The PI business is a busy life. Our work life has us on the road 75% of the time. This past year, I traveled to a little less than 10 countries. If traveling and living out of a backpack is as exciting as it sounds, keep in mind it can get a little tiring and it can be hard to find a routine when you are sleeping in a different bed every night.
When traveling, it is kind of mandatory to try the local food and go out with your new friends. When you travel that often you need to be careful and make sure to still take care of your body and your mind. Luckily, being in the yoga industry helps us to do just that... anywhere in the world! We try to take a yoga class in every country we go to, even if it is just a quick day layover. It is pretty fun because we discover a lot of different yoga styles and it is a great way to learn more about the culture and meet local… all while taking care of ourselves.
Are you on the road as well? Go check out local yoga studios and share your experience with us!
Here are the Top 5 Things We Learned While Taking Yoga Classes Around the World
Last summer, Larissa and I were in Japan and hiked Mt Fuji so you can only imagine how badly we needed to take a yoga class. Our muscles were still stiff and sore from the hike and it was a great opportunity for us to see how yoga was taught in Japan. We got lost looking for the studio for a little while (of course it is surrounded by hundreds of other stores and the building have signs going up 6 stories, so it is sometimes hard to find) we get in and are welcomed by very nice Japanese people. Since they didn't speak English and we didn’t speak Japanese, we used google translate to make it work! They showed us around. The fitting room was a big space with fancy showers and make up tables where everyone gets ready. It looked like we were at the spa! Then comes the class, in Japanese...
What we learned?
It seemed like Japanese like having clear instructions to follow – there is very little room for your own interpretation. They were also all wearing the same kind of uniform, very sober. We were the two foreign girls in sport bras and colorful pants that didn't really understand a word of what was happening but we got a great stretch out of it and felt so much better after that!
Serenity Eco Guesthouse is a great yoga center with lots of classes all day, accommodation and an amazing vegan cafe.
We were working really hard on PI during the week we were there and basically tried everything on the menu at least once. We also got in as many yoga classes as we could in between work.
While we were there, we took an Ashtanga class. This was the first time we tried Ashtanga. Without any idea of what to expect we put our mat down and were pretty surprised by how the class was given. With a very military tone and not so much of explanations, the teacher was walking around, sitting down and giving the poses in a nonchalant voice. I remembered feeling aggravated at first because I didn't really know what to do and I didn't like his attitude. That's when I realized I needed to tune in and not let it ruin my practice. It got better by the end of the class and at the end the teacher came and talked to us. He was a sweetheart and told us the first time you take Ashtanga is very hard and that is why you need to take it over and over – it is always the same sequence and it helps you to really master the movements.
We are lucky enough to call San Diego home half of the year and it feels so good to be able to come back whenever we can and find our amazing yoga community. I have been going to John Beck’s, donation-based beach yoga for over 2 years now. This is how I started to like yoga and where I met Larissa for the very first time! His positive words, his big smile and his flow makes it the perfect way to start the weekend. This class always get me out of bed early. Even if it looks like it is going to be raining, for some magical reason, the sun always come through by the time we get to Shavasana. When the warmer days come, you break a sweat during class and run to the ocean after!
The best part? John brings all his instruments, singing bowls, gong and plays for you – BEST. SHAVASANA. EVER!
If there is one city where you need to take the time to slow down and focus on you it’s New York. With its fast pace lifestyle, NYC deserves the title of “the city that never sleeps”. On a city trip with my sister, we decided to step out of the city and take a class in Brooklyn. The only class available at that time was an inversion workshop. The instructor walked us step by step on how to get into a headstand and handstand. I found it very interesting as it is important to learn the basics on how to get into an inversion without hurting yourself… or the people around you!
Did you know that there are many benefits of practicing inversions? Being upside down help your blood flow to circulate back to your heart – it can also help with relaxation and can make you feel more energizing depending on the pose you choose.
While in Portugal for the holidays with my family, we decided it was time to take a break from all the good food and head to a local studio. It was a very small and intimate studio. The class was led by an Australian lady who moved to Portugal recently and started sharing her practice there. I love that feeling after doing yoga, when you feel so at peace and tuned in. She also gave us great vegan restaurant recommendations and local tips! That’s the great thing about exploring new places – you always get something unexpected out of it.
What’s your go-to yoga studio? Have you ever experienced taking a class in another country? Share your story and tips with us! We would love to hear what you have to say!
With love & Gratitude