What's good for your body and your mind, building and toning muscles, strengthening bones, improving stamina, balance and flexibility, and promoting both physical and mental wellbeing?
The answer, you've probably guessed, is yoga. And even a few minutes' practice a day can make a positive difference.
But what happens when you go on holiday? While it is, of course, absolutely fine to have a total break from your practice, it is perfectly possible to fit in a little holiday yoga while you're away.
If you're going by car, you might be able to squeeze your yoga mat in among the suitcases, but, if you're using public transport, or travelling by plane or ferry, you might prefer to travel lighter. One option might be a 'travel yoga mat'. These are made of a thin rubber which allows them to fold up small enough to fit into hand luggage. You could also try yoga socks, which have grippy soles that negate the need for a mat altogether. Some also have separate toes, so your feet are able to spread more easily, and you can practise a full range of poses as normal.
Even without a mat or sticky socks, you can still practise many yoga poses, improvising with whatever you happen to have to hand. Poses that are performed lying down can be done on a large bath or beach towel, while standing poses can be practised on most non-slip floors. If you feel your feet might slide, try narrowing your stride or placing your back foot against a skirting board or closed door. Or, again, you could try a towel.
Use firm pillows and cushions for extra height in seated poses, and practise half forward bend to a shelf, chair or table to fully lengthen the spine. You can also use a chair back to steady yourself in balancing poses, or can practise twists, arm raises, leg stretches and forward bends while seated,
Yoga can be particularly beneficial after a long journey. A few gentle stretches and twists can help to reduce any post-travel aches and pains – especially the aforementioned half forward bend, performed with hands on a table, chair back, or other surface.
Whether you fit in a few poses while you're waiting for the kettle to boil, or plan a full yoga session, you're sure to reap the benefits. And the healthier you feel, the more you'll be able to enjoy your holiday.
So get creative, and take your yoga with you wherever you go. Your body will thank you for it.