Yoga pants living the dream; flipping the dog in South East Asia

Dropping into vegan yoga retreats, breakfasting on the beach...  Roxanne shares with us the catalyst for flipping things up in her life, and the central role yoga plays:

On any given day last summer, I was working ALL the hours; I certainly didn’t see much sunshine. I had a fast-paced job on a women's weekly magazine, which meant lots of late nights, and I'd recently qualified as a yoga teacher, so was trying to find my place in the yoga world:  I'd be up by 6am to squeeze in a session before the office and taught yoga classes at least two evenings a week. I rushed from one place to the next, co-ordinating work outfits over yoga clothes, eating on the go and desperately trying to balance everything out with a fun social life on the side. I thrive on being busy – I love it – but after the same mad dash for a few years, I started to wonder what it would be like to press pause for a bit and take a break from the old routine… 

Luckily, my husband Mick felt the same. We'd been discussing travelling for years, but then our careers got in the way. It was never the right time. Would it ever be, though? Probably not. The busier we got, the more we started to realise this. So one day, we booked a one-way flight to Bangkok. Decision made. We'd stick our belongings in storage, rent out our flat and head to South East Asia travelling for five months. And, two months into our trip, I can honestly say, it's one of the best decisions I've ever made.

During my trip, I've visited a couple of yoga retreats, but I try to do self practice – sometimes in very inventive places – each day with Mick. The great thing about yoga is that it can be done anywhere and there really is something for everyone in it. Whether it's sitting for 10 minutes and clearing your mind before a busy day ahead, or doing an hour of hardcore power yoga to tone up and release, you can work yoga into your life. 

The calming meditative effect of yoga can really help too, really clearing your mind after a long day at work, or a difficult conversation with someone. I started yoga because I wanted to tone up and stay in shape – I used to be a gymnast so have always loved a good stretch – but connecting with the more spiritual side of yoga has really helped me deal with the hectic pace of London life. I've loved meditating on our trip away too. It sounds like a cliche, but sitting by the beach and closing your eyes, just listening to the waves, really can't be beaten.

Watch this space for more Yoga tips and flows from Roxanne as she continues her journey across South East Asia


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