Tag Archives: travel

Yoga, Travel and Life Lessons

Recently I helped Contiki Travel with an interview on my thoughts on travel.  You can read the interview here, and see some travel advice I have for you!  But this really got me thinking about WHY I travel.

Throughout my career, I have become very lucky to be able to combine to of my passions: Yoga and Travel.  The best advice I can ever give someone is to travel.  Lots.  And everywhere you can.  Go somewhere you don’t know the language and travel to place without a plan.  Immerse yourself in cultures you’ve only heard about and experience things that you have only read in books.

Why Travel?  Because traveling shapes you into who you can become and introduces you into other worlds.  You can sit for hours watching this different life walk in front of you, unconsciously taking in the culture, experiences and manners within.  I watched myself grow up with each place that I visited…moving from Europe to Hawaii and stationing back in Southern California all while traveling to 20 different US states, Australia, Canada, South America and more.  Each town and country added to my own values and personal beliefs and I am happy to say that I will continue this travel addiction.  There’s so much more of the word to see.

Why Travel and do Yoga? Traveling through college, I spent most of my times sleeping on trains in Europe or dancing the night away at the local pubs.  Once I started to emerge myself in yoga and finding a daily practice, my two worlds of yoga and travel were pushed together as one.  Practicing yoga in a different place allows my body to react to change, be challenged to other perspectives and learn what the destination has taught me.  Yoga in another culture or place gives you a moment on your trip to reflect.  To express through movement what you are learning and gaining, while taking that serene silence to soak it all in.

So give it a chance.  Grab your passport, research yoga studios near by and try something new.  Just remember “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey”

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Miami Swim Week with ZICO Coconut Water

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim returned to the warm sands of Miami Beach, and I was so excited to be apart of it!!! Jetting off from July 19th-23rd, the event showcased over 25 international designers from Australia, Brazil, Columbia, and the US at what has become the premier swimwear event in the world.
I traveled with ZICO Coconut Water, as they partnered up with Salon Allure for this years’ events.  The weekend was incredible.  Laying by the pools of the W Hotel and Perry South Beach, walking through the booths of the upcoming swimwear in 2013 and seeing the suits being strutted down the aisle at the late night fashion shows were all highlights of the weekend.  Here’s the Salon Allure Show at the W and the Tropicana Pool Party at the Raleigh Hotel:


Even through all the glitz, glamour and bikini-clad models, ZICO was able to set up one of the most inspirational yoga classes of my life.  ZICO & Salon Allure invited parents and patients from The Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation, to participate in a yoga class lead by me, on the beach.  Teaching both on the rooftop of the Perry South Beach hotel and on the sand of South Beach was amazing, but the interactions with these children made it even more memorable.  I watched the children take a moment out of hospital visits, blood tests, etc to sit and learn the techniques of breathing and stress-relief.  Afterwards, their smiles and lively hugs brought tears to my eyes.  I saw how much yoga can help these children deal with things in their lives that they can’t control.  They need a space to have to themselves to stop and breathe when things get tough.  I am glad to have this effect on this group of children, and so thankful to ZICO for giving me this opportunity.  Here I am with the group, and Jimmy who suffered from stomach cancer.

 

Check out the two different set ups for the yoga classes…

THANK YOU ZICO COCONUT WATER! SEE YOU NEXT YEAR MIAMI!

San Francisco Airport: SFO is easy, healthy and green?!

Have you been to terminal 2 yet in the San Francisco International Airport?  I usually travel through United or Southwest Airlines, but this week I got the privilege of flying Virgin Airlines, which brought me to Terminal 2.

First thing that I saw, the entire T.S.A. staff was smiling.  I thought I was in the twilight zone.  Airport employees SMILING?  Seemed ironic.  But that wasn’t the only eye-opening thing that I saw.

After exiting through security, I looked up and squealed.  This is what I saw, in real life…

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The bright blue lights and silence of the area quickly enticed my yoga blood.  I picked up my stuff and walked right in.  The small room is extremely blissful and completely empty.  After rushing to the airport in SF traffic, this little room quickly brought me to ease.  The temperature is perfect, the colors are warm and most importantly, it was EMPTY.  I did my routine, closed my eyes for a second and felt relaxed.  I chatted with an employee, and she let me know that it often stays pretty empty.  Needless to say, I believe that I now have a private yoga room every time I fly from Terminal 2.

