Ayurveda Travel Tips

Morning travel days CAN be smooth, even if you are due at your departure airport by 5:00 a.m. Drink plenty of water the 48 hours prior to departure. Traveling in the air is dehydrating, so stick with water once you are at the airport and avoid caffeine and alcohol. Keep greased, processed foods to a minimum as they are salty and make sitting all day very uncomfortable for yourself or even for those around you!  It’s tempting to make travel day comfortable with a Cinnabon and Sbarro’s pizza but stick with a homemade snack of trail mix (lots of nuts). Offer yourself a special treat; too- Once settled in at my departure terminal, my early morning travel day treat is a medium Starbucks chai latte, two pumps chai and one pump vanilla. It’s not exactly coffee, right?! And the warm milk with spices calms vata, the Dosha of movement- and can therefore can help keep grounded despite flying through the air at about 500 mph!

Tips for the traveling Ayurvedist:

-Keep with your usual routine as much as possible on travel day, including diet and Dinacharya.

-The evening prior to travel, practice sarvangasana (supported shoulder stand). After the relaxed inversion, your brain and feet will experience fresh blood’s flow and help prevent swollen soles during the long travel day ahead. Do this asana to promote a restful night’s sleep, too.

-Keep your nasya oil with you. Nasya oil is a natural nutritive oil used to moisten the nasal passage after using a neti pot or otherwise. Using this nasal oil every couple hours will keep nasal moist and deter vata from accumulating.

– When restlessness sets in, sit tall yet relaxed in your seat assignment. Close your eyes and allow your chin to gradually rest toward the sternum. Take five deep breaths and while doing so relax the abdominals completely. Feel the air moving your stomach slightly with the inhales and exhales. Turn your attention to your sitting bones and imagine the center of your pelvis hovering barely above the earth as the sitting bones anchor into the earth. Continue the relaxed breath and grounded imagery through the hips.

-Settle into once you arrive at your destination.  Take time to unpack and also to sit quietly in a position allowing your sitting bones to rest on the earth, pillow, blanket or yoga mat. As you sit in a meditative stance, relax your brain and tune into the sensation of being rooted into the earth, securing your place in the world no matter where you go!

We should embrace the ability to discover and explore through travel, of course. As we “Go, Go, Go” in life, Ayurveda dinacharya (daily self-care) promotes a sense of grounded, rooted expressions of our true self to be portrayed every day, regardless of traveling to school or work or entering days of unfamiliar settings and people.