4 Tips to Maintain Your Yoga Practice During a Family Vacation

With summertime in full swing many of us might have travel plans on the horizon now that travel restrictions have started to ease up. I myself just spent most of July with friends in the Italian Alps and traveling along the Tuscan coast with my family.

Now as much as I love traveling, I usually find myself struggling to keep up with my yoga practice. It is so easy to get swept away in vacation mode of discovering new cities, daytime family excursions and late night dinners that sometimes my yoga practice starts to slip away.

It was during our first family vacation in Tuscany this summer that I realized a daily yoga practice to help keep me grounded was more important now than ever before! After the first few days I was feeling on edge. I was worried about Leo skipping his naps, how he was (or wasn’t eating) and started snapping over small, little things that normally wouldn’t have bothered me so much.

After a few days of snappy, worrying mama I knew I had to find time for yoga.

So here are the things I did to stick to my yoga practice during our family vacation.

1. Remember there is more to yoga than a physical practice

Now I brought my yoga mat on this vacation but I never even pulled it out from the car. I quickly realized that on this particular trip I would not be able to have a 1 hour physical yoga practice. But I did see that I could squeeze in a 10 minute breathing session every day.

Sometimes we focus so much on the physical practice we forget that there is so much more to yoga!

Maybe that means listening to a quick 5 minute guided meditation before taking a nap. Or maybe you do 10 minutes of breathing at the beach while your children play. Maybe you take a little time for self-reflection before going to bed or practice gratitude when you wake up.

There are so many things that yoga includes, so don’t get caught up if you can’t make it to your mat!

2. Set realistic expectations

Now it might not seem like a lot, but even that 10 minutes a day helped me to ground, center and check in with myself and my needs.

What is the right amount of time for you? Play around!

I found that what works best for me is to start with 10 minutes of me-time and then if I felt like it, I would I lengthen my practice from there. But even if 10 minutes seems impossible, then start out with 5 minutes or even 3!

Remember that it isn’t important how much you are doing but that what you are doing is serving you and helping you connect to yourself and your needs.

3.  Be flexible

I would try to fit my practice in when Leo went down for his nap. But if he happened to skip his nap that day I would breath while I put him down to sleep. Or I would listen to a guided meditation before going to bed. I noticed that even if I just practiced in the evening I would wake up the next morning feeling refreshed, centered and excited for the day ahead.

You know yourself best. Make it work for you!

If you are a morning gal, try setting your alarm to wake up 10 minutes before the children. Or do some relaxing yoga poses before bed if you’re a night owl.

4. Remember your WHY

You don’t want this to feel like a chore. Doing yoga shouldn’t be something that you “have to” do but something that you “want to” do. If you find that you’ve missed a day….or two…or three – don’t beat yourself up! Just take some time to realize why you have fallen out of your practice and then make a plan to get back in it.

When we reconnect to our ‘why’ it makes our practice something we crave!

I’ve learned that prioritizing myself and honoring that sacred time to practice yoga is now mandatory for me during family vacations. Those little moments throughout the day, helping me to hit the reset button and reconnect with my breath and body helped me to enjoy myself just a little bit (okay, a lot!) more. They helped me remember what is important to me about being on vacation and live more presently with my family to embrace all the special holiday moments we were creating together.