A decade traveling the world and teaching yoga and I think I’ve finally got it down!
Today, meet Ashleigh Sergeant, FP Escapes guide and world traveler extraordinaire! Ashleigh will be leading our retreat in partnership with YOGASCAPES to the Sacred Valley, Peru. She’s spent decades studying yoga and spiritual practices while traveling the world for the likes of Adidas and Gaiam. Because we’ve all been there, that moment when you get back from vacation and realize that you’re 5 pounds heavier and completely disconnected from yourself, we wanted to pick Ashleigh’s brain for some guidance on how to avoid that situation. How can we become seasoned travelers who maintain a commitment to whole embodiment while on the road? Ashleigh is here today to share her tips!
1. Don’t drink and pack!
I felt it appropriate to start off with this one. Let’s be honest. We’ve all done it. It may sound like a good idea in the heat of pre-travel excitement—it’s not! You will inevitably end up with no socks, only shirts or pieces of great outfits but nothing that actually works.
Tea! Ah yes, tea. Tea on the other hand can be grounding, uplifting and inspiring. Better stick with tea for packing. Lavender, lemon balm and tulsi are some of my favorite anxiety reducing allies. Ok now that we’ve established that, onward.
2. Color scheme packing. Pack for your moods.
In the past I would either pack a bunch of staple pieces and end up in my destination with no basics or I’d have all my daily basics and nothing particularly special. It all seemed to make sense when packing but failed upon arrival!
I now pack in color schemes and according to my moods.This concept revolutionized my whole packing dilemma and has continuously been both a life saver and personal style revolution.
Start by picking a few color schemes. I usually pack blacks, whites/neutrals, golds (which go with both black and white palettes) and greens. Pack items that fit into these palettes and you’ll know that everything matches. Think of a few moods or particular ways in which you tend to feel and like to express through your clothing type (tight, flowing, soft, etc) I find myself drawn to blacks (and reds) when I’m feeling strong, sexy and sometimes withdrawn. When feeling playful, lighthearted and soft I like whites and flowing loose things. Finally add a few “feature” items that are special and stand out and you’ve got a well-rounded, totally versatile wardrobe on the road.
3. Have a morning routine
Travel is exciting and will make your world more rich and dynamic. However, the jet-set lifestyle can also be destabilizing without an anchor for your energy and attention. One day runs into the next, lacking a conscious pause and experiences go undigested, lessons not fully learned.
It’s just like digesting food. Without taking proper time to assimilate, your energy can become depleted which will eventually slow you down and wear you out instead of becoming fuel for what life has to offer next.
In order to soak up the rich gifts travel has to offer there has to be a conscious moment of pause, a sacred space of quiet to acknowledge the end of one cycle and the beginning of a new day. It doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out event, just a few focused moments with intention. I personally suggest rolling right out of bed, groggy-eyed and partially in dream space, to sit your bum down, cross your legs, and close your eyes.
Practice Suggestion: Lightly focus your attention on your breath, watch the belly rise on the inhale and fall on the exhale. Let your ears open to take in all of the sounds around you. Now feel all of the sensations in your body. Feel how every cell of your being is alive. As you do this, take note of the part of yourself that is watching your breath, observing your body and witnessing the world around you. Rest here for as long as you feel called as you let your attention weave between (and you can use these words as a mantra to help focus) Being (the feeling of your body as an alive being), Awareness (that part of yourself that is observing your thoughts and watching your breath) and Breath (watch the inhale and exhale).
Download Ashleigh’s audio recording of this meditation here.
4. Don’t feel guilty about eating.
Healthy eating on the road is a balance between discipline, self-care and going with the flow. Sticking too strictly to an unrealistic diet for certain parts of the world can make you feel alienated, stressed and malnourished. While maintaining your mission to give your body as much nutrient dense food as possible, adopting a “when in Rome” attitude when you don’t have much to choose from can sometimes be as healing as the kale salad you so long for. Eating your food with a guilty conscious brings that energy right into your body, check the guilt at the door. You can always say a little blessing of gratitude for the food and imagine it feeding and energizing every cell as you take it in.
I suggest traveling with a water bottle (I don’t go anywhere without my Hydroflask), tea bags (nothing sets you right like a hot tea) and snacks like nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and protein bars.
5. Take some time alone every single day.
It’s easy (and good!) to get pulled into the exciting and frenetic flow of new places and new people. Without time alone to sync up with your own personal rhythm we can drift away from our center and our intention. Take some time each day to be alone, hopefully also in nature, where you can ground your energy by feeling your feet on the earth. Listen to the sound of your heartbeat to remind you of the gift of this life and feel yourself being breathed by the prana (life force) that is in everything. Reconnect to your unique rhythm so you can share yourself authentically with the world.
Interested in getting a taste for Ashleigh’s teaching? Check out her Feminine Design Course online for just $25 using discount code FreePeoplePeru. This course is a collection of lectures, practices and meditations to support you in nourishing and optimizing all aspects of your creative energy.