Yoga anywhere can be a powerful tool for exercise, relaxation, and spiritual meditation. However, yoga holidays in a beautiful location like so many around Spain can be particularly impactful. The chance to get away from home, spend time at a beautiful destination, and focus solely on yoga and wellness is something that can’t be replicated. However, we could be getting closer to trying.
This is because virtual reality is becoming a more regular part of our everyday lives – slowly but surely. A mere concept several years ago and a high-end form of entertainment just two years ago, virtual reality is now moving rapidly toward becoming mainstream. Headsets, at least at the lower end, are affordable, and digital developers are coming out with all sorts of fascinating and enjoyable experiences using VR.
But what does this have to do with yoga? Not a whole lot, at least directly. However, as virtual reality expands as its own category in the tech industry, we are beginning to see new types of experiences that it can bring to life. And, more and more, those experiences are approximating real life.
Augmented reality has actually made this clearest. AR is a newer phenomenon that has come about via popular mobile devices. It requires only the device to work, and it works such that when you look at your phone screen, you can see the area it’s pointing at – complete with some digital fabrications. For instance, you might imagine a Super Mario game in which you look through your phone to your living room, only Mario is jumping around on your coffee table.
One of the first apps to emerge via this technology was a program called AR Runner, which has been described as Pokémon Go, “but instead of Pokémon Go, physical fitness.” The app shows the area ahead of you, but causes digital checkpoints to appear, challenging users to run through them in faster and faster times. It may not be the most practical way to exercise – but it’s one of our first examples of a mixed reality technology directly dealing with “real world” fitness.
Where virtual reality is concerned we’ve seen less involvement of the real world, as opposed to the building of wholly invented digital environments. And yet one piece speaking to how VR will change the gaming landscape pointed out the potential, posing the question: who knows where else these environments could take you? It suggests underwater, the surface of the moon… so why not foreign countries? An existing focus on creation could quickly become a focus on travel, such that people can “enter” VR and find themselves at a very real location across the world. It’s not quite teleportation, but it’s at least visually close!
And this is how some of those great holiday yoga spots, not just in Spain but all over the planet, could become available to all of us. Of course it won’t be the same. A yoga holiday is about a total experience, and many of us would prefer it the traditional way. But people using VR devices at home could at least simulate portions of these experiences, finding themselves in new places, with professional instructors and beautiful surroundings.
It’s an intriguing idea to say the least. It will by no means replace the need for genuine yoga holidays, but it could make your everyday home yoga practice come closer to those experiences.