HOW TO PACK FOR YOGA TEACHER TRAINING ABROAD-THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE

It’s been almost one year since I went abroad to do my life changing 200hr yoga teacher training in Koh Phangan Thailand with Drishti Yoga International. In honor of this anniversary I wanted to share some of the things that I appreciated having with me during my 28 day training. Some of these I carried with me (packing light? what’s that?) and some I acquired on my travels. Even if you don’t plan on going to Costa Rica for a training, or Bali for a retreat, a lot of my must haves are good for any trip and will come in handy when you find yourself wandering away from the comforts of home. During my training lots of things came up that I didn’t expect but fortunately I was well prepared, and now hopefully you will be too!

#1 HAPPY BODY

1) Doterra Essential Oils- These little bottles of love are like a new age pharmacy. I had peppermint and grapefruit on me, but I would’ve taken more if I had known just how necessary they’d be. Thankfully, one of the other trainees was an oil expert and had most of the product line with her so we were all set (Thanks J!) ! I also love the ‘On-Guard’ beadlets, they are great for staying healthy in-flight.

2) Roll-On Fragrance- I’ve talked about these fabulous scents from heaven before. The Goddess Line is my favorite scent line ever, they are small and portable so you can simply throw them in your bag and go. Also good for those sweaty, showerless days during a retreat or training!

3) Traumeel- This stuff comes in pill and cream form and works great for muscle soreness, bruises, sports injuries and inflammation. Another benefit is the lack of aroma of most muscle goops, it’s basically odorless.

4) After Bite- I have a serious aversion to mosquito bites that developed in my twenties and now appears to be a full blown allergy. I discovered this on my honeymoon, when I left a window open on the first night resulting in giant welts all over my body, super sexy. I found this anti-itch product in Thailand. It brings the swelling down and keeps the itch at bay. Benedryl tabs are a great option as well, but often when the itching gets really bad a topical treatment is preferred.

5) Organic Coconut Oil- We found some locals that make their own coconut oil so I went a little crazy and got a huge bottle which I actually used most of in a couple of weeks. I put it on my hair and body and didn’t need anything else all day. Did you know that coconut oil is a natural sun block as well? Best product ever! Just make sure to go for the good stuff, organic, unrefined, extra virgin is the way to go!

6) Mozzie repellent lotion- Mozzie aka mosquito (that’s the Aussie term) repellant is a must have. I like the lotions because you can be more precise in application. Avoid Deet whenever possible and admittedly this one pictured smelled kind of nasty and perfumey and probably was not a super healthy option, I’d recommend searching for a more skin friendly version.

7) Nail Polish- Our schedule was pretty crazy for 28 days so finding a salon on the island and sitting down for a pedi wasn’t really happening. Save some time and money and just bring your favorite polish for touch ups. My sister and I love this Essie polish in Watermelon. All Essie nail polishes are DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde free, Essie.com.

8) Fingernail clippers- You’ll want these for sure. The baby ones are nice and easy to carry so your toenails don’t get freaky and distract your fellow retreaters.

9) Body Lotion with Sunscreen- Before I obtained my giant bottle of coconut oil (or even realized its sun blocking abilities) I found this cream. It was nice to put it on in the am and be moisturized and good to go through the morning sweat sesh. Absolutely bring sunblock as well to add during the hottest part of the afternoon and don’t forget sun rays can getcha’ in the shade too!

10) BB Cream- Getting up with the sun means no time (and a who gives a crap when you’re there to get your asana on) attitude around makeup. I like having some sunscreen on my face at all times and love the consistency and coverage of Tarte’s product. Two second application and you’re on your way!

11) Not pictured: Imodium…I won’t go into the gory details, but let’s just say the whole group went down for a few days straight. Just bring it, you’ll thank me.

#2 ADORNMENT

1) Headbands- I’ve always loved a good headband. After all, there’s nothing worse than having a hair meltdown all over your face. Violet Love does a killer job with fun designs.

2) Earrings- Notice how location and theme appropriate these styles are. *winks*

3) Mala- Great for meditation and to just feel more yogic in general. I got mine from the lovely Silver and Sage collection.

4) Wrappy Bracelet- Thanks to my mom-in-law Pat for this lovely piece. Great for when you’ve worn the same yoga pants 5 days in a row and just want to mix it up.

5) Alex and Ani- The go to line for mindful jewelry, they’re also treated with some kind of energy healing (who knows) they’re cool and you can layer them up for a night out on the playa.

6) A Crystal Necklace- I freakin’ love a good crystal necklace, seriously more than anything, dress it up, dress it down, just rock it, period.

#3 PROVISIONS

1) Pretzel Sticks- These ones are so so, but a healthier version if you’re Gluten Free.

2) Chia- As much as you can carry and more if possible. Chia is great to add to almost anything, provides a ton of fiber, antioxidants, and protein so you can’t lose.

3) Purely Elizabeth Granola These little mini pouches rule, especially when you discover breakfast on day 1 is literally a plate of fruit you’ll be thanking your favorite deity that you packed this.

4) Dark Chocolate!– Most important thing on this list. Just do it, but eat it quickly and maybe share with your friends so the bugs don’t get it!

5) Nut butters- Seriously, what is a vegetarian life without nut butter, it’s nothing, that’s what. Now there are super small jars and even pouches that are easy to carry.

6) Granola Bars- Some afternoons the gap between lunch and dinner is just too much, be prepared with some bars. It’s hard to find a good one that is totally clean, so just do your best and let people judge you, oh well.

7) Organic Tea- Our retreat location was totally coffee free with the closest caffeine quite a hike away. Losing coffee for a month was great for me, but a couple of afternoons I just really wanted a boost. Enter green tea stash. My friend Leisha from Crop Tops And Kale also sent me with the Aveda tea that is simply to die for, that flavor always reminds me of my trip now.

#4 A FEW EXTRAS

1) Probiotics- One of the toughest parts of traveling is keeping your digestive system happy. Always pack a probiotic, and if you don’t have a fridge, be sure to get a shelf stable version and keep them in a cool dry place to maintain effectiveness.

2) Muscle roller- While packing up your trusty gym foam roller may not always be plausible, the good news is  there are some amazing portable options as well. I love Soma System products, they have are a variety of shapes and sizes so you can find the right one for your sore muscle needs. Fortunately, getting a massage Thailand was super easy as well, but sometimes it’s nice to have your own personal masseuse available on demand.

3) Re-usable tote bag- Always have a reusable tote bag, it doubles as a beach bag, grocery bag, carry-on separator for things that may spill, and a day bag for all of your yoga essentials. I love my trusty Integrative Nutrition bag that folds up super small when you’re not using it, which is never.

4) Water Bottle– If you were stranded on a dessert island you’d definitely want to have a good water bottle. I’ve talked about my love for bkr bottle, it comes in lots of cutesy colors and because it’s made of glass can add hot and cold water and won’t have to worry about drinking plastic toxins.

5) Bobby Pins– I learned the importance of bobby pins in my theatre/dance days, you can never have enough. Probably a no-brainer but these are easy to carry and your fellow yogis will thank you immensely for supplying extras.

6) Not Pictured- A nice journal to jot down all of your favorite experiences, lessons, and teachings. I filled mine up, so be sure to bring a big one!

I’ll get into my must have yoga clothes in another post…stay tuned for that!

Anything that you loved that I missed here? I’d love to hear. Please share in the comments!

Happy Travels yogis!

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