Yoga, Knee Mat, Cushion, Knee Pad, Barre, 2 Dogs, Chug Dogs

How this little mat changed my travel and fitness life

Eileen Chua

Do you have any go-to yoga props that you can’t live without?  

When I first started getting into yoga, I would religiously go to hot yoga studios, using studio props and delicately lay my little towel over the borrowed yoga blankets or blocks to avoid germs and bacteria (I mean people were profusely sweating on these props! and ps. I’m a bit of a germaphobe).  

As the years went by, how I practiced yoga evolved – I completed my 200 hour teacher training and found myself practicing more at home, in which case, I ended up buying a slew of props for my home practice.

This was fine, until my husband and I found ourselves traveling extensively around the world for work for several months at a time. I was struggling to bring all my bulky, heavy props abroad; needing to pack and travel with large roller suitcases (which isn’t ideal when you are visiting several places and hopping on a plane every week or so).

So began our portable fitness life…

Travel, Packing, Yoga


To introduce myself, I was raised in New Jersey and have moved around a bit, to Atlanta, then back to New Jersey, then to Northern California (SF area), then to Arizona where my husband and I reside.  Moving around so much pretty much taught me to keep things light and not get bogged down with too much “stuff”.  Also, living in New Jersey where it snowed every other day forced me to start a home practice since classes were often canceled due to weather and roads were not always plowed to get to said yoga or barre class – those were the days I would feel enraged about living in frost-covered New Jersey  – I know, not very yogi.  But I learned from it and having a home yoga and barre practice has changed my life – and now I don’t get so enraged. 🧘‍♀️😊

As I got older my practice also changed, I have been practicing yoga for 20+ years, the last 15 being the most intensive.  Early on, I was hyper-mobile, super flexi and was always going for the “full pose” but after a while, my body started to rebel.  I found I definitely needed help in some poses with props, blankets, and blocks.  With our traveling schedule we would be gone for 3-4 months at a time (before Covid-19). I could make do without props but I loved feeling supported in certain poses, especially my hips where I can twerk to one side in certain poses. 

I couldn't bring a huge blanket to support these poses so in came this little mat that changed my travel fitness routine.  It was easy to wrap this little knee mat around my larger yoga mat (which I bring everywhere) or fold into my carry-on. I am now proud to say I have learned the art of packing only 1 small carry-on bag for our long trips 🙌🏼.  Turns out I don’t actually need to pack 5 pairs of shoes 😊. 

When travel was restricted and we were homebound, breaking out the bulkier props wasn’t a big deal, but the mat is also a life saver for my home barre practice.  I started practicing barre about 5 years ago to help with my hyper-mobility.  Trying to build strength to stabilize my flexibility.

I use the small cushioned mat for my feet in relevé, under my lower back for ab work, folded up between my legs for inner thigh work, and also under my knees for kneeling quad workouts – its uses are really endless! 

This little mat is the one constant prop I pull out every time I do yoga or barre, even my rescue pups love it! (pictured above) 😉🐾

How has your practice adapted at-home, during travel restrictions, or when you’re on-the-go? We would love to know - please share your comments on our FB page (here)


Yoga Knee Mat, Yoga Prop