This past spring and early summer, I traveled for personal and professional reasons almost every week from mid-March to mid-July. To say I didn’t feel grounded is an understatement. So, I was thrilled to find opportunities to practice yoga while on the road.
The first instance was in June when I traveled to beautiful Migis Lodge for a work-related event. This is not your everyday work off-site venue. This is a very special spot recently written up by the Wall Street Journal as An Upscale Summer Camp for Grown-ups in Maine. I was with two of my colleagues from my “day job” and about 60 other colleagues from top-notch independent schools in the U.S. and Canada. My colleagues and I were members of the team hosting the event. I didn’t know everyone, and knew some just a bit. The experience had the potential to create a bit of social anxiety.
When I heard there was going to be yoga offered during our afternoon free time, I was so happy. I had attended this event last year and loved the afternoon yoga on the banks of Sebago Lake. I had my Manduka Travel Mat. It comes with me on all my trips. Wow—talk about a peaceful and majestic place to practice yoga. I was feeling all of the reasons why yoga is my religion. As for fellowship and community, I now had a new-found set of friends to mingle with and network with during our group professional development sessions; our candid break-out sessions; our fun cocktail hours at The Lake House; our outdoor meals at Cookout Point. You get the idea. I had found my tribe, and in the midst of folks that I didn’t know well when I arrived. I had a meaningful, shared experience to use as a foundation for new, valuable relationships.
In early July, I had the good fortune of traveling to Bermuda for a family vacation. My in-laws have partial ownership of a place at Tucker’s Point. I had heard there was a gym on-site and some group exercise classes. My family and I arrived on Saturday, and I quickly went down to see the concierge to ask about the yoga classes. I was excited to see “Sunset Yoga” on the schedule for the next day. I let everyone know that I would be skipping dinner and heading over to the spa garden for yoga. Turns out I was the only one at the resort that wanted to go to yoga on a Sunday evening. So, I had a lovely, peaceful private class.
The teacher was kind and inspiring, and we had an instant connection. I ended up joining her every day the following week for morning classes. I had a realization during my daily practices of another way that yoga is similar to church: the experience is consistent from one culture and one country to the next. It helps to create connection and communication, even amongst strangers. It offers a sense of belonging. And no matter where you practice, even poolside, the space becomes a sacred space for a moment in time.
Every day when I left this patio space, I felt an incredible sense of happiness and inner peace. Granted, the views were pretty spectacular as I walked home, but taking time out of my day to connect to my breath and my gratitude for the many blessings in my life become front and center in my consciousness. And I think that daily practice helped me to show up for the rest of the day as a better version of myself.
— Megan Cartier