Yoga for Travellers

Posted by nadia on 29 Sep 09

On any given day, travelling itself offers tons of benefits as we are all aware of. We get to meet new people, experience new cultures, pick up a foreign phrase or two – all of which widens our perspective and triggers a deep sense of appreciation of the world. Granted with the right time and some extra money, people are quick to grab the opportunity of the cheap air fare, make a hotel reservation, and pack their bags while happily singing Leaving on a Jet Plane. And with MATTA Fair being held twice every year, it’s hard to say no to travelling to get away from our hectic lives.

But what if you can maximize your travel experience with some yoga moves? Whether you remember to pack in your yoga mat or not, one of the numerous advantages of practicing yoga is its flexibility – and I do not only mean it applies to your body, which you already know – as some of the simplest stretches can even be performed while you’re seated on the plane.


Yoga as a Time-killer.You have just touched down in Miri Airport. The next plane that will take you to Mulu for your first-time expedition will only be arriving in five hours’ time. What do you do? Certainly you don’t want to sit around and observe other travelers who are also waiting. And most definitely you don’t want to sleep right there and then in the airport! At times like these, a variation of the Seated Twist comes in handy. Sit on one of the airport chairs, holding the armrests. Twist your upper body slowly to the right side and hold for a few seconds. Repeat the same movement to the left side.


Yoga as a Stress-buster. MASWings to Mulu was supposed to depart from Miri Airport at 2:50 p.m., but half an hour has passed the scheduled time and you are still waiting in the departure hall. From the glass window, the rain is still pouring outside. The bad news comes: your flight has been cancelled due to the bad weather! Now, before you scream at everybody in the airport, take a deep breath – or a few, if it’s helpful – and start thinking of some techniques that you have learnt to reduce your tension. What about Baddha Konasana (cobbler’s pose)? Sitting on the floor, bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together. Grasp your feet with your hands. Bend your body forward, bringing your chin to the floor. Hold for a moment. Bring your face to your feet and hold. Slowly bring your body up. Sit straight, head tilting up and down, holding each time.


Yoga for Concentration and Focus. Now that you’re feeling a little calmer, you are told to go to the ticketing counter for a refund. You are given a complimentary coupon of free transport, free meal, and free one-night accommodation. Your plans have totally changed; you just have no idea what to do and where to start. Before anything, you recall learning Tratak (heightened concentration) and Surya Namaskar (the sun salutations) for mental focus and start to perform them. Only then you know what to do next: grasp the Miri travel guide and get ready to explore the northern city of Sarawak. You have yoga to thank for!

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