First published in "On the Mat", the newsletter of Yoga Spirit Studios.
During a training I recently attended, my buddies were amused and amazed at the things I had brought along to keep myself comfortable. They asked for my packing list. So this is for all of you, but especially for Lizzie, Susannah, Anna and Bev!
When you are going away on a yoga retreat or training, chances are you will need to bring along your own gear. This is tricky, especially if you have to travel by air. So rule number one is to always make sure your ticket will include a checked bag for your yoga gear.
Some time ago I bought a large wheelie duffel bag especially for the purpose and have never regretted it. Usually, most of my clothes will fit into a carry-on bag, leaving the checked bag bag for my yoga gear. The first picture shows my bag with only my yoga gear in it, and there is still room for a few clothes or toiletries that don't fit in the carry on.
Into it I pack a bolster, a sticky mat, one blanket, a block if it is an asana retreat/training and a meditation cushion. On this last trip I also borrowed a little camping seat which was so useful I have now ordered myself one online - they are sometimes available in camping stores but never when I go looking. I also pack a little bag of extra bits that I use in my practice. It contains a super-ball for rolling my feet on, two flannels for fine tuning of restorative poses, a strap, a rolled up towel to make a "sushi-roll" for selfie back massages, a hand fan for when the room gets too hot, an inflatable gertie ball for all manner of releases, my still-pointer balls for a quick relax, yoga toe socks and sticky wedge gloves (could stay in my room for a matless practice when needed) an eye-pillow, two silk sarongs, useful for a little extra warmth during relaxation or when the air conditioning is too chilly. If it is winter time I would probably also stuff my zebra stripe snuggie in too, perfect for a toasty relaxation. If you are going to a workshop with Donna Farhi, count on packing a large bath towel as well for the famed "wonton head wrap". I also have an inflatable bolster that I might also pop in if I thought a second bolster would be good to have.
It’s all about being prepared.