India is one of the top destinations for Yoga enthusiasts. There are numerous yoga centers in India, each with its own uniqueness that are spread all over the country. Apart from practicing Yoga, visitors can also enjoy the beautiful scenery with some outstanding features like the Himalayas and the beautiful ocean coastline. However, one of the problems that people often struggle with is on deciding on what to pack and what to leave behind.
Assuming that you are coming to India mainly to practice yoga, here are the important things that you should carry with you to have a smooth and interesting stay in India:
1. Yoga gear
The first thing that you should be concerned with is the yoga mat. Normally, good yoga schools will provide you with a mat. But if you are planning to participate in many different schools, we would recommend to carry one. For purchasing the right mat, you should make your decision depending on your body type and the poses that you will be practicing. You should be able to balance between comfort, stability and traction. For beginners, most branded companies offer suitable mats and mat bags, but you will need to be more specific when travelling for advanced training.
You should also have a yoga towel that will be helping you to wipe away the excess sweat and avoid slipping when using the mat. This is pretty important for those who will be doing intensive training. Just ensure that you can comfortably carry your mat.
If you are going to stay in India for a while, you will definitely need to carry some luggage with you, and a backpack must be your favourite companion. The streets, train and bus stations in India are always crowded and having a backpack will make navigation easier. You should also find one that opens from different areas to make it easy to access the stored items. There are backpacks that come with fitted covers for protection against rain and dust.
It is also wise to carry a handbag that you can use to keep your valuables like passport, drivers license and mobile devices among others. You can use the same bag as a daypack to carry other few items when moving between places.
Indians have a very diverse culture, and some places are usually very strict when it comes to clothing. If you are travelling in interior parts of India or non-touristic places, sometimes, you should avoid short skirts and tight clothing. Generally, your luggage should include long skirts, cotton shirts, loose pants, underwear, bras, bikini, flip flops and sneakers.
If you are a man, you should carry:
- Pants, shorts, cotton shirts, underwear and socks
- Sneakers, flip flops or sandals and hiking boots
- Winterwear, if planning for North India, like Sweater or a jacket
You will definitely need to capture some of your scenic moments in India whether practicing yoga or exploring . It is, therefore, wise to carry a camera/go-pro or any other device that can record such outstanding moments.
Accessing the internet while travelling can be challenging sometimes. Wifi signals are not strong everywhere. Hence, we would recommend getting sim card for 3G/4G internet, which works well in most places. Ideally, unless you are working, we would recommend a tablet over a laptop.
It is wise to pack some entertainment gadgets that will be helping to relax your mind after a long day of training and exercising. You can also carry a multi-plug adapter, socket converter and a portable charger for your mobile devices. Amongst other things, we would also recommend ear plugs since the surroundings can be pretty noisy
5. Food supplements
Your body will need to provide enough energy to withstand the various asanas that you will be involved in. This is also important for people who will be participating in intensive courses. The food served in many school’s might not be enough to meet your energy requirements. Therefore, it is recommended to carry some supplements like protein bars, peanut butter and iron supplement However, recently many stores have started carrying Patanjali’s Ayurvedic supplements. Hence, we would recommend carrying only the very essential supplements or packing few for the emergency while rest you can purchase in India.
On the issue of staying healthy, you will also need, which you can purchase on your arrival in India:
- Mosquito net especially when travelling to South India
- Mosquito repellent
- Peppermint oil and sunscreen
This can be pretty useful especially for people visiting India for the first time. It will help you to identify the areas or places to visit and have some easy time when finding your way there. You can also use some mobile applications like TripAdvisor and Google Maps for the same purposes.
Some Other Tips
Other things that you should pack for your yoga journey in India include ear plugs, water bottle, travel mug, water kettle and diarrhea medicine among others. Having an international driving license will allow you to drive around your favourite places on your own.
You should be carrying copies of passport and visa and photo since most boarding facilities will be asking for them during registration.
AT the Airport
We would NOT recommend exchanging a lot of money at the airport as the rates you get are really bad. Use prepaid taxi or ask the school to arrange the taxi for you (even if they might charge extra). You can get a sim card from the airport as it activates instantly there.