Class Notes, Week 14: Yoga on the Danube

The Moksha yoga teacher training program requires me to journal once each week about my experience with the poses and assignments + my practice and progress. This is part of that weekly assignment.

Here is where I’ve been practicing yoga each morning for the past week:

It’s part of a common area aboard the Viking Njord — the river cruise ship I’ve been sailing, as it meanders down the Danube River through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.

The ship has no private yoga studio or workout facility, much less any yoga mats. Yet, I am making it work. I am proof that you can maintain a yoga practice in some of the most unlikely places!

This also is the first vacation not tethered to a yoga retreat where I’ve maintained a consistent practice. In other words, I am not “taking a vacation” from yoga. It is a part of my routine, and I’m making sure I practice each morning at 6:30 a.m. before other passengers fill up this common area to sip their coffee and watch castles and village Christmas markets pass by. While some passengers have spotted me doing sun salutes and balancing poses such as Eagle and Crow, everyone has given me my space and respect, including the staff. As the servers, bartenders and concierge staff prepare for the day, they keep their physical distance as they buzz around me.

However, there’s really no privacy from having an “early bird” audience pretending to mind their own business. But I don’t mind too much. If my yoga practice piques someone’s curiosity, and perhaps inspires them to give it a try, then I‘ve done something pretty positive. And, there are a lot of middle-aged Americans on this ship that may enjoy it and benefit from it.

In the end, I am happy that I’ve maintained this commitment to myself, even while “on vacation” from the everyday routine of life. Waking up each morning in my cozy cabin … wiping the sleepy crust from the eyes … pulling on my ToeSox … walking up to the second-floor lounge area for my morning practice … it’s become a rewarding routine on this European holiday. I get to start of my day with a clear head and limber body — always a plus when traveling. And, I’ve gotten creative with my sequencing, making sure not to practice the same string of asanas each day. Even with the tiny space I’ve carved out on this ship, I have managed to not repeat the same practice yet.

Just because I’m on vacation, doesn’t mean I am taking a vacation from yoga!

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