Inhale and Hold for Five
May 9, 2019

The Yoga of Travel

Bryce and I in Teddy Roosevelt National Park. That’s James in the background.

I’m not a light packer. A weekend getaway requires a giant duffel. Forget shoes, there’s the sack of daily Parkinson’s meds, service dog paraphernalia–bed, harness, food–more food–and of course, my yoga mat.

Now, imagine a month-long vacation in a compact RV. Fortunately, James (the RV) feels roomy due to lots of nooks and cubbies (and a wee bit of cramming) to store the four weeks’ worth of supplies. But I forgot about  the extra 165 pounds of Great Dane—and his bed and food, and more food–on board. It wasn’t looking good for unrolling my yoga mat.

That concerned me. Vacation time away doesn’t mean time away from yoga. Hours of sitting on James, no matter how glorious the views, would be an open door to lurking rigidity.  No space? No problem, I decided. By pairing upward salutes with seated half dogs in my co-pilot seat, I created a rendition of a sun salutation. To help stave off stiffness even more, I added some twists and half moons.

But a funny thing happened on my way to savasana. I became aware that I wasn’t actually practicing yoga. I was stretching. My mind was elsewhere. James’ limited space was not the issue, never was. The yoga challenge of a busy, active, lengthy trip was the busy, active, lengthy part. I found myself stretching while either processing the days prior or planning for the upcoming visits and events. My busy thoughts flitted from there to there without landing here.

I decided to clear the mental clutter and be more present. The space opened up like sheet of blank paper, a yoga mat for the mind. It called out for haiku to be printed across it. My imind/body travel link. As the days open up, I’m observing and allowing for awe, surprise, humor, grief and transition. Here are a few for some haiku enjoyment. (For full effect, feel free to try my method of beginning with a few throat-clearing ahems before reading them aloud.)

First Day of Vaca

Gaze turns east, reaching
Behind, still touching warmth, I’m
in warrior pose

Montana

Saw-tooth mountains stitch
Full bolt of fabric sky
to hay fields of horses

Sunny faces turned toward the morning sun.

Sunny Day

Mon Dieu, a France?
Vast sunflower fields, look, more!
in North Dakota


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.