Notes From a Yogini on the Go: a Travel-Themed Q&A with the Wonderful ‘Fit Queen Irene’
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Have you ever wondered how so many Yoga teachers these days manage to hop all around the world, week in week out, and yet constantly look like they’ve just woken up from 8 glorious hours of sleep? We asked the wonderful Irene Pappas (aka ‘Fit Queen Irene’) to share her top travel tips and how she uses Yoga to recover from long journeys.
You’ve decided to cash in your frequent flier miles. Where are you heading?
Home. Haha! I’m somewhat kidding, but over the past 4 years I have travelled so much that I am quickly learning to appreciate the time I spend at home.
At the airport, you realise you’ve forgotten the most crucial thing. What is it?
As long as I’ve got my passport or license I’m not worried about forgetting much. Little things like headphones can be annoying, but resolved by buying a new pair or immersing myself in a book (or a nap).
What do you do on long flights?
Sometimes I listen to music and make playlists/ plan my classes. Other times I listen to podcasts and journal. Occasionally I will try to catch up on sleep or watch a TV show.
City or countryside?
I love both! But for vacation, countryside.
Mountain or beach?
I live by the mountains so definitely beach!
What are your favourite pack hacks?
I use packing cubes to organise my clothing, and I almost always roll my clothes to make more space. I always pack a small travel pillow that has lavender in it which helps me relax both on the plane and wherever I am staying. Headphones, a good book, and a reusable water bottle are all a MUST for me. I do my best to pack healthy snacks when the flight is 3 hours or more, focusing on whole and easily digestible food.
Give us a quick jet lag master class.
Beating jet lag starts during travel.
– Be extremely mindful of eating when on long flights, trying to pack and prepare ahead. It is so important to bring healthy snacks so that when the delirium of tiredness and hunger kick in you are prepared!
– Bring a reusable water bottle and fill up as often as possible. Don’t feel bad about making people move so that you can use the bathroom on flights, it’s good to get up and stretch your legs.
– Try to adjust to your new time zone as soon as you begin travelling. Plan your meals and your naps accordingly, especially if the time change is drastic.
– Prioritise sleep on your first night in the new time zone- whatever that means for you. I take melatonin and that helps my body adjust. I also bring an eye mask to help me stop checking my phone and unplug.
After a day of travel, I love this short sequence of poses:
Malasana (squat pose)
Standing forward fold
Half split or pyramid pose
Downward facing dog
Happy Baby yoga pose
Top 3 travel don’ts:
Don’t stress – plan ahead and prepare the best you can. If all else fails, just roll with it.
Don’t overpack – stick to the basics and things you love and know you will use.
Don’t get annoyed – this one is easier said than done, especially when traveling with people you love. Remember to take deep breaths, listen to relaxing music, and take care of yourself. We all get cranky when we are tired and hungry.
Irene’s love for yoga is contagious. She began practicing in 2012 and immediately knew she had found her path. When she did her first 200 hour teacher training she did not intend to teach right away, but she soon realised that sharing yoga with others was her purpose.
As a lover of movement, Irene is passionate about her practice. The first few years of her practice were dedicated to Ashtanga and Rocket, but lately Irene prefers a blend of Hatha and Vinyasa yoga.
After experiencing a life changing wrist injury Irene has redefined her yoga practice in many ways, placing more emphasis on a strong foundation and finding gratitude for her body with or without advanced asana. She still enjoys intense practice but has learned to value meditation and pranayama as powerful tools of self reflection, and focuses on sharing this part of her journey with her students.