We’ve all been glued to the television this weekend and watched Paris be attacked, endure a night of fright and the unknown, and move into a day of grief, strength and worldwide support.
As our travel yogi Alexa Silvaggio so brilliantly said, “When this sort of dark cloud falls over humanity, we have two choices, really. To retreat, and become reclusive. Or connect… The feeling of grief alone is something that connects us. Which is why when tragedy strikes it’s imperative to come together.”
These next few days and weeks will be about healing and recovery. Part of that healing is dealing with fear: fear of the world outside our door, fear of the unknown and the real fear of what we’ve all seen this weekend. Connecting with one another is a true human virtue and is the power we all have to overcome that fear. History is replete with quotes that discuss the power of connection and travel to break down ignorance and bigotry, to make friends that last a lifetime, to learn, love and grow.
Love is what allows us to see the world as the beautiful, diverse and complicated place it is. Connection is what allows us to see these events as the darkness of the few and not the many. “Together we have the power to change the lens through which we see the world. Not as a scary place to be feared, but as a place that is in need of much healing, growth and love.”
The small way in which we can mend and connect is to take a message of love and strength outside. Take it for a walk around town or a flight somewhere new. That world, that big beautiful world, is waiting…
It’s rare that anyone on our team at The Travel Yogi goes more than a few weeks without travel. Whether we’re traveling to scout out our next yoga retreat location or simply to explore a new location for ourselves, travel is at the core of who we are. Even as frequent travelers, it occasionally happens that a month or two will pass without a trip on the calendar. This post is being written while waiting for a delayed flight during the first trip after a fairly long period without travel – fairly long being more than 4 weeks.
As we sit and listen to the buzz of announcements happening as flights arrive and depart and watch the multitudes of people also making their way from one place to another, we have some time to reflect on the last few days and remember why it’s important to travel often.
Keeping Our Eyes Open
While at home, it’s easy to get stuck in routine and repeat the same schedule day in and day out. Every part of travel forces us out of our routine and to open our eyes to the unfamiliar. Without fail, every time we travel we learn something new and open our eyes and hearts to something unexpected. These moments happen at home, but having these experiences when we travel makes us more open to breaking out of routine in our daily lives as well.
Even sitting in the middle of a busy airport, travel allows us to relax and release. How often do you have the opportunity to sit down with a good book while at home? Life is busy and many of us are balancing very full schedules. The travel process may not seem relaxing initially, but if you let go of the process and savor the moments of your journey, you’ll see that it’s actually an excellent opportunity to turn your phone off, open a book, and say goodbye to the responsibilities of daily life. No WiFi at your hotel? Good! Close your computer and experience the world around you. Let go of the little things that could cause stress along the way and be open to the adventure.
When life gets too serious, travel is an excellent way to make sure you remember to have fun. Late night swim when you would usually be in bed. Early morning walk on the beach. Long days of laughter with friends, family, or people you meet along the way. Do your favorite yoga pose at your new favorite place and don’t take anything along the way too seriously.
Just like all electronic devices that sometimes simply need to be turned off and then turned back on, travel allows us to hit the reset button. It’s easy to think that you’ll stay caught up if you stay in routine, but eventually the responsibility of daily life starts to wear – no matter how stubborn you are about it. Use your vacation days. Book a trip. It’s good to remember that whatever keeps you pinned down will keep going without you for a few days and to hit reset so that you’re ready for productivity when you return.
We’ve partnered with Temple Tumeric and our travel yogi Liz Arch for the giveaway of a lifetime! This is Liz’s second trip to explore the islands, and we can’t wait to send one lucky winner to explore along with her! You’ll discover the magic of the Galapagos Islands while practicing yoga twice a day at a lush 12-acre private retreat lodge, where endemic Giant Tortoises roam freely and walking paths abound. Where will yoga take you?
Treat your body like a temple with healthy meals and energizing morning yoga sessions followed by full days of excursions and explorations including snorkeling and swimming day trips (swim with sea lions and sharks, spot Galapagos penguins and flamingos, marine iguanas and Blue Footed Boobies), boat trips to the Bartolomé, South Plaza and North Seymour Islands, Naturalist accompanied tour of the highlands (explore pit craters, lava tunnels and the cloud forest), kayaking on Tortuga Bay and much more! Unwind with evening yoga sessions, fire pit gatherings and unlimited Southern Hemisphere stargazing.
Grand Prize includes
7 nights accommodation (June 13-20, 2015) at beautiful Semilla Verde private lodge on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos with 12 acres of private walking paths to explore!
