I love to travel. In my early twenties I spent time tour managing a band and had the opportunity to work all over North America and get a taste of many incredible places. Those of you that have caught the travel bug know that exiting the comfort zone of your daily routine and entering an unfamiliar place with a different culture can be a spiritual experience.
Now that I am a freelance teacher, I have the privilege and flexibility to travel to teach or accompany my husband when he has a speaking engagement. On our trip last month, it struck me several times how much traveling is can be a way to practice yoga in the larger sense.
You see, “yoga” isn’t merely a practice that happens on the mat. In fact, asana (the physical practice) is only a small portion of what it means to be a yogi.
Yoga is a lifestyle. The physical practice is where many of us start but it quickly becomes a metaphor for how we care for ourselves and extends out to how we treat others and relate to the world around us.
Maybe you have noticed this too.
Travel offers the opportunity for you to let go, especially if you are going to a new or even uncomfortable place. Suddenly you find yourself transported out of your personal sphere where you feel in control into new situation after new situation.
Exhilarating, sometimes difficult or confusing, travel demands a presence of mind that many lack in their "everyday".
The last trip we took was to Southern California and I wanted to share a few of the gems we were lucky to uncover so you can enjoy them.
Self Realization Meditation Gardens - Encinitas, CA
In 1920, Yogananda one of the first yogis to influence the West founded a temple as a branch of the Self-Realization Fellowship. Meditation on the side of the cliff or wandering through the beautiful garden is not something a picture can capture, but if you find yourself in this part of the world, do NOT miss this spot.
While I was in SoCal I didn't practice at any yoga studio's. Hot yoga is very popular as is Ashtanga in this area, but neither are at the top of my list during this pregnancy. Instead, I took my practice to the beach. Here is a short sequence that eased hours of sitting on the plane.
What are your favourite yogi hot spots in Southern California?