water yogaIt’s Fourth of July … or Christmas, or spring break. You’re leaving behind your job and your daily routines to take a pause from life and your myriad responsibilities. Yes! It’s a good thing to do, no doubt. But temporarily letting go of your regular routine may also mean letting go of your regularly scheduled yoga classes or home practice. For most of us, a vacation from work can also mean a vacation from yoga.

When we travel, we try and keep up with our practice as best as we can, but it’s hard. At home, we may have an area of our apartment that is dedicated for practice, or a studio we attend on a regular basis. When we are staying with other people, or in a hotel, there often isn’t a space that’s clear of clutter and sharp objects where we can roll out a mat and move freely.

And that’s only part of it. We’re also in a different frame of mind, on a different schedule, and lacking that routine that helps us to be disciplined. We might be visiting family and trying to squeeze in visits with a lot of different people in a short time, or traveling with a group that has a schedule of its own, or jetlagged and needing to sleep in during regular practice time. Perhaps our eating schedules are off, and that is interfering with practice, or our days have so much activity that we’re just tired. Maybe there are children that need more attending to than usual, or maybe we just get a bit lazy. Whatever the reasons, our lack of discipline can also create a sense of guilt. We think we should be practicing—but we just can’t seem to make it happen.

The question is: Is it okay to skip a week of practice, or even two? To put ourselves into a new mental framework for a short period of time that doesn’t include asana, and doesn’t try to? Are there other ways to practice presence and openness when we take breaks from our physical practices? Can the break even be good and healthy on some level? Or do you find that your vacation actually suffers when your asana practice goes out the window?

Write in and share your thoughts! (When you’re back from vacation, of course.)