I am a yoga convert. Let me first tell you that my 65-year-old body so strenuously objects to yoga that at times I resemble a trauma victim more than a practitioner. I know I am making progress by the simple fact that fewer people at each session ask me the question “Are you OK?” But your local yoga studio has something to teach travel professionals that perhaps we should examine.
Yoga stresses the value of practice to both body and soul. Yes, stretching is great exercise. By performing yoga on a regular basis, the dedicated student becomes more limber, less susceptible to muscle strains, and to the perils of everyday movements. By diligently practicing yoga, a student can gain strength and flexibility and can even lose weight.
But there is more.
Yoga studios correctly market their product as more than a physical exercise. They present the holistic value of yoga, quietly pressing the importance of the practice to both physical and mental wellness. Yoga studios have surrounded their product and practice with a premium attitude, generally acknowledged and accepted by the public.
Travel is more than transportation from one geographical location to another. As physical as the act of travel might be, there is a soulful aspect to it as well, something reflected in our history as explorers, pilgrims, and adventurers. We see our visage reflected in the aspect of other cultures, in the reverberations of our ancestry where ever we travel.
Once in an interview, a native of Zanzibar told me that Africa was not a destination, it was a point of origin. My perception of travel was forever changed.
Yoga teaches a mind-body connection. Travel teaches a mind-body-soul connection. Kurt Vonnegut once said that “Unexpected travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.” Travel is not just about relaxation, not just about getting away from the office or seeing a new place. Travel is for the body and the soul, as critical to well-being as diet and exercise. Travel is vitally important to our well-being, our education, to our humanity.
Communicate that importance to your clients, and you will be a true master of travel yoga.