What to take to India for yoga teacher training - packing the minimalist way
Minimalist Yogi - traveling to India with very little and yet not missing anything.
This is by no means a list that could fit everyone's needs. It is just what we frequently take on our journeys. The list below is always evolving. It fits OUR personal needs and requirements. Take what YOU like and modify to YOUR specific needs. It is just an example of how it can be done.
Take less enjoy more
Traveling, backpacking, trekking, camping, can be a very rewarding and satisfying experience for me. On one condition - It must be unencumbered by heavy, awkward luggage, whether it is a backpack, suitcase or whatever form or shape we choose to carry our belongings in.
For some reason it just doesn't work for me when I have to travel with more than JUST WHAT I NEED. It spoils all the pleasure and enjoyment I otherwise get from my journeys.
Small is beautiful
Therefore it is not surprising that last time when we went to India for a couple of months, our stuff fitted in two small backpacks. Ana's - 11l. Tom's - 25l. volume.
Please remember that this is neither a statement of how light one can or needs to travel nor is it a recommendation for anyone else. Simply it is how we happen to do it and it certainly works for us.
Traveling light - do I really need it?
We came to northern India in the fall and beginning of the winter season. The temperatures at this time of the year range from 28* during the day to 8* at night. In other words it is quite warm most of the time although the buildings where we stay overnight are not insulated or heated and it can be quite chilly and windy at night or early in the morning.
Below you will find the list of things taken by Tom.
I took a small REI 25 liter backpack and had plenty of room left after putting everything in. Instead of a sleeping bag we each had a sleeping bag liner. Together with the blankets provided by our hosts it turned out to be completely adequate.
A small, foldable duffel bag or a backpack is handy when exploring or carrying extra souvenirs on the way back home.
My luxury item is a small DIY hammock that provides the highest level of comfort everywhere I happen to travel. We did use it on our balcony and it was great to have it again.
This time we did not have any need to use a mosquito netting but for the miniscule weight and size that it is, I think it is worth carrying, especially if you are going south where mosquitoes are abundant and window nets are similar to swiss cheese.
Other than the basics I would not take a lot of clothes with me. I would rather get some cheap, cool, local products if the need arises than carry too many things.
The plastic poncho is a handy item if you happen to be caught by an unexpected rain storm. It covers both me and my backpack. It weighs nothing and fits in a pocket.
When it gets cooler, a small lightweight windbreaker jacket serves many purposes and keeps me warm and protected from the wind.
Since we almost always eat out, there is no need for an extensive kitchen set to carry. An occasional cup of hot tea is greatly appreciated though.
We do purchase some sort of a knife on arrival usually. It helps with local fruit and different handyman tasks. We can’t take a knife on the plane since we only use a carry-on luggage.
Ana brings along her laptop. Other than that it is only basic electronics.
Even though we are traveling, we continue our personal practice, therefore we bring a few minimalist tools for exercise and self-massage.
First aid kit
Our first aid kit is extremely minimalist: band-aids of different sizes and some active coal for stomach issues and that is pretty much all. We consider a bandana and duct tape very useful tools in case of emergency.
Skin brush for daily skin brushing and the other toiletries fit easily in a small organizer bag.
I like to use a fanny pack for money, documents or my phone.
Duct tape can be used in many, many ways - it is a must for all travellers. Superglue is useful for small repairs.
I recommend taking a length of thin rope and a few wood screws. It is very easy to organize a nice clothes drying line or a closet space in accommodations frequently lacking these basics.
Every traveler in Asia should have a good quality, small lock for the doors of their apartment.
A small sewing kit is always nice to have.
I like to take with me a few souvenirs from my own country to give to my new friends all over the world.
When things are folded and ready to be put in the backpack it all looks like this.
All packed up and ready to go!