Ayurvedic Travel Tips
Summer is now in full swing, and so are most of our travel plans. Whether its business travel, family or leisure, it can be stressful preparing for our trips and shifting our normal routine. All of this chaos can imbalance the vata. My business is travel. I love what I do but in the past I would find myself stressing over preparations for the kids, the dog and even the husband. It is hard creating that work life balance. Once I arrived at my destination I’d feel sluggish, jet lagged, and dry (dehydrated). I love to travel but the process of getting to my location was draining and sometimes painful. I changed my travel approach and adopted Ayurveda techniques for stability and grounding. I only wish I’d discovered this magic sooner. I PROMISE these tips can be used daily to help eliminate stress and provide you with #selfcare even if you are only traveling up the highway to work. That traffic can be extremely stressful! So here are my Ayurvedic travel tips that will help save your life (literally):
What is Ayurveda
Ayurveda is a natural and holistic approach to medicine. I’m not a doctor nor have I ever played one on TV. I simply studied and followed advice from the expert gurus in the Ayurvedic field. Honestly, I’m still trying to pronounce the word properly. Ayurveda is a natural cure for just about everything that has your body out whack. Ok that’s an exaggeration but it was a great reset for my mind, body and soul. It lowers blood pressure, promotes digestion, alleviates arthritis, wrings out toxins, removes cellulite, relieves anxiety and the list goes on. There is so much noise and pollutants in the world. I think its important for all of us to take the time to meditate and practice self love. Here are a few ayurvedic adjustments I made and it totally eased my travel transport pains.
Water, Water, Water! Stay hydrated
Drink plenty of water before and during your travels. This will help with brain fog, dry/itchy skin, and swelling. Keep a permanent water bottle on your desk at work and separate one for the gym and traveling. This way water is always at a hands reach.
Get that massage
Make the time to get an long oil massage before you travel. If money is an issue massage schools provide this service for free. Recruit a friend, child, loved one, or your self (abhyanga). After the massage let the oils soak into your body for at least 20 minutes.
One ayurvedic technique I tried and hated was the ear candle massage.
I’m unapologetically honest. This scared the *poop* out of me. I can never EVER relax with fire next to my extremely flammable hair. It didn’t work out so well for Micheal Jackson and it don’t work for me either. If you are brave and still want to try ear candling, maybe read this ear candling guide first, or boldly click the picture below to just purchase the ear candles.
Lube your body
Massage your body with abhyanga oil the nightly especially the night before travel. Sesame oil is ideal. Don’t skip your holes: lips, ears, belly button, nose and head. The heavy oil will help protect your nervous system and prevent dryness.
A thermos is your best friend
You can not make it through airline security with liquids in bottles larger than 2oz BUT you can travel with an empty thermos. I travel with my empty thermos and a small ziplock bag with fresh ginger in my carryon purse. Once I’m on the plane I ask the flight attendant to fill up my thermos with hot water. I then add my ginger, let it steep, and voila! Delicious fresh ginger tea. This will keep you hydrated in that dry plane air and ginger eliminates inflammation and nausea. It is also perfect for car travel and camping. Thermos tea was my savior during my overnight mountain hiking journeys.
Allow your body time to rest before you journey. The last thing you want to do is get sick when time to travel so recharge and get those zzz’s. If your brain is on overdrive and you have insomnia try using a natural sedative. The best thing about using herbs is that there are no side effects, unless you are allergic. Tagara is an herb that is great for relaxing the nerves.
Make Jet Lag Tea
Believe it or not there is a proven science to beating jet lag. During my undergraduate days I studied abroad in Peru and there were a lot of native plants that locals drank as tea. These teas not only relieved my jet lag but also helped me acclimate to those high mountain altitudes in the Amazon rainforest. My favorites were yerba de mate and the controversial hoja de coca. Since then I have whole heartedly believed in the ‘power of tea‘. All pharmaceutical medicines are a processed version of plants. So why not take it in its natural plant form as tea and skip all the nasty side effects of medicine. Click on the picture below to order your bag of stress relief tea or make your own homemade tea with our recipe below.
Jet Lag Tea Recipe
1/3 teaspoon each of ayurvedic herbs: jatamansi, tagara, and ashwagandha. Add to a cup of hot water and steep for 10 minutes. Take this herbal drink for 1 to 3 days, both morning and night, to reduce both vata and jet lag.
Travel with oil
Keep a small 2oz travel bottle of oil in you purse or carryon bag. Its small enough to pass airline security and you will need to fight that extra dry air on the airplane.
Warm food only
Avoid cold salads and dry foods such as chips. Your best options are grounding foods such as soups, garlic steamed veggies, root vegetables, fish, and chicken. Make sure everything you consume the day before and while traveling is warm and moist. Check out these delicious grounding recipes.
Stick to local time
Do not try to stay on your same time zone schedule. Sleep and eat with time zone you have traveled to. Even if you are wide awake or tired. Go with the flow of the local time zone activities. Give your self an abhyanga and drink some triphala in warm water. This will help regulate your bowel movements and energy. Warning: the flavor of this triphala will change dependent upon the nutrients your body is seeking. I know that sounds weird but stick with it, the benefits out way the flavor.
On the plane and long car rides. Your body needs to stretch and change positions to help with your blood circulation and blood pressure. Get out of your seat and stretch. Go to the back of the plane or restroom so you can get up and get that blood flowing. Otherwise you will get swollen feet or be stiff and tight. If you are traveling for a long car ride pull over and roll out that yoga mat for a few minutes of stretching.
What I love most about ayurvedic techniques is that it makes me slow down and make sure I’m taking care of myself. Taking care of yourself is not selfish, its self love. Self care is the fuel you need to make you be equipped to share love and cater to everyone else’s needs. A car can not drive without fuel and neither can you. #ProtectYourEnergy