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How is it that summer travels can make us feel so good (Relaxing! Exploring! Indulging!) and at the same time so bad (Stress! Digestive Issues! Discombobulation!)?
Traveling used to leave me with digestive upset, insomnia, and at least a week of realigning when I returned home.
But not anymore.
Since I began to put into practice the life-changing wisdom of Ayurveda, I return home from my vacations refreshed, energized, and ready to jump back into my life.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, the key to having an enjoyable experience before, during, and after travel is keeping vata dosha grounded. Here are the Ayurvedic strategies I use to keep myself grounded on vacation:
Vata dosha represents the elements of Ether and Air and is characterized by the qualities of light, mobile, and spacey. Nothing increases these qualities more than hurtling through space in a plane, train or automobile.
The best way to mitigate these effects is by keeping a routine. A couple of examples are keeping a consistent waking time and bedtime, and eating 3 meals per day at around the same time. This type of consistency is comforting and regulating to your nervous system.
You have probably experienced that traveling is dehydrating. Indeed, dryness is another quality of vata. Being mindful to drink extra water will help you stay grounded. Room temperature or warm water with a squeeze of lemon is even more grounding, so you may consider skipping cold and icy drinks.
Massaging the body from head-to-toe with oil before showering is a classic grounding technique of Ayurveda. It’s also an act of self-love that feels so luxurious! If you’re traveling to a cold destination, you may use sesame oil to warm your body. If you’re traveling to a warm destination, coconut oil will be cooling.
4. Digestive Support
Preparing for a trip, with all its rushing around and tying up loose ends can be very stressful. In Ayurveda we use nutrition to help balance us during stressful times. The quintessential Ayurvedic dish to restore balance is kitchari. It is deeply grounding, satisfying, and easy to digest. Try this kitchari recipe!
Also drinking a cup of CCF (coriander, cumin, fennel) tea, Ayurveds’s classic formula for acute symptoms of gas and bloating is a lifesaver. I never leave home without it!
Ayurveda offers practical solutions to everyday living and promotes balance, awareness and true wellness. With some conscious preparation and a few common kitchen ingredients, your next trip can be all that you dream it would be! Bon Voyage!
If you liked Lisa's Ayurvedic tips for travel, check out her website, The Beauty of Ayurveda, to learn more about how Ayurveda can help balance your health.