Doing yoga on the road

It’s disappointingly easy to neglect entirely your yoga practise when you are on the road and only staying in places long enough to fart, but as you know, if you have developed your yoga practise over a long enough period, when your body and soul are not being nourished, as they are when you practise regularly, then you feel like you are not fully enjoying your life. Well, that’s what I found anyway.

Being on the road is a test. If you are 22 and want to get stoned and lie on the beach all day, then that’s fine but if you are trying to retain a degree of spirituality, keep your psyche flexible and your life vital – then you have to show a certain level of commitment to the cause.

I’ve done yoga in campsites, car parks, on rocks, beaches, on balconies, toilets and in compact hostel bedrooms where doing downward dog involves being partially obscured beneath a bed. But many times I found myself not practising at all and as a consequence spent time feeling pretty toxic and spiritually shitty. Having only just got back into yoga after a few months break, I suddenly feel calm and a tiny bit more joyful again.  I can’t believe I ever stopped yoga.

It’s depressingly easy to fall out of step with the rhythm of your life and find yourself a casualty of the modern world and the excesses you probably try to escape by practising yoga in the first place. The same goes with raw food. Many a week would go by when the closest I got to doing downward dog was bending over in the shower to pick up the soap. (There’s a beautiful image.)

Here’s my advise – from one who struggled- to keep up your practise.

  1. Try and do a little. Even if you don’t have the room, its raining outside or your pathetic ego is making excuses for you to sit on your swollen buttocks and play about on the internet instead. The internet is not going to nourish you.  Even if you just spend five minutes stretching and forward bending with a five minute meditation, you will feel better about yourself.
  2. Keep it a routine. Practise at the same time everyday or every other day or whatever. Again, even if it is just for a few minutes – at least you’ve touched upon it. Some is better than none at all.
  3. Don’t use lack of space or equipment as an excuse. I’ve yoga’d on rocks wearing trainers or slipped about on the cud or sand trying to get some practise in. I found that using a yoga mat was not really necessary. Sometimes it’s fine to just use what you’ve got. Feet and ground.
  4. Don’t let other people put you off. It might feel embarrassing at first, but if it means you can continue and develop your practise, then fuck everyone else. I’ve yoga’d whilst Neanderthals shouted abusive comments at me. Fuck them. The most spiritual experience they probably ever had was at a football match.
  5. If you can’t do yoga, at least meditate. Most campsites and wildcamp spots we have used had a pretty good spot that was gagging to be meditated on. Rocks on beaches, terraced camping spots, forests and even just in the back of the van. Try to do something to nourish your soul everyday. It will help you feel positive and tranquil and shut off the tedious nagging voices in your head.

It’s very easy when you live in a campervan to give up on eating raw food, yoga and meditation. They become almost like an inconvenience. But your quality of life and mood will invariably be affected after a while.  There is always something you can do. Nothing makes my soul smile more than a good yoga session, raw food, sunshine and the faces of the ones I love. Even if they are a bit hairy.

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