Taking Yoga on Vacation by Antarajna (Deborah) Mandel


Antarajna (Debbie) Mandel

I have three levels of vacation yoga packing, depending on what type of trip I am going on. If I’m flying, I take wallet-size pictures of Swamiji, Muktananda, and Nityananda and my meditation journal; also, I wear my rudraksha beads. I set up a small puja in my room, to which I will add flowers or candy. I mostly meditate in bed and do some bed poses as well.

Level two is going on a short vacation in the car, to a relatives or the Ashram. On these vacations I bring a framed picture of Swamiji, Muktananda and Nityananda and a small Ganesha. I also pack my meditation asana and shawl, my meditation journal and The Nectar of Chanting. Again, once at my destination, I set up a puja and meditate in bed, unless there is a good chair available. At the Ashram, or any Svaroopa® yoga workshop, I use the blankets provided. Otherwise, I do what I can in bed.

The third level is when I go on vacation by car to stay somewhere for a longer period. Then I bring everything for a level 2 trip as well as my blankets. This approach has proven to be very beneficial. I am more likely to do my whole practice of pranayama, poses, and meditation as well as chanting the Sri Guru Gita.

I know that packing for yoga and meditation practice really pays off. Last summer, on a level three trip, I got up at 5:00 AM to do my practice, but I had to do some physical therapy exercises first. In the process of those exercises, I fell and broke both bones in my right wrist. I had nowhere to go at that early hour. So with ice on my broken arm, I gracefully and gratefully moved into my practice (less asana) and was able to meditate for 90 minutes, broken bones and all.

The power of yoga. I need to remind myself of this when I fall out of practice. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

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