Yoga To Go

Like most people interested in yoga, I have a few yoga books in my library. I got Yoga To Go by Paula Carino hoping for information specific to traveling and maintaining a yoga routine. While the book does that to some degree, I found its space taken up by too much extraneous information. The book could have been trimmed to be much smaller - therefore fitting in a purse or pocket. That would have been GREAT! Instead, it contains unnecessary information and becomes something only suitable for a backpack or actual luggage toting.

Yoga To Go First, the good. The book does specifically talk about the situations you are likely to encounter while traveling. It talks about the stress of missing a flight, of waiting in line, the cramps of being seated for several hours running. It talks about the dearth of healthy food in many terminals, and the cramped size of the hotel room. These are exactly the situations I got the book to work through.

The book provides some solutions for these situations. If you are stuck at a bus stop in a not-so-great part of town, take time to people watch and observe just what this neighborhood's people are like. Get into a conversation with another person here - someone you might not normally talk with. You might learn some amazing things!

There are many, many pages of poses, all with clear photos and long descriptions including modifications. If you've never heard of a pose, this book will help you out.

But this leads into some of my disappointment with the book. Do we really need **153 pages of poses** (I am not kidding here) in a "easy to carry travel book"? They're not even broken out by situation. It is really like carrying a full, regular yoga book with you. I would much rather have had this be MUCH smaller (and therefore the book much more totable). Maybe 2-3 pages of "poses for waiting in line", 2-3 pages of "poses while waiting in a terminal/station, 2-3 pages of "ideas while in an airplane" and so on. You could quickly flip to the situation you were in and find a solution. As it is, you have to go digging through the huge selection to figure out what works best where you are.

If we're talking about actually being IN your hotel room - heck, you bring a travel mat and do your normal routine! That's not a big deal. And you don't need a "travel sized book" in that situation. You just back your normal yoga book, or a DVD for your laptop.

She recommends taking flammable substances - candles, incense - and lighting them in your hotel room. I don't imagine most hotels would be keen on this - and cruises expressly forbid it! She would have done much better to discuss the array of NON-flame involving options such as battery-powered tea lights, smelly jellies, a handful of coffee beans in a ziplock bag, and so on.

Even if you say "this book is for my in-room yoga and isn't really a travel book", I found it not as great as other books I own. She will show a series of photos up front, and then have multiple pages of description so you have to flip back and forth at each step to see what the photo was for that stage. It's a bit cumbersome.

In the dining area, I've written many, many articles on healthy dining while traveling. She misses most of the standard key ideas. She sort of mentions "look for salads", then starts pushing vegetarianism and then tells you to bring vegetarian meals from home. In most travel situations that simply isn't going to work (if you even are a vegetarian).

Finally, some of the information is simply incorrect. She talks about the myth of eating turkey causing sleepiness because of the tryptophan in it. That myth was disproven years ago. Yes, there's tryptophan in turkey - but the amount isn't enough to affect the human body. The REAL reason people fall asleep after Thanksgiving is that they just ingested tons of carbs - potato, yams, stuffing etc. - and after the brief sugar rush, their blood sugar levels crashed. So if you wanted the Thanksgiving effect to get you sleepy, you shouldn't eat turkey - you should load up on carbs and then let yourself crash (assuming you don't have blood sugar issues to start with!!)

Anyway, I really liked the idea behind this, I liked the photography, and I liked some of the advice provided. However, there are WAY too many poses shown and the resulting thickness of the book is far larger than any travel book I own. If she did a second version with half (or less) of the poses, arranged more logically for its purpose, then I would go for the five stars. As it stands right now, it is missing its target mark.

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