Yoga twice a day led by Liz Arch
Three delicious meals a day
Naturalist accompanied visit to the Charles Darwin Station
Naturalist accompanied day trips to Bartolome, South Plazas and North Seymour Islands
Snorkeling and swimming on all day excursions
Two dinners in Puerto Ayora
Naturalist accompanied Highland Tour (pit craters, lava tunnels and cloud forest and wild tortoises)
Kayaking on Tortuga Bay
12 acres of private walking paths to explore
Evening fire pit and unlimited southern hemisphere star gazing
Transfers to and from the airport on arrival and departure days only)
Grand Prize does not include
Flights to Guayaquil, Ecuador (GYE)
$10 US inspection and migration card
$100 US Galapagos National Park entrance fee (cash only)
Travel Insurance (Recommended)
Gratuities (at your discretion)
How it Works
We will select 4 lucky winners.
One winner will be selected after each phase (three total phases/winners) to receive a Temple Turmeric prize pack that includes 16 bottles of Temple Turmeric Elixirs and a Temple Turmeric t-shirt.
Then one Grand Prize Winner will be chosen to receive a free spot on Liz Arch’s Primal Yoga Galapagos Retreat! This 4th winner will be selected on April 13, 2015. To be eligible to win the Grand-Prize, you must participate in ALL three phases of the contest (phases described below).
Post a picture on Instagram that shows how you treat your body as a temple and describe your daily health and wellness rituals that honor your beautiful temple! To enter, be sure to tag @TempleTurmeric @lizarch @thetravelyogi and #galapagosgiveaway.
Post as many photos as you’d like before March 28 & we’ll announce a winner to receive a Temple Turmeric Prize pack, which includes 16 bottles of Temple Turmeric elixirs and a Temple Turmeric T-shirt. Enter all three phases to have a chance to win the grand Prize: An 8-day Galapagos Island Yoga Retreat with Liz Arch!
Phase 2 (March 29 – April 4, 2015)
Post a photo on Instagram that depicts how you live your yoga off the mat and share all the unique ways you embody your yoga practice outside of the studio. To enter, be sure to tag @TempleTurmeric @lizarch @thetravelyogi and #galapagosgiveaway.
Post as many photos as you’d like before April 4 & we’ll announce a winner to receive a Temple Turmeric Prize pack, which includes 16 bottles of Temple Turmeric elixirs and a Temple Turmeric T-shirt. Enter all three phases to have a chance to win the grand Prize: An 8-day Galapagos Island Yoga Retreat with Liz Arch!
Phase 3 (April 5 – 11, 2015)
Post a photo on Instagram that represents how you care for your soul and describe how you feed, nurture and nourish your soul. It can be photos of your yoga or meditation practice, travel, making connections with friends, caring for loved ones, how you dare to dream big…the sky is the limit! To enter, be sure to tag @TempleTurmeric @lizarch @thetravelyogi and #galapagosgiveaway.
Post as many photos as you’d like before April 11 & we’ll announce a winner to receive a Temple Turmeric Prize pack, which includes 16 bottles of Temple Turmeric elixirs and a Temple Turmeric T-shirt. Enter all three phases to have a chance to win the grand Prize: An 8-day Galapagos Island Yoga Retreat with Liz Arch!
Grand Prize Winner
Grand prize winner will be announced on APRIL 13, 2015 and will be notified via Instagram. Grand prize winner must agree to The Travel Yogi’s terms & conditions. Retreat takes place June 13-20, 2015.
Learn more about Temple Turmeric and their devotion to sharing soulful health and an energy of awareness for your body as a Temple.
With extra emphasis on love this month, Valentine’s Day got us thinking about our greatest loves in life. High on the list, of course, is travel.
We’ve fallen head over heels in love with more places than we ever thought possible. From beaches to bookstores, each and every place that we visit has given us the butterflies-in-my-stomach-can’t-get-enough feeling that makes it difficult to leave. Even across language barriers, we fall in love with people and places as we explore and rarely make it home before we start planning for the next trip.
Sound familiar to anyone else? As we reflect, we realize that our love travel has many of the same qualities we find in our closest relationships:
The same as with our closest friends and family members, travel has shaped who we are today. Each time we pack our bags, we know that when we return home from a trip we’ll be slightly different from the lessons we learn on the road. From communication skills to humility, travel has taught us some of the most difficult and most beautiful life lessons we will ever learn.
Falling in Love All Over Again
Whether with a place, or simply with the process, our love is rekindled every time we embark on a new adventure. Have you ever experienced an overwhelming feeling of love and excitement as you stood in a new place? We’ve felt it over and over again – each time we visit Galapagos and find a new adventure, gazing at the sunset on your Portugal yoga bike retreat, tasting your way around Iceland, and always as we’re getting off of the airplane somewhere fresh and new.
