In this mini-series of posts about workshops, trainings and visiting new studios, hopefully, you’ve learned a few things to be prepared for your firsts with our studio or any new yoga studio that you happen upon. These posts were inspired by my trip to train with my teacher, Manju Jois, at his yearly stop down in Ft. Pierce, Fla with One Yoga Planet. Prior to coming to see Manju at OYP, I practiced with Manju at my teacher’s house in Bucks Co. Pa. Upon her passing, his U.S. week + trainings have gone down two just this set of workshops and then one week in Chicago each summer. As such, I make it a priority to get down to this training for as much of it as possible. Luckily, I get to stay ALL three weeks this year…talk about AWESOME!
I’m just going to assume you’ll be joining me next year, or at some other retreat (anyone interested in a Yoga Training down in Cuba? Shoot me an email to let me know!) Before you come, here’s a list of things for you to remember when you come to this workshop, or you come visit our studio for one of our AWESOME events!
First of all, I’m not going to tell you how to pack your suit case, or how early you need to pack…I was just at dinner with some friends, one of which had a cruise two weeks out, and she already had her suitcase packed! If you’re like me, we packed the night before, and were still throwing things together at 4 am the day we left. Good times…I digress. So, I’m going to assume you know how to pack the necessities, but here are a few things that you may not have thought of to bring to your first workshop that’s out of town!
- This probably isn’t something you overlooked, but I have done this..Don’t forget your yoga mat! Not all studios have mats you can use, some require you to rent them, some only have options for you to buy…so, bring a mat. If you want to know about my favorite yoga mat, check out this post I wrote a few weeks ago. I’ve written a couple more reviews on yoga mats, and have one more coming out about Jade Harmony mats, so you’ll have to stay tuned for that one!
- Bring either Racket Balls or Tennis Balls. If you’re going to a more physical workshop, you’re gonna get sore. I’ve always used Tennis balls, or more recently, I got a fascia blaster, but after our Yin and Therapy Ball session, this trip, I brought my racket balls. My husband and I drove down and my husband swears it was the racket balls on his low back trigger points that kept him pain free on this trip down, so ya, we’re sold. Racket balls, grab a couple, they are small, just do it.
- Bring something to take notes in. This could be a tablet, or an actual notebook. These will prove invaluable to you in the years to come. I’ve actually started video and voice recording my trainings the last few years now that memory isn’t so limited in smart phones. Not only is it AWESOME to hear your teacher’s voice and see his/her face, you’ll be able to know exactly what they were doing, for you to emulate. I love the recordings of Manju doing pranayama and chanting, I mean, talk about access straight from the source, right? You’ll love your recordings, but of course, get permission from the teacher if you are using actual video or sound recording.
- Remember your protein. You’re about to get physical (channel your Olivia Newton John people!) Suffice it to say that you don’t want to feel like a weekend warrior, just the warrior, so if you remember to bring (or get first thing) the protein, this will help, I promise. Increase your protein, and remember it the day of the workshop (s) and try to get some after your most physical practice. This will help your muscles recover.
- Bring your water bottle…a big one. Yes, I know if you fly, you can’t have any water with you, but bring an empty bottle. You’ll be super active, so you’ll need to drink more than normal to help “flush” the soreness out. If you are dehydrated, you won’t recover as well…so, like Adam Sandler said, get yourself some high quality H2O.
- CBD. Yes, you guys know I love some CBD. (we now carry like 10 different brands in the studio!) For this trip, I have brought some topical CBD to rub on the sore muscles/spots. This will help with the inflammation and pain. Unfortunately, we don’t have tons of medical studies that prove the efficacy of CBD due to its old classification. However, that all changed in December of 2018, so I’m sure that studies will come out in droves. I say all that to say that you can check out this post I found recently that talks about CBD for muscle recovery –even citing a study from 2015. Suffice it to say, when you travel for yoga, bring your CBD. It’ll help.
- Ok, maybe I will say something about the clothes to pack. Bring some extras. I hate using laundromats, and unless you’re staying at an AirBnB, you’ll want to make sure you have enough…ah hm…undergarments. I made the mistake of trying to “pack light” once, and just brought 1 set/day –completely forgetting how sweaty things get. This means, I was going old school, washing things in the sink and drying them in the shower, I also ended up going to a nearby TJmaxx to help expand my wardrobe. So ya, bring some extra undies! Plus, if you an intense practice and then have a break, there’s nothing like some clean, dry clothes to change into.
Once you’re there, remember the etiquette of visiting a new studio. One thing that I love to do (if I arrive in time) is to scope out the studio before hand. Even if you can’t go and practice before the workshop, you can still go figure out exactly where it is. The first time I went to train with Manju in Chicago–that’s a HUGE town– I made sure I knew how to get there and how to get in (cities have call boxes and door codes sometimes)–so I wouldn’t be the “late person.” I definitely recommend getting there a little early. You may be able to introduce yourself to the teacher, or make a new friend! I’d love to tell you to go sit in front, but honestly, i know (1) you’d probably never do it and (2) i don’t do that! 🙂 I usually go in the back so I can see everything that the teacher does…If you’re going to a teacher training, be sure you practice your drills/assists on as many different people as you can. Seriously. The more bodies you practice the assists on, the better you’ll be. Plus, if you’re practicing it in front of your teacher, he/she will be able to help you with any parts you’re struggling with.
I’m so excited that you’re thinking of going to workshops, and maybe even making it a location training! These seriously are lots of fun, combining your favorite practice with a new location…I mean, come on, AWESOME, right? PLUS….if you’re a teacher, part -or all of your trip COULD be a tax deduction**…so I mean, who wouldn’t want to travel to practice?
Let me know if you have any workshops you’re thinking of going to? I know I’m planning on practicing with Manju again this summer in Chicago, if you’d like to join me. I’m also working on putting together a training down in Cuba, if you’re interested. (let me know if you are!!) I love yoga workshops–whether local or out of town. It’s a great way to expand your understanding of your practice, see new places, and have a good time!
**remember to consult your tax professional to see how this could work for you.