Like many of you who live in Monaco, between the heat and visiting tourists, I tend not to stick around during August. After working hard with my clients to get them in prime summer shape, this is the time for me to escape and take a little break from teaching Pilates.
But that doesn’t mean I take a break from my own practice while on vacation. Making time for myself each day to stretch the areas where I feel tight and strengthen those that are weak makes me feel good in my body and in my mind and I therefore make this a priority wherever I go.
I used to be a gym bunny, mindlessly burning calories at the gym, and thought that Pilates and yoga were the biggest time wasters. But I’ve never been in better shape than since I gave up going to the gym to take up these two disciplines. I feel stronger, longer and considerably fitter even though I’ve cut the amount of time I exercise in two. I can squeeze in my practice at anytime and anywhere, even at the airport in between two flights.
When we fly, our bodies get stuck in awkward positions for long periods of time so it feels good to get the blood flowing with a few simple moves and stretches doing what I call Airport Yoga.
When I first started my yoga session at the airport, I was a bit apprehensive, worried I might get “arrested” but in reality no one seemed to mind what I was doing. Security passed by barely raising an eyebrow and it wasn’t until I looked at the video that I realised I had a small audience at times.
I use a foldable travel mat which I bought online at Yoga Design Lab. It’s non-slippery and can be put in the washing machine. Although it’s not the most comfortable to practice on every day, because it’s very thin, it works fine to practice on occasionally or to put on top of a mat you use at a studio.
One of the things you learn in yoga and Pilates is to focus on what you are doing and on your breathing, which means you don’t get distracted (a pretty useful life skill, too). I even managed to fit in a small meditation at the end.
If you’re curious to find out what yoga could do for you, Monte Carlo Bay Hotel offer a wide range of classes – I have a personal preference for Ashtanga, a pretty dynamic and physical form of Yoga. Mats are provided but if you want to buy your own, the best place to go for it in Monaco is Nike or Decathlon.
What I try to share with my clients in Monaco is that exercise should not be an end in itself but a means of preserving the body in good condition so you can enjoy life – and travel – more. Yoga in between two flights simply felt like a pretty natural thing to do.
Article first published August 8, 2017. For more on Maddy Well Health Coaching, visit maddywell.com