When flying through the air (sometimes literally), one of our most significant challenges is keeping our feet firmly planted on the ground. Fortunately, there are several ayurvedic traveling tips.
The teachings of Ayurveda tell us that the fall season is the time of year characterized by the energy of the Vata dosha or the qualities of air and space elements.
This time of transition – of leaves falling from trees, of increased wind – can be a time of greater expansiveness and simultaneously greater vulnerability.
Travel—even for fun—also increases the energy of the Vata dosha. The Vata dosha is characterized by being light, airy, or dry.
When these qualities are in excess or out of balance, we may experience dehydration, weak digestion, insomnia, and restlessness. Practices to stay balanced at home or while traveling help us manage this energy and maintain our health and strength.
Read more: Health Resolutions for Vata Dosha
Here are four of my favorite tips to stay grounded while on the go:
Drink Hot Cinnamon Water
It’s easy to not drink enough water while traveling. The mini cups the airlines hand out are barely enough to qualify for a sip.
While in the airport, before boarding the plane, one of the first things I do is to get a cup (I bring my mug) of hot water from the nearest coffee shop and add some cinnamon.
It’s a free Ayurvedic drink on the go! Adding spices speeds up the absorption of water by the body. Warm water is more hydrating; this enhances digestion and elimination, two things that suffer during travel (especially during the fall Vata season).
Cinnamon has a warming, grounding properties, stimulating the digestive fire and counter-balancing the cold, dry energy of Vata. All it takes is regular sips of hot cinnamon water to improve hydration on a cellular level.
Pack Your Meals
If you depend on whatever the airport or gas station has available, you may be susceptible to making poor choices based on hunger and desperation.
These simple, nourishing meals, such as a Buddha Bowl, comprise quinoa, roasted veggies, lentils, sweet potato, and a tahini/lemon/garlic sauce.
One-bowl recipes with a variety of veggies and a spiced sauce allow you to incorporate the six tastes of Ayurveda (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, spicy, and astringent) in one meal. This can satisfy and prevent cravings that might lead down the slippery slope to overdoing the airplane snacks.
According to Ayurveda, sesame is one of the most warming and grounding of all oils, making it a perfect antidote for cold, dry Vata energy.
Bring a small (less than four ounces!) container of sesame oil with you wherever you go and massage your hands and feet while on the plane to soothe and calm. Find a private space and a warm fuzzy pair of socks to put on your feet post-massage.
A quick sesame oil self-massage is especially important while flying because your physical body is moving extremely fast—even though you don’t notice it—which can lead to data-related imbalances in the days following your flight.
Once you reach your destination, take the time to oil your entire body head-to-toe and allow the oils to settle into your skin overnight. Our skin absorbs whatever we apply so that the sesame oil will soothe your body from within.
Maintain your Routine
Keeping your home routines and rhythms can be challenging, but performance is essential for well-being on the road, significantly if you are changing time zones.
Maintaining as much of the routine as possible cultivates stability, allowing you to thrive. We naturally become tired when we do things like sleep at a similar hour every night.
The same goes with eating; when we eat a meal at approximately the same time each day, our bodies prepare with adequate digestive enzymes to break down food.
When we travel, this home rhythm may go out the window. Try syncing yourself with the rhythm of the sun as soon as you can. Our bodies are constantly picking up on the Earth’s natural clock through receptors in our eyes.
If you find yourself in a new part of the world, try to acclimate to your destination’s circadian rhythm as soon as possible in every way; your body will quickly adjust to the cycle and know when it’s time to eat and sleep, giving you the best quality of both.
Using these Ayurvedic traveling tips can help us maintain a healthy and joyous routine on the road or the go.
Want to learn more about Ayurveda? Watch this video on What Is Ayurveda? With Sahara Rose