I relish the days when I have several hours to dedicate to practicing yoga. In my ideal world I’d be able to wake most days before sunrise as Ayurvedic principles recommend, meditate for twenty minutes, and practice my asanas for two hours. The unfortunate reality for many modern day, working, family-having, multi-tasking yogis is that we barely get the time in for our asanas much less meditation. I would happily indulge in morning practice and again in the evening each day if I could, but the truth of the matter is I am grateful for every moment I am able to practice whether it’s before work, at the studio, or just a short restorative session before bed. If you are like me, and find the practice an integral part of your life, then you too are working to fit this inherent urge to practice into your daily existence.
That’s why I’ve devised a short list of must-haves for a yogi on-the-go.
1. An accessory to contain your mat. Whether you treat yourself to a mat bag, a harness strap, or simply use a hair band to keep your mat rolled up (I used to do that before scoring a totally rad, and free, Prana mat bag at work and didn’t enjoy the indent that eventually became a permanent feature on my mat) it is incredibly convenient to have something to keep your mat rolled up, and even slung over your shoulder, as you shoot from place to place before and after class. Even with a home practice I enjoy rolling my mat up and neatly resting it back in its home after my flow.
2. Use a small spray bottle to make your own DIY yoga mat cleaner. Here is the simple recipe I use: purified water, a little distilled white vinegar (about three parts water to one part vinegar) with about twenty drops of tea tree essential oil. Lots of tea tree oil! I spray it onto my mat, let it sit, and then wipe it off with a damp rag. The tea tree oil is so soothing during practice and the mixture gets the mat super clean
(If you are a Bikram yogi you will need a stronger cleaning solution!)
3. A pair of slip-on shoes. Whether it be some Toms, ballet flats, awesome flip flops, moccasins, or Dansko clogs, a comfortable pair of easy-on-easy-off shoes are extremely convenient as well as comfy.
These three things are must haves in my book, but we are all different. I do suggest, though, if you get a mat bag (or make one!) to stash an extra hair band, a lip balm, and possibly a few bucks (donation yoga classes, emergency luna bar purchase, parking meter, etc.) in the handy zipper compartment. I have been saved innumerable times by my own squirreled away lip balm and hair band!
Most importantly for us yogis on-the-go is to carry with us the sense of peace we spend so much time on our mats cultivating. The world can sometimes prove to be a hustle-bustle place swimming with negativity, and it is our own responsibility to fend off the harmful energy with our peaceful and positive attitudes. Making our own route to and from yoga a little more convenient is one step towards a graceful daily flow, both on and off the mat.