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After my flow, I needed to grab some grub before my flight.  I’m used to my normal routine; grab a water, some trail mix and hit the ground running to my gate.  To my surprise (the day was full of them), I walked into Napa Farms Market, about 100 yards from the yoga room.  The places was unreal.  All organic, local food with a full Fresh Rotisserie and Sandwich bar.  You can even buy fresh fruit and salads to go…who would have thought!

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My snacks…Lydia’s Organic Kale Chips and Evolution Super Green Drink.

 

You have really cleaned yourself up, SFO.  I am impressed that you have transformed to target healthy travelers, and I thank you. 

I WILL BE BACK!

TRAVEL

TRAVEL

Get out, see the world and grow into the better you! Thank you Henry Rollins!

Top 12 Running Destinations in the US West

As I travel throughout the US, I continually find myself looking for places to run in new cities.  Thank you to Runner’s World magazine for compiling a list of the Top 12 places to run in the US West.

Boise, Idaho
Explore the 30-some miles of shaded trails along the Boise River or the clean streets of downtown Boise

Boulder, Colorado
Cliff hangers, cowboys, dark pine forests and open meadows — you’ll see it all in Boulder
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Local motto: “Oxygen is overrated; just keep running!”

Denver, Colorado
This mile-high gem for runners gives a whole new spin to altitude training

Durango, Colorado
This mining town has lots of trails — and altitude — to tempt runners

Maui, Hawaii
The best places to stay, run, and race

Missoula, Montana
This is the best the Big Sky state has to offer — an outdoors enthusiast’s dream

San Francisco, California
San Francisco’s big-bridge bookends, eclectic high-rise skyline, sailboat-filled bay, and sweeping Pacific Ocean backdrop make this city arguably the most stunning of all

San Luis Obispo, California
This town calls itself “a feast for the senses” — find out why

Santa Barbara, California
Running through Santa Barbara consists of beautiful scenery.

Santa Monica, California
Orange groves abound in this scenic beachside city.

Visit Seattle, Washington
Rain? What rain? The weather–and the running–are more than okay in the Emerald City

 

I’ve crossed off 7 of the 12…how many destinations have sweat in?

Music, Mosh pits, and.. Yoga?: How to get your Om on at the Summer’s Music Festivals

As summer approaches, the excitement of festival season starts to grow.  We start to find our neon tank tops and glow sticks and countdown the days to Coachella, Outside Lands, Burning Man, or whatever other festival strikes your fancy.  The sun is hot and the girls and boys spend their days and nights dancing to the upcoming bands and hippest songs that aren’t always on the radio.

With that in mind, we have to bring up the idea of the addition of yoga into music festivals.  Wanderlust has incorporated music into their yoga festival, but we think its time that those two worlds combined at all music festivals.  After a night of running through the desert and dancing for hours, your body needs a short hour of stretching and revitalization for the next few days of the festivals.

Here are some poses that you can do outside your tent, by the pool or in between sets of your favorite bands.

Supine Twist:  A simple pose to ignite your colon for cleansing and dextoxing, as well a great stretch in your outer hip and lower back.  This is something you can do next to a pool.

Crescent Moon:

A perfect stretch for your hip flexors and it feels great along your front body (especially if you are camping!).  Make sure your knee touches the ground, since balance is usually something that you loose throughout a music festival.

 

Savasana

Take a moment for yourself, lay down and just breathe.  Just make sure its in your campsite, hotel etc. and not in the middle of a moshpit.

Cheers to staying hydrated, stretching, dancing and living free!


Zen Travel: Yoga Studio + Airport = #BigWin for Traveling Yogis

Travel & Yoga. What a perfect combination. Venturing to far off lands. Deepening your understanding of your surroundings with the soothing & powerful practice of Yoga. But what if it was Business Travel & Yoga. The Yin & Yang of two opposite worlds colliding. Stress coupled with the intense yearning for physical & mental relaxation.

