11 Oct 6 Mindful Travel Meditations
Community Voices: a place to share guest articles from esteemed writers, colleagues, and artists of other mediums. Spreading and sharing the travel love! Today, we’ll be hearing from Brook Woolf of Indigo Warrior Travel about mindfulness meditations to use while traveling.
There are many ways to enhance your travel experience. A change of perspective can empower you for years to come and create a transformative life-changing moment. Meditation isn’t just sitting quietly trying not to think, it is a way of shifting perspectives. When traveling, sometimes everything is different and noticing the details can be difficult. These six meditations are built to enhance your travels, help you find moments of relaxation, be in the present, and see your trip from a different angle.
Legs Against the Wall Pose
After a plane ride, relaxing with your legs against the wall has multiple positive effects. It helps reduce that puffy inflammation you get from flying, relaxes, and calms your nervous system. This link shows a picture and describes it in detail. I recommend staying in this pose for ten minutes. When you are ready to come out of the position bend your knees and slowly roll over to a side for a moment. Don’t be frightened, your legs may have gone numb from the pose, but that is okay.
The first part of this meditation is finding a good open place to walk. I recommend if this is your first time, to try to walk in a large circle and do it in a place you can be barefoot, like grass or sand. Starting by standing, softly gaze on the ground four feet ahead of you. This gaze is meant for people to be able to look ahead, but not focus on what you see. Just stand and tell yourself “preparing to walk” repeating it till you feel ready to take your first step.
When you feel ready, it is just a matter of repeating these few steps in your head. Lift, move, and place. Allow each movement to have its own separate space and time. Allow each one of your steps connect to your weight shifting, the textures of the ground, and the feelings in your body. If you find yourself thinking about something else, just let yourself come back to the three movements; lift, move, place. Remember there is no judgment or “right way”. You can do this for 5-10 minutes a day. It is a brilliant grounding exercise to connect you to your surroundings and yourself.
Eating in Silence
This is a simple observational moment, sitting in silence with new unique flavors joining your palette. I recommend going to a restaurant and ordering something authentic to your location (obviously, the silence begins after you order). Let this experience settle you into the place you are visiting. Take a journey into family traditions and culture through your taste buds.
Gratitude Meditation with Gratitude Journal
Great for the beginning of your day, after you rise from slumber this meditation only takes a couple minutes. Before you start doing anything active just give yourself a minute to close your eyes and go through the alphabet and for every letter find something you are grateful for, it is easier than you think. If you have to skip a couple of the odd letters, I promise I won’t tell. At the end of the day write in your gratitude journal three things you are grateful for on your trip. For bonus points, put down three things about yourself to add to your self-love.
Yes or No Meditation
A lot of times in life we think we are making decisions when in fact choices are so much easier. Our intuition lets us know what we really want and need in life more than our mind. We find ourselves doing things out of obligation because our mind told us to do something where our heart felt otherwise. The yes or no meditation is relatively simple. Recognizing when we really want something and being comfortable verbalizing it is huge! When you are traveling it is even more important to follow your heart and do whatever you want. Don’t feel that your “travel buddies” are the decision makers. Let yourself choose!
How to do this meditation is simple. Start by sitting or lying down and closing your eyes.
Think of things that you would definitely say yes: for example, a free trip around the world or a debt-free life. When you have those personal examples clear, ask yourself where do you feel it in your body? How does that yes feel, look, and how does it move? Where does it start and end? Does it have a weight, color or sound? After you have a clear feeling about your “YES” in life do the same thing with your “NO”. Think of examples, like your friends want you to help them move all weekend, or you have a month of work with no days off. When you have good examples of things you definitely would say no to, ask yourself again where do you feel this in your body? Ask all the same questions as previously stated.
This meditation helps you make choices in life and on your travels.
When you get asked if you want to do something, ask your body, not your mind! Using this exercise, you now have a clear internal compass in making choices. When you choose not to do something you can simply say, “I don’t feel like it.” It is harder to argue with than an excuse and it is the truth!
These are fun to do in either very quiet places or super busy places. It is a great way for you to connect to your surroundings and notice all the different sounds that happen around you, a great way to expand your presence on your travels.
Find yourself a comfortable seat and just close your eyes and observe the sounds that happen around you. Even in quiet spaces, we can find there is a lot more sounds if we take a moment to listen. It may be soft, but you can hear white noise, a cough, a breeze, or even a fly. This allows your ears to realign and regain focus. This sharp awareness is a great tool to have on any journey whether adventurous woodsy travels or urban jungles.
So, there you have it! An excellent collection of different meditations you can take with you on any trip and your suitcase won’t get any heavier! These meditations are not specific to travel either, so feel free to use these at home too. It may seem difficult to get into a calm space, but the point is you are trying. Don’t let your “monkey-mind” get in the way of your awesomeness. You are wonderful and your effort is appreciated, especially by the person who matters most, you.