Today we're joined by the fabulous Britt Skrabanek of brittskrabanek.com.
Britt wears many hats as an indie author, blogger and Yogi, and she does it all with an admiring amount of sass.
What I have always loved about Britt's work and personality is that she keeps it real. Her brand new All The Way Yoga blog is described as “a straight up approach to wellness” with “no flowery stuff, just awesomeness.” (All The Way Yoga is no longer active, please see Britt's main blog, A Physical Perspective, to learn more about her and her lifestyle).
Britt is my go-to person for real, practical health and travel yoga advice. Full health and fitness programs are great (and I'm certainly not saying you shouldn't do them!), but with my full-time travel lifestyle where my surroundings are constantly changing, I just know I wouldn't stick to a set regime. Yet it is precisely because I do move around a lot, that taking some time for my own physical and mental wellbeing is so important.
So I went to Britt with the question of “How does one keep their wellbeing in check on the road? What can we do right from our hotel rooms?” And she came back with these great tips for all of us nomads!
Read on to find out how to centre yourself amongst the chaos of a new environment and be ready for all those amazing adventures that await.
Ah, the magnificent escape of travel.
You save, you plan, you count down, gearing up for that epic adventure. You abandon your job, bills, and obligations with so much joie de vivre that skipping has become your new way of getting around.
You feel young again, a determined explorer unleashed into the world, laughing at the responsibilities fading in the rearview mirror.
This unparalleled sense of freedom is tough to beat.
Then somewhere along the way – between pesky delays, the incessant unknown, and accidentally asking someone to sleep with you when you thought you were asking for directions – the whimsy vanishes.
Inexplicably, the thing you thought you left behind is bouncing up and down on your lap like a sugar-high child…bruising you, defeating you.
Yet, there it is. Stress.
Though we never want to admit it, even the vacation of our dreams causes that six letter S-word. The build-up brings high expectations. The quest for monumental memories causes pressure.
Our physical and emotional constitutions become unstable, skittish even. Sure, you didn’t plan for tummy troubles, backaches, lack of sleep, and that lovely rash, but they’re all right there.
This is your body’s way of waving its distress flag.
As we change time zones, fly across oceans, and struggle with a foreign tongue, we lose a sense of time and space.
To combat this whirlpool of uncertainty, we need to feel grounded. We can create this stability quite easily by closing our eyes, breathing, and turning inside.
I’m talking about meditation and Yoga.
The moment you arrive in your hostel, apartment, or hotel, take some time to center yourself. Here’s how we do it…
Step 1: Replenish.
Coconut water will deliver the hydration and electrolytes your body is craving. It’s portable and widely available, so grab it and drink it. Eat some healthy, fatty nuts or nut butter with fruit for an energy boost.
Step 2: Nest.
Setting up our space when we arrive typically means chucking the empty suitcase in a closet. However, never disregard the importance of scent. Candles are difficult to travel with, but a small bottle of essential oil is carry-on friendly (bonus, it doubles as a natural perfume/cologne). Patchouli and sandalwood are known for their grounding properties, but these spicy guys aren’t for everyone. Two universally loved oils, which provide headache relief as well, are peppermint for uplifting and lavender for relaxing. Simply dab some on your neck and inhale deeply.
Step 3: Improvise.
Toting a Yoga mat and accompanying props can be cumbersome when packing light. A blanket or towel can serve as a mat, and they can also be rolled up for various uses while practicing. A Yoga strap can be substituted with a belt or tie. If the floor feels uncomfortable for meditation, grab a couch or chair cushion to perch upon. Move any unnecessary furniture out of your makeshift zen pad.
Step 4: Unkink.
Sitting is one of the most detrimental forces to our physical well-being. Extended periods can wreck our bodies, setting a sobering tone for our zestful itineraries. Become grounded with this five minute Yoga sequence that will bring some yum to your bod.
Step 5: Reflect.
Take some time, either seated or laying down, to finish your grounding practice with meditation. Close your eyes, focus on your breath, and lose yourself in this cozy space you have created, paying special attention to the sturdy earth beneath you. Notice a sense of solidity within you and smile big. Drink a steaming cup of ginger or peppermint tea to settle your tummy and revive your spirits.
Alright…go get ‘em, nomads!