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Stay Balanced: 6 Yoga Tips for Travellers

By RACHAEL FREY

Kate W. Mak is a yoga instructor at Yoga Santosha in Calgary (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Kate W. Mak is a yoga instructor at Yoga Santosha in Calgary (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Whether it’s business or pleasure, travel can leave you tired, sore and stressed. Yoga, however, soothes nerves and muscles while abroad. For the novice, vacation time is an ideal opportunity to try yoga at a drop-in class.

Kate W. Mak teaches yoga at retreats from Bali and Costa Rica. She’s also an instructor at Yoga Santosha (see list), a bright, airy studio in Calgary’s 17th Ave Retail & Entertainment District. She has a few simple yoga tips for both the yoga veteran and the newly initiated.

5 CALGARY DROP-IN STUDIOS

Yoga Santosha
This studio offers classes from Sattva to Hot Yoga Groove. Drop-in: $20 per class. New-client, one-month unlimited classes, $39. 1800 – 4 St SW, 403-244-9642

Yoga Passage
A downtown studio with a huge variety of classes. Drop-in: $16 per 70 minutes or $15 per 50 minutes. Introductory membership includes one month unlimited classes, $40. 200, 524 – 11 Ave SW, 403-277-3058

Hot Yoga on 17th
The studio’s two locations focus on hot yoga and Vinyasa flow. Drop-in: $18 per class. Introductory one-week unlimited pass, $25. 2749 – 17 Ave SW, 403-686-9642; 88 Crowfoot Terrace NW, 403-262-9642

Yoga Shala
A northwest studio dedicated to traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. Drop-in: $18 per class. 1511 – 19 St NW, 403-210-3000

Enlight Yoga and Wellness
Several different forms of hot yoga are offered at this downtown studio. Drop-in:  $20 per class. Two-week unlimited introductory special, $30. 1138 – 10 Ave SW, 403-228-9642

TAKE SOME TIME EVERY DAY
“A lot of a little is better than a little of a lot. Even a five-minute practice done often, that targets tight areas or specific therapeutic benefits, can be better than one 90-minute session every two weeks.”

STRETCH AFTER LONG TRIPS
“Sitting for long periods causes the body to contract or flex in certain muscle groups. Some of the things you can do to counteract that are hamstring stretches (forward folds both standing and seated) and shoulder openers (standing by a wall and placing one hand on the wall with arm set straight whilst twisting away).”

DRINK LOTS OF FLUIDS
“Staying hydrated is important while travelling. Hydrating can reduce headaches, irritability, dizziness and mood swings. Whenever I’m at the airport I always snag extra carry-on liquid bags so in future travel I already have my liquids packed for airport standards.”

LEAVE THE GEAR AT HOME
“I travel super light and make use of what is around me. I practice on towels, on sarongs or on the ground. I do bring my music selection for practice, but that fits right into my smartphone. Download [yoga] podcasts before you take off so you have access to them if you’re a bit lost and don’t have time to get to a studio.”

CONNECT WITH LOCALS ONLINE
“If nobody in my social circle has been to my destination, I pop online and search for the style of yoga I usually practice back at home and read reviews. I also use social media and ask the yogis of the city where I should go.”

BE OPEN TO NEW EXPERIENCES
“Some of the best classes I’ve been to came by chance. I’ve practiced in basements, on mountaintops, in polished and no-frills studios. I am a firm believer that every class you take will always give you insight into your practice.”

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