Flying the friendly skies can cause your body to get out of whack. Here are some ancient techniques to help beat the stresses of modern travel.
While travel can be fun and exciting, it can also be stressful if you are heading to a big business meeting or doing a lot of it in a short amount of time. The downside of a lot of travel can be your digestion getting thrown off; bloating from eating out constantly; a travel cold; stuffy nose; headache; and lack of sleep.
My travel health improved significantly once I discovered the ancient sciene of Ayurveda. Ayurveda, a Sanskrit word that translates to “the science of life,” originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and is the oldest continuously practiced health-care system in the world.
Ayurveda believes everything in the universe is connected, and that health is achieved by staying in alignment with the rhythm of the world that surrounds us. For example, Ayurveda looks at everything in nature through the lens of the five elements — ether, air, fire, water, and earth.
The five elements manifest in people through the three doshas — Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The concept of doshas is unique to Ayurveda. In simple terms the doshas are energies that govern the human body. We all have all three doshas in us, but each individual is a unique combination — think of the doshas as our DNA.
According to Ayurveda, travel is all about managing the Vata dosa. Vata is made of the elements of air and ether and is the only dosha that is mobile, so when we are traveling — particularly by plane — our Vata can get out of whack which can lead to stress, anxiety and nervousness, amongst other things.
Below are some of my favorite Vata management travel tips that anyone can incorporate into their travel routines.
- Be Sure to Pack a 3oz Travel Size Oil — Oil is one of the best things for Vata.It is heavy, nourishing and smooth which helps to balance the light, dry and rough qualities of Vata. Every time I get on a plane I ensure I have a 3oz travel bottle of oil — organic almond or avocado are good choices — in my carry-on bag. Before take-off I remove my shoes and oil my feet and put on socks (I have been known to do this in my seat and I swear no one has flinched but you can also go into the bathroom if you don’t believe me) in addition to oiling my forehead and temples. The oil helps to ground you when you are up in the air, providing you with some stability for your journey.
- Drink Warm Liquids — Vata is cold which you need to balance with warmth. It is best to drink warm or room temperature water and to stay away from ice cold beverages.
- Fast If You Can And Avoid Dry, Cold Food — One of my favorite teachers called the airport the Vata-port. He made this reference because pretty much all of the food you find in an airport is Vata aggravating. Some of the qualities of Vata are light, cold, rough, dry, and hard. Now think about what you find in an airport store for snacks — chips, bars, nuts — mostly foods with these qualities. The best thing to do when traveling is to eat before you go and try to fast on the plane. Your digestion will thank you.
- Meditate During Lift Off — Meditation during lift off is a great way to keep your body and mind still to balance the mobility of heading up into the ether. I typically do one of my daily 20 minute meditations or you can try a breathing body meditation and focus on your breath going in and out. Just use the time to be still to help balance and calm your body and mind for a safe journey.
Originally published at www.wellbeings.co on September 20, 2016.
Originally published at medium.com