October 18, 2012

Even Yogis Have Trouble Unwinding. ~ Ingrid Schroder


I love traveling and live for holidays, but just because I’m a yoga teacher doesn’t mean I’m blissed out as soon as the break begins.

For a couple of days I have that strange feeling of not knowing where to put myself, trying to remember how to relax and do nothing—it’s like a weird itch you just can’t scratch.

When you come straight from a world of schedules and meetings and rushing, to a place of doing nothing, it’s not surprising that most of us experience that funny yet annoying period of being down-right agitated.

 “Oh poor you on holidays, can’t relax.

Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s a good problem to have—but for some people, those few days it takes to unwind could mean most of their trip. So what can you do to shake that I.T.U. (inability-to-unwind) feeling sooner? Here’s what works for me:

 1. Disconnect from the outside world.

Get off Facebook, stop ‘Instagramming’ everything you see, turn off your phone or better still—travel somewhere that has no coverage. Nothing takes us away from the moment more, than when your mind is somewhere else. So switch off and just be where you are.

 2. On the first few days, get into a semi-routine as you transition from rushed to relaxed.

Nothing rigid. Maybe plan something that you do every day or do a few things in the same order. Get up and practice yoga, have breakfast, go for a swim, read a book in the sun, take a nap, etc.               

 3. Pack earplugs.

 4. Pack earplugs.

5. Do things you wouldn’t normally do.

Try food you wouldn’t normally eat. That element of surprise and wonder is enough to extend your perception of time and quickly forget what you were worrying about.

 6. Take notice of the tiny things.

The way the sunshine feels on your skin, an ant crawling on a flower, watching the locals go about their business. For me, taking photos always sweeps me up in the moment. So find your way to get lost in the details.

 7. Go with the flow and be flexible.

No, not in your backbends, but in surrendering to whatever is happening at the time and the needs of those you’re traveling with. Don’t chuck a tanty” if you don’t get to choose the restaurant or your hotel booking gets mixed up. Let go of the control, expect the unexpected and everything will work out just fine.

8. Self-practice.

There’s never a better time to discover your self-practice than on vacation. I hear so many people say, “Oh, I can’t do yoga on my own; I can’t think of what to do.Frankly, that’s just a big, fat excuse. You’ll be surprised how much you know and it doesn’t matter if the stretch your body is calling for isn’t strictly a yoga pose. You don’t even need a mat. Just find a space, close your eyes and breathe. Do whatever comes to you and make it a goal to do this at least once a day while on holidays.

Who knows, you might even bring this practice home with you.



Ingrid Schroder is a freelance graphic designer, photographer, yoga teacher and editor of Cohabitaire.com. “Living in a busy city like Sydney, I find myself turning to nature for guaranteed rejuvenation—be it digging in my garden, capturing natural beauty through a lens, finding a sweet floral pattern, floating in the ocean, traveling or practicing yoga. Music moves me, coconut anything is my happiness, skiing feels like flying and this incredible world never stops making me smile.” Discover Ingrid’s work on www.cohabitaire.com or follow her on twitter @cohabitaire.


Editor: Evan Livesay


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