If you are a Yogi, let me give you this piece of advice: grab your backpack. Buy a plane ticket to somewhere far and remote. You may feel scared in the beginning. You may need to forget about your cozy bed for a while. But trust me: you won’t regret it.
What is the role of traveling in a yogi life?
Travel Helps You Discover Yourself
Every journey you undertake is also a journey deep inside you.
There is a reason why pilgrimage was such an important practice for all Indian Sadhus. Travel pulls you out from your comfort zone. Being away from your everyday environment forces you to change your thought patterns.
Look at it this way: have you ever seen an impressionist painting in the gallery? When you stand just next to it, all you can see are blurry, meaningless dots and lines. You need to take a few steps back and only then the dots and lines would join together into a beautiful image, a priceless moment masterfully captured by the artist.
Same thing with the travel: you need to step out of your everyday life to see it properly. By meeting different cultures, you acknowledge things about your own country you would never have thought of. By putting yourself in completely new situations, you get the perspective necessary for really getting to know yourself and answering the most important question: what do you want from your life?
Travel Makes You Struggle
Do you remember last time in a yoga class you were stuck with that front bend, trying to pull your tight hamstring a little longer? Do you remember the pain and frustration? The drops of sweat dripping from your forehead, as you decide to pull through?
Similarly as asanas put your body in an uncomfortable positions, so does the travel with your mind. You may often feel lost in the middle of nowhere, struggling with sickness or just feeling worn out after being on the road for a long time. The challenges you will encounter on your journey will make you improvise and come up with solutions. You will cultivate your inner strength and learn that nothing is unsurmountable. After some time, you will look in the mirror and see a strong, self-confident person – ready to master even the hardest yoga postures!
Travel Teaches You To Let Go
Every time you come to a new city or a new hostel, you meet amazing friends. You learn from each other and spend beautiful moments together.
Every time you leave, you have to say goodbye and face the truth that you may most probably never see them again…
Although it may sound sad in the beginning, the necessity of constantly letting go of precious moments and meaningful acquaintances is a very valuable lesson. According to traditional yoga, in your practice and in your life you should incorporate a set of bhavas – attitudes, that shape your mental connection with the world. One of the very important bhavas in traditional yoga is Vairagya: be in the world but not of it. Yoga teaches you to acknowledge the ever changing reality. According to ancient sages, human craving to material things and expecting that everything will stay the same is the main source of unhappiness and misery. To accept the change is not an easy thing to do.
Travel teaches you that although you are constantly leaving the beautiful places and great people behind, the best moments are still awaiting ahead of you. It helps you develop a sense of acceptance and optimism, necessary to fully enjoy every moment!