Yoga Room Signage in San Francisco International Airport

Relax passengers between flights? Help them find balance in the crazy world of travel? How wonderful!,” said nurse consultant Anya Clowers of JetwithComfort.com.

Traveling, let along business travel, is far from an easy trip..literally. The anxiety of long security lines, impatient passengers, babies crying, five hour nonstop flights, the dreaded middle seat, & the constant entrapment in your 17″ space. One particular airport in CYS’s own backyard, San Francisco International Airport, has pioneered the first yoga studio in Terminal 2 for travelers looking to get their Om on before, between, or after flights.

SFO Terminal 2 Yoga Room

Not that the strange looks from fellow travelers were enough to stop California Yoga Sport from whipping out a headstand before a long flight, however now traveling yogis can enjoy a quiet peaceful space to unroll their mats & zen out for a moment before their connection.

CYS understands the extreme benefits that yoga can have on an aching traveling body & want you to get the most out of that 15-30 minute layover to help stretch you out, not stress you out.

Try these few postures during your next flight, whether at SFO’s yoga room or at any Gate, to increase blood flow to those much needed areas.

Seated Forward Fold

Seated Forward Fold – Helps to relieve stress in the neck, lessons tension in the hips and lower back caused by lengthy sitting.

Inhale, stretch your arms out in front of you. Fold your hands and interlace your fingers, then exhale and stretch your arms up overhead. Draw the inner groins deep into the pelvis. Inhale, and keeping the front torso long & your fingers still interlaced, lean forward from the hip joints, not the waist. Lengthen the tailbone away from the back of your pelvis. Always lengthen the front torso into the pose, keeping your head raised. If you are holding the feet, bend the elbows out to the sides and lift them away from the floor. Take several deep breaths with your mouth closed or aim to hold for a minute or so. Then inhale and release the whole stretch on an exhale. Repeat. (If you are up in the air, try the first part of the stretch by folding your hands interlacing the fingers & stretching your arms over head, reverse your hands to face palms out & in to help with blood flow).

Seated Back Stretch -Helps stretch the back of your body.

Grab your knees with your hands. On an exhalation, pull against your knees with your hands, curl forward, rounding your spine and pushing your back into the back of your seat (if you are on the flight be sure the seat-back tray in front of you is up!). Drop your head forward and press your chin into your chest. Pull your shoulders up around your ears and round them forward, tighten the belly, pull your heels back toward the bottom of your seat and lift your toes. Feel the stretch all the way from your shoulders to your feet. Repeat.

Seated Spinal Twist

Seated Spinal Twist -Helps to stretch and strengthen the sides of the body.

Put your right ankle on your left knee in a cross-legged position. Inhale deeply and grab your right knee with your left hand. Lean forward slightly and take hold of the arm rest to your right with your right hand, then exhale deeply and twist as far as you can to the right. Inhale again and as you exhale, pull with your left hand and reach your right arm up in the air. Push your right shoulder back, and look back over your right shoulder. Pull your belly in and take three big conscious breaths with your mouth closed. Repeat.

Pigeon Pose –Helps stretch the thighs, groins, psoas, abdomen, chest, shoulders, & neck. Plus it feels damn good!

Slide your right knee forward to the back of your right wrist; at the same time angle your right shin under your torso and bring your right foot to the front of your left knee. The outside of your right shin will now rest on the floor. Slowly slide your left leg back, straightening the knee and descending the front of the thigh to the floor. Lower the outside of your right buttock to the floor. Position the right heel just in front of the left hip. Hold for several breaths & switch sides.

*Good thing there’s an App for that! Check out Yoga Journals’ iPractice App available for the Iphone/Ipad to help guide you through a sequence of yoga postures.

NYT Article on Yoga & Traveling

Be sure to try out any or all of these yoga postures to stretch & strengthen either mid flight or mid trip next time you find yourself on a plane or in SFO’s new Yoga Room. We know that for us here at California Yoga Sport this type of amenity now offered at airports could be a #BigWin for the yoga community & create greater awareness of people’s desire for health, wellness, & relaxation in anxiety filled environments such as airports.

Namaste Terminal 2