Ayurvedic Travel Tips

You’re about to get on an airplane and land in another time zone.  What do you need to land without becoming an exhausted lunatic, harboring a sickness, and feeling like a dried out prune.

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Airplane Tips (these are also handy car trip tips):
–Buy the overpriced giant bottle of water in the terminal to take on your flight.  Your skin will thank you for it.  Drink it. Stay hydrated. “Won’t I have to pee”…
–Go to the bathroom, often. Maybe it annoys the guy sitting next to you, but it’s not that big of a deal. Don’t hold your bladder; it’s not good for you and while you’re waiting for the loo, stretch (especially the legs and feet).
Stretch.  Did I mention that already?  Stretch.  Keep the blood moving.
Bring your own blanket. I love my wool shawl; it is a perfect airplane ‘blanket’ and a cozy outer layer, especially in rainy cool climes.
–A neck pillow can be useful.
–Don’t drink alcohol on a flight. It’s drying and stressful.

Handy Things to Carry On:
–Cotton balls soaked in oil.  I use nasya oil, but sesame will do. Don’t use coconut oil for traveling, it’s too cold for Vata.  You want to keep things warm and moving.
These cotton balls can be used on your face, ears, and nose. Oiling the nose, especially, helps keep other people’s germs from infecting you.  Oiling the ears (think ear plugs with oily cotton balls) helps mitigate the pressure change stresses on the ears.
Face wipes or cotton balls with witch hazel.  Flying can be grimy.
CHEATER’S TIP: Why cotton balls? They aren’t a bottle of liquid, so they get through security.  If you have space, a dropper bottle of Nasya is ideal.
–I also carry EmergenC or AirBorne and take at the first sign of illness (in me or my seat neighbor).
–My two must have ‘first aids’ are neem oil for cuts, scratches, and open sores and mahanarayan oil for sore legs, joints, and bumps and bruises.

When You Get to your Hotel:
–Open your hotel windows, if you can. Get some fresh air.
–Take your shoes off and stand still as soon as you get into your hotel room.  Stay for five minutes (yogis: think Mountain Pose). Connect your feet to this new location and time zone.
–Go for a walk (outside) as soon as possible.
–Immediately reset your clock, the one on your wrist and the one that rules your eating and sleeping patterns, to the new time zone.
Oil your nose: keep hotel germs away too.
Oil your body (and feet, it’s all about the feet and grounding): airplanes and hotels are super drying.
–Sometimes, I carry Lavender Essential Oil (remember never to ingest essential oils or put undiluted EOs on your skin).  I put a few drops on tissues, or cotton balls, and put under the bed covers and pillows to discourage bugs and encourage a good night’s sleep.  You could also toss some lavender cotton balls in your luggage.

Travel is Vata Deranging:
–Drink a mug of warm water every morning upon waking.  Add a touch of ginger to your water to help stimulate digestion.
–Stretch and walk twice daily, at least.
–You might want an herbal support to keep the bowels moving properly. Vata’s primary seat is in the colon. Travel deranges the movements of Vata (like increases like) and travel is stressful on the nervous system (Vata).
Ideally, if you know digestion is going to be a travel issue, begin herbal management a week before you plan to travel.
Manage Vata: stay warm, nourished, and alleviate dry!!

Happy, Safe Travels!!

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