Yoga comes from a Sanskrit word translated as “union” and aims to unite the physical, mental and spiritual bodies. Though characterized by its poses, yoga is more than just a physical practice. It is a discipline rooted in Hinduism.
The Eight Limbs of Yoga
Of the eight limbs of yoga, the three most popularly practised ones in the western world are the poses or asanas, breath control and meditation. These can benefit health, provide relaxation and help relieve stress.
It seems everyone and their dog (literally) are doing yoga these days. The third limb, asanas, have been appropriated into all manner of trendy yoga fusion classes. In spite of the flagrant use of asanas out of the yoga context, the traveller can still make use of their own yoga practice when on the go. It requires no special equipment and can be practised by anyone, modified for any fitness level and done just about anywhere (squished in an economy airline seat, on your hotel room floor, on the beach, etc.) It helps develop strength and flexibility and the addition of breath awareness and meditation can help calm the nervous system. Because of its portability and health benefits, I now include yoga in my fitness arsenal, especially when travelling. How about you?