I be peaceful and at ease.

May I be happy.

Then you extend that wish to others, collectively or individually.

May you be filled with loving-kindness.

May you be well.

May you be peaceful and at ease.

May you be happy.

You’d be amazed at how this changes your experience! You can try this in any kind of public situation.

 Remember, these practices while travelling are not a to-do list for you! These are habits that I’ve developed over time and I do them because they make me feel whole and more fully present. If you think that some of these habits might help you, please try to implement one small change rathering than overhauling the way you do things. Research shows that helps us make lasting changes.

I hope that my sharing helps you! How do you stay healthy and happy when you travel? Please share your answer in the comments below.
Be well,


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P.P.S. I can’t resist adding in one more pic of my beautiful daughter and newest niece.

cousin and baby