I admit it. I am guilty of thinking that I need a yoga instructor in order to take my yoga with me on vacation. But the fact of the matter is...and all good yogis need to know this...YOGA is more than the physical act of doing asanas (poses)
Yoga is a practice of mind, body and spirit. Not just one aspect of life is yoga. Sure, we all love to do our favorite pose because it makes us feel good but what about the bigger picture.
First thing to always remember is to take good care of yourself. Ahimsa means non-harming and as so many other things, Ahimsa begins with you. So when you are traveling there are things you have to remember.
Lets say you are traveling to a location that involves starting your trip on a plane. You know it is going to take "x" amount of hours to get from point "A" to point "B". Be prepared for that. Take a book, bring along cheerful and enjoyable music to listen to. If you can sleep on a plane bring a small comfy pillow, wear comfortable clothes. I never get on a plane without healthy snacks so I am not tempted to spend a fortune on a cookie that my body really doesn't want anyhow. Plus...those snacks come in handy should you find yourself experiencing and unexpected flight delay. Even with that delay, stay in the moment. Enjoy where you are as much as you can and know that sooner or later you will be safely on the next leg of your journey. Read that book you brought, talk to people around you. And for goodness sake don't just sit there if it is a long wait. Get up and move. I have done asanas on a plane, in an airport and even on the back of a motorcycle. Where there is a will there is a way.
Stay hydrated, keep a sensible diet, get plenty of rest and move your body whenever possible. When you are tired or experiencing the effects of travel on your body make sure you get plenty of rest. Certainly you are going to splurge. You may be introduced to experiences and foods that are not familiar with you. That is wonderful. But also remember that all of these things may take a toll on your body so be kind. Be aware of the way your body is reacting to the things you are doing.
If you are a reader, take a good book with you. If you chant or have a spiritual practice at home, take that with you as well. If you find comfort in like minded people gathering together, find a place on your journey that will satisfy that need. Don't deny yourself what you need, so you can enjoy where you are.
The thing is we tend to push ourselves because occasionally we find ourselves places that we may never see again for whatever the reason. Maybe you have been saving for 10 years to get to your destination and don't see that happening again. Enjoy every moment, but don't neglect what you know your body needs.
I have been blessed to have been able to see some beautiful places. Most of them involve ocean breezes and warm sunshine. My favorite by far is Maui. I could go there every year, every month, every day of my life and be happy. The local food is tempting but there are choices that I know agree with my body better than others so I stick with those so my trip won't be upset by my sensitive system. There are places I feel a spiritual connection and I spend time there chanting and opening my heart and soul to a giant statue of the Buddha. There are places I feel like I could stay for hours and so I take my book to the beach and simply relax and enjoy the sound of the ocean and the gentle breezes. And there are places I enjoy walking, hiking...and yes, practicing asanas. Sometimes it is on the lanai of our room, sometimes it is on the beach, sometimes it is at my favorite studio "Island Spirit Yoga" in Lahaina.
Remember, when you are on vacation and away from your normal way of life, always feed your body, your mind and your soul in a beautiful way. You will enjoy your experience much more and you will come home ready to tackle life refreshed.