Our love for travel keeps us plotting and planning new adventures all over the map.
Travel teaches us patience the same way we learn it from those we love the most. Every time we assume we know exactly how a trip will go, plans are changed and we’re either left in the airport a little longer than planned or without luggage when we arrive home. Through the moments of delays, frustrations, and unexpected challenges, travel has taught us how to be patient. With a few deep breaths and a little extra love in the challenging moments, our patience often leads to greater outcomes than we could ever have possibly imagined – and some of our favorite moments as we’ve traveled.
If we can’t have fun, what exactly is left? As with patience above, taking the travel process too seriously can lead to frustration. Travel teaches us to smile when we aren’t sure where we are, or aren’t sure what the people around us are saying. We’ve learned through travel that laughter during a long plane ride goes a long way, and that taking an unexpected detour is almost always a good idea.
A day of travel can be both exciting and exhausting. For those of us that work to include regular physical activity, healthy eating habits, and a consistent daily routine, it is no surprise that a day or two of travel can throw us off balance.
Whether traveling for work or for play, it is important to establish a routine to help ground yourself as you cross time zones and enter new communities and cultures. We feel most at home on our yoga mats, so have quick go-to yoga poses for after travel to help restore some balance to our bodies so that we can make the most out of anywhere our yoga takes us!
Post Travel Yoga Poses
As you can see from the photo, this pose can be done pretty much anywhere! If your lower back is rebelling after hours of sitting in the car or on a plane, drop down in to a squat wherever you are (though you might want to step out of the crowd so that you don’t get stepped on!). Depending on where your yoga takes you, if you happen to be in India or Indonesia you’ll be in good company as people use this pose instead of sitting in chairs.
You can get in to this pose from standing. Simply bring your feet to hip width distance apart, turn your toes out slightly and sink your hips down. Your final variation of the pose will depend on how tight you calves and quads are, but for many your hamstrings will touch your calves. If you have knee injuries of any kind, you can use a block under you for support or keep your hands on the ground. This one can be done in a quiet corner in the airport with shoes on or on your yoga mat with props.
Malasana is also a grounding pose, so as you find yourself in new places this is the perfect way to ground and center.
2. Sun Salutation A
Sun salutations are the best way to start the day, no matter where you find yourself. We particularly love this one on the beach as the sun rises and it is also perfect after a long day of travel as the sequence allows you to warm up and stretch all of the major muscle groups.
Use this illustration as a guide through a few sun salutations:
3. Figure 4 Pose
Figure 4 pose is a great way to stretch tight hips, and can be done standing or lying down for a more restorative variation.
For the standing pose, cross your ankle above your knee and then bend the standing leg as you would in chair pose. Keep the top foot flexed and bend the standing leg more deeply to increase the stretch.
The more restorative variation is the same shape, but on your back. If there is open wall space near that you can use, you can relax in this pose with the “standing” foot against the wall. You can apply gentle pressure to the bent knee to help deepen the hip stretch. Once you’re set in the pose, close your eyes and stay for 8 – 10 breaths before you switch sides.
If there is no wall available, you can clasp your hands behind the “standing” knee and gently pull the knee in toward you to deepen the stretch in the opposite hip. Stay relaxed through your upper body as you stretch.
4. Legs Up the Wall
Ahhh, the ultimate yoga pose for after travel! If you find yourself with swollen ankles or calves after sitting in a car or airplane seat for many hours, this inversion will help get blood moving and relieve fatigue from the lower body. This pose also gently stretches the legs and lower back, which is perfect after a day of sitting. Laying with your legs up the wall is also the perfect way to calm yourself before trying to fall asleep in a new time zone.
Whether you’re in the airport or your hotel room, find empty wall space. If you find yourself on the airport floor, find a yoga mat, towel, or piece of clothing to lay back on instead of the floor itself.
Sit with one hip close to the wall. As you lay down, run your legs up the wall with your calves touching the wall. If your hips are tight, you may need to wiggle back from the wall a few inches to take some of the tension out of the stretch. Otherwise, your sit bones may be pressed up against the wall.
Relax your upper body, close your eyes, and relax here as long as you’d like. Be sure to pause for a few seconds with your knees bend and soles of your feet flat against the wall before coming out of the pose.
Meditation can be found in many forms. Some of us meditate while seated, others consider breath linked with movement on the yoga mat to be their meditation practice. We have friends who find the connection and reset of meditation while they run or walk in nature, but for us, the ultimate meditation practice is travel.
