When I went to Mt. Shasta earlier this year, most of my suitcase was filled with yoga clothes, since I figured I would sweat through the outfit worn for the morning yoga session, and would want a change of clothes for the post-hike workshop.
This week, however, I packed for a trip not focused on yoga. We are headed to Florence, Italy. Believe me, I can’t believe it myself.
Even though yoga isn’t the focus of this trip, I don’t want to disrupt my six-day-a-week practice, so I’m taking what I need. I laid out my Mysore rug (3) as the bottom most layer of my suitcase. That rug is so versatile — I can fold it up and use it as a meditation cushion, and I can roll the edges to use as support in certain poses I’m working on (can anyone say pasasana?).
Next, I slid to the left vertical side of the suitcase a thin, cheap ($9.99), rolled-up yoga mat (2) that I had picked up a while ago at the discount retailer Marshall’s for just this kind of trip. I’m doing this for a couple of reasons — one is weight. Even one pound over the weight limit, and a piece of checked luggage on this international flight goes from free to $75. The mats I usually use under my rug are heavier, so I’m leaving those at home. The other reason is space. We all know that on international trips, you need to assume you’ll be coming back with more than you left with, even if shopping was not your intention. So while I of course prefer not to be wasteful, I know that if worse comes to worse, I can leave the cheapo mat behind.
I bring only tanks (1 and to the right) made of light-weight wicking fabrics when I think I won’t have time to do laundry. While it’s hard to see, I packed my quick-drying Be Present pants (6) for the same reason. I’ve got a light cover-up from Chicago’s yogaview studio (5) — I rely on these types of opaque tops to keep me warm until usually the surya namaskara B. Not pictured because it’s buried is a black wicking jacket I can wear over that. There’s a matching pair of black (again, wicking) pants (4) that can double as casual pants or pajamas. I made sure to take one full set of yoga clothes in my carry-on, just in case the airline loses my suitcase and my belongings arrive far later than I do. Again, I figure at worst, you can find a makeshift practice space. But practicing in jeans or dressier pants just doesn’t work out well. (If I could have fit my Mysore rug in my carry-on, I would have! I have an attachment to this rug, but I also know I need to learn nonattachment when it comes to the rug, even though we’ve been through so much together.)
Between asking ashtangis I know and doing some quick Google searches, I only found one website for Ashtanga classes based in Florence, and the classes are only for 60 minutes. I don’t even know if the studio will be open, since some yoga studios in the U.S. and abroad seem to close around the last week of the year. I’ll investigate studios further when I arrive, but I’m thinking it’s more likely my yoga will stay in the hotel room rather than take place in nearby studios, so I didn’t pack a lightweight, fabric mat bag.
How do you yoga-fy your suitcase for traveling?
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