Happy Holiday Travel Tips from Ayurveda


The ancient wisdoms of Ayurveda are still relevant in modern life in so many ways…

Especially when it comes to managing stress. Most other modalities talk about stress as general ailment to be treated, but read below to find a fresh outlook – in ayurveda, stress is a symptom of IMBALANCE, and it’s preventable. If you want to have a stress-free holiday (yes, even if you’re traveling with kids!) look no further.

Maintain physical, mental and emotional equilibrium through holiday travel and hectic times with these ayurvedic tips:

  1. The Week Before Travel – Screen shot 2015-12-09 at 9.44.23 AM

    Vata Dosha is the focus here. Being the easiest to swing out of balance (or back into balance) and considered the Queen of the Doshas, Vata has the power to make or break your intentions of peaceful exchanges with the in-laws.

    • Be meticulous about adhering to routines for meals and sleep (following the ayurvedic clock for total extra credit)
    • Get your itinerary organized and double check it with your spouse or whomever you’re traveling with. Expectations and miscommunications can happen so easily! Get your ducks in a row, as my Dad would say.
    • Consume less alcohol, sugar, and coffee than usual. You’ll want them to be potent when your sister’s kids are around! Just kiddding – a small detox will benefit you in many ways to withstand stress, time pressure, multiple demands and unpredictability.
      • Ama is indicated by a white coating on the tongue, among other things, and is the indication of toxins in the digestive tract. Watch your tongue, and use a tongue scraper to remove Ama each day upon waking.
    • Begin an Abhyanga routine. If you don’t already do this, start now! Its a very pleasing ayurvedic self-massage, with warm herbed oils and aromatherapy. Abhyanga can go a long way toward soothing the entire nervous system and emotions.
      • This powerful tool, before or after a shower, has healing qualities: increased circulation, stimulation of nerve endings, and removal of toxins from the body. After the oil is applied, it’s best to wait 10-15 minutes for it to penetrate. If you don’t have this much time, it’s OK to jump into the shower. We can keep our bodies flexible and supple, and maintain our energy levels to prepare for travel, with this daily practice.

  2. During Travel – Screen shot 2015-12-09 at 9.45.34 AM

    • Eat Vata and Pitta pacifying foods. Steer clear of extremely sour foods such as pickles and vinegar, and very spicy foods with cayenne or hot chili peppers, which can aggravate both Vata and Pitta. Consume plenty of sweet juicy fruits, warm milk with ghee & cardamom, and light proteins such as mung beans. Our body loves a routine.
      • Eat meals at about the same time each day, with lunch being around noon and dinner about three hours before bed.
      • Stay hydrated. Travel, especially on planes, can tend to dehydrate us. When our body is dehydrated, it works much less efficiently. So drink lots of warm or room-temperature water.
    • Eat well-cooked, freshly-prepared foods. According to ayurveda, the bioavailability of cooked foods is greater than that of harder-to-digest raw foods. One exception to this is fresh fruit. Avoid “junk” foods or heavy, hard-to-digest foods when possible.
      • Often the food we find while on the road or in busy airports is anything but healthy. So, eating clean while traveling may take some planning ahead. Pack fresh fruits such as figs, oranges, cherries, or raisins for a quick, healthy travel snack.
    • Aromatherapy to the rescue! Pleasant scents, especially the pure essential oil of plants, can really change your experience of a crowded airplane, for example. While traveling, carry a handkerchief, cotton ball, or tissue soaked with a drop or two of dosha balancing essential oil, such as Rose Geranium for Vata, Ylang Ylang for Pitta, and Peppermint for Kapha.

  3. After Traveling – Screen shot 2015-12-09 at 9.45.54 AM

    • Hydrate. Tired of hearing that yet? Drink warm water and herbal teas to get your fluids back up after a day in the air or on the road, and also prepare your digestive tract for success by skipping the ice and adding a lemon slice.
    • Continue Abhyanga Practice. You deserve it. Enjoy the process, know you are doing something loving and beneficial for yourself, and own it. Intention matters so be present and treat this like a meditation. Think of your femur lovingly, your belly needs extra attention, even your scalp!
    • Catch up on REST. Just as pro athletes make time for rest days, so should you. Make sure that you don’t end up back at work, exhausted, needing a vacation after your vacation. Make time for at least a day of nothing, maybe even some self care, after your return. This will prevent the slingshot effect, when your body completely shuts down and TAKES it’s rest without your consent!
Disclaimer: The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing

Stay tuned for future Ayurveda Wisdom (most) Wednesdays.

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Yoga&Ayurveda fertilitySarah is a Yoga + Ayurveda Specialist who is passionate about seeing the ‘matrix’ of Ayurvedic wisdom all around us. She teaches classes & workshops around the US, and lives near Bellingham, Washington (a much delicious ecosystem for her constitution!)

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