While exploring somewhere new, we have the opportunity to reset and reconnect. We see the world around us from a new perspective and are able to take these fresh eyes back to our daily lives when the trip is over. We suspect that many of you feel the same way? This feeling is what keeps us on the road and in the air as we attempt to explore every corner of the world.
As avid travelers, one of our favorite mantras for life is “Life is a journey, not a destination.” While we would never question Emerson’s wisdom, we highly doubt he penned this quote in the middle of 24 hours of air travel to get to the other side of the world.
Sometimes when we travel the combination of fatigue, inevitable delays/things out of our control, and the crowded trains, planes, and automobiles cause us to lose sight of the fact that every step along the way is part of the adventure. Have you ever found yourself snapping at the flight attendant for something completely out of their control? Or stressed during a road trip with your friends and/or family members? No matter how many times we repeat our mantra, there are still times when the situation gets the better of us and we need to quickly hit the reset button.
Since we find travel itself to be the ultimate meditation, one of our favorite ways to reset while we travel is with a quick meditation.
Follow these easy steps no matter where you are to reset so that you can enjoy both the journey and the destination.
1. If it’s possible to find a quiet spot, move away from crowds or travel companions. Find a comfortable position for your body and close your eyes. If it’s not possible to get away, simply close your eyes (as long as you’re not driving) and/or put headphones in to cancel out some of what’s happening around you.
2. Take a deep breath in, followed by a deep breath out. Repeat this several times and let the breath become even deeper if you can.
3. As you breathe, first notice how the sensations in your body start to change. Relax any spots that are holding tension you don’t need.
4. Imagine yourself in a calm, peaceful spot. As you imagine this place, take it all in – sounds, sights, temperature, and smells. Let yourself be immersed in complete calm.
5. As you finish your visualization, return to your breath for another 3-5 full deep breaths. Notice what has changed for you internally in the past few minutes.
6. Blink your eyes open and remain seated for another moment or two if you can before you return to the chaos around you.
These few minutes of “travel” will allow you to remember that you are doing what you love, no matter what else is happening around you. If all else fails and you can’t step away from the chaos, remember to smile. Your smile will eventually turn to laughter, and laughter will help you and those around you remember that the journey is what it’s all about.
Joy. Love. Yoga. If you’ve ever met her or taken one of her classes, you know there couldn’t be three better words to describe our travel yogi Jenniferlyn Chiemingo (JL).
She’ll soon share her joyful, loving spirit with a new group of yoga retreat goers during her Costa Rica Eco-Escape Yoga Retreat this October, but we wanted to give her the opportunity to more formally introduce herself to The Travel Yogi community via our blog!
So, read on and get to know our girl JL…and if a Costa Rica yoga retreat has been calling your name, there’s no better time to go than now.
What is your inspiration as a yoga teacher/travel yogi?
Love and Connection. I want more people to love themselves and connect with others in a loving way. I really do adore the yoga asanas, but the love is bigger for me in yoga. With travel – I want people to connect to the world beyond them, that’s bigger than them. And when you put the two together – it is magic!
What is your current favorite travel destination? Why?
Gosh, for me personally, Northern California. I lived there for several years before Seattle. Our closest ‘couple’ friends live there still. They have amazing houses in Tahoe and Sonoma. I love to go and connect to my foundation of family and friends. I love to relax, drink wine, laugh and swim in their pool! We are planning a getaway for this summer.
For The Travel Yogi – it has to be my Galapagos yoga retreat. It is like nowhere else you’ve ever been. I keep saying ‘You cannot oversell this place; it is as incredible as people say!’ Animals, scenery, people, yoga, activities… boom!!! It is a dream come true. Honestly.
What is your dream travel destination? Why?
It’s sort of silly, but I really want to go to London. Cannot believe I haven’t been there yet! I would love to do a yoga retreat in London with a pub tour, a visit to Big Ben and the Parliament, etc. (hint hint Travel Yogi) ….ha, ha…we hear you girl! 🙂
What is your intention for your upcoming retreat?
Love and Connection. Connect with people. Connect with Nature. Connect with Yourself. <3
What are you most excited about in Costa Rica?
The morning paddle boarding, the Jungle Trek, meeting Aaron (the owner of our retreat location in Costa Rica), the food, the animals… even the wine (we can get wine right?!) <– yes ma’am!
Anything else we should know?
Just this: yes, we do yoga and yes it is challenging sometimes. But you don’t HAVE to do yoga every day, all the time. It is your vacation! I cannot wait to connect! (and love too) <3