These days, life is nothing like it used to be – but we are happily settling into this ‘new normal’ that includes much less sleep but much fuller hearts. Self-care was not necessarily a priority of mine this past year, and I could clearly see the toll it took on my body, mind, and soul. My fiance had been urging me to go back to yoga for my own sanity’s sake, but all I had was excuse after excuse; “no time, no energy, we’re going out of town, not feeling in the groove.”
Well, I’m happy to report that now, about a year into motherhood, I finally (and slowly) returned to my yoga and meditation practice. A practice that’s evolved depending on my current situation, from playing upside down to prenatal yoga, which helped me lead a sweet and active pregnancy and a natural, intervention-free birth.
I’ve come across some great resources that helped me get my yoga mojo back, and hopefully keep me there through the ups and downs of motherhood and traveling. I put together a list (affiliate links) of essentials for traveling moms – and also stay-at-home moms, working moms, or basically any busy and tired mom who might not make it to the studio or the gym.
Yoga and meditation can be practiced anywhere, anytime, and I guarantee you’ll feel better afterward.
PROPS & EQUIPMENT
1. YOGA MAT CARRIER. For the mamas on the go, a backpack that doubles as a diaper bag and yoga mat bag is as good as it gets.
2. YOGA SOCKS & GLOVES. If you’re a minimalist and want to avoid lugging around a mat altogether, there are many sock/glove options in the market. These, made by a fellow South Floridian, are easy to use and fit in any tiny crevice of your luggage.
3. TRAVELING MAT. A third option for yoga on the go is a super thin foldable mat, like this 2 lbs biodegradable one.
4. YOGA PANTS. I’ll be honest, I’ve spent most of last year in yoga pants. So though I love my Target pants, I also have a few high-quality, long-lasting pairs that I save for my practice. These guys are quick-drying, odor resistant, antimicrobial, and UV protective. Yes please.
5. YOGASANA: THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF YOGA POSES (Mandala Publishing, October 2015) by Yogrishi Vishvketu. This encyclopedia of yoga poses makes the spirituality, practice, and language of yoga more accessible than ever before. It contains over eight hundred poses adapted to every skill level, along with Sanskrit translation and chakra charts.
8. GUIDED MEDITATION APPS. Meditation is thought to be a highly unattainable practice, but the truth is there are so many types of meditation (walking, sound, sitting, laying, guided) that we’re bound to find one that works for us. Conveniently, the same white noise app I used to help my son fall asleep has a meditation component to it. Also, several times a year, Deepak Chopra and Oprah also host a 15-minute 21-day meditation challenge that you can follow along on your phone.
9. PORTABLE DIFFUSER. I’ve had this little guy for almost two years and I love using it while I practice or just to make the house smell nicer. It’s small enough that I’ve packed it and taken it with us on every trip we’ve had with the baby, since it doubles as a small humidifier when I don’t add any essential oils.
10. MALA BEADS. Mala beads are a strand of 108 beads used for keeping count and staying focused during mantra meditations. These ones are handcrafted by independent Indian artisans, made of rudrkahsa (spiritual power, self-confidence, courage), jasper (healing stone), and clear quartz (support any aspect of your life) as part of Rachel Brathen’s beautiful healing initiative, oneOeight.