National Yoga Month: Travel With Your Down Dog

Air and car travel often fatigues the body and brain, and yoga can restore balance.  The travel industry has noted yoga's popularity, and yoga has become a standard amenity in a handful of mainstream hotels. Because weary journeymen will pay a high price for a good stretch, little studios have begun opening inside hotels around the world. The yoga-hotel trend is in line with "experiential travel," in which lodges and tours focus on the overall experience of a guest, rather than just the silkiness of the sheets.

At Kimpton Hotels,  guests can ask for a tote bag, which includes a mat, a strap and a block. The site declares that their "in-room wellness and yoga program" is the first in the country. At Hollywood Lodging, free yoga classes (weather permitting) are offered on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Some small boutique hotels, like the Ruby Room, offer meditation, as well additional healing services, including chakra energy healing, and pet healing (in case Fido had a hard time on the airplane). If you plan to travel to a large city, chances are you can easily find a hotel that offers yoga, and probably a lot more.

Many resorts offer yoga in combination with another appealing activity. Chezacut Wilderness Adventures, in Redstone, British Columbia, offers a yoga and horse retreat.  Alta Lodge offers yoga and skiing.  Sea Kayak Adventures, in California, offers a "Yoga, Whales and Kayaks" tour. Yoga is a trump card, it seems, and the travel industry is playing it everywhere.

Since September is National Yoga Month, a number of hotels are hosting yoga retreats.  The Elysian Hotel in Chicago, is offering a retreat with celebrity yoga instructor Mandy Ingber. Two nights will cost a minimum of $1,445. The package includes lunch and a yoga mat. Yoga is relatively inexpensive to provide, but yoga-doers are apparently big spenders. Americans spend approximately 6 billion annually on yoga classes, products and vacation. Yoga is big business at home, and on the road.

Many yogis will travel this month for retreats and conferences around the world. The annual Yoga Journal conference in Estes Park, will take place September 19-26. Rodney Lee is currently teaching in Columbus, Ohio, and next he will lead an advanced retreat at Heathen Hill, in New York. The Path of Yoga Conference is September 15-17 at the Sheraton in New York City.

The dominant intention behind National Yoga Month, though, is to encourage newbies to try yoga. More than 1,000 yoga studios will offer a week of free classes to new students, so they can stretch, and travel to a peaceful place.

Photo Credit: flickr