Ayurvedic Clinician and Educator and Founder of Belly Mind Institute in Silverlake, California.
Summer is coming, and most of us will take at least a short trip to celebrate the returning of the sun. Travel, while exciting, shifts our routine, and it can be destabilizing and increase our vata (the force of movement). Have fun and create daily rituals that will give you stability, grounding, and routine while you travel.
1. Get a massage. Before you drive or fly, indulge in a long oil massage, or abhyanga, and let the oil soak in for at least 20 –30 minutes.
2. Make sure to lubricate your body. Think ears, nose, lips, belly button, and top of head. Oil is heavy and moist. It pacifies the nervous system and guards against the dryness of air travel.
3. Make sure to take a two-ounce bottle of oil in your carry-on bag. Once the plane has taken off, oil your feet and wear socks. During a long flight re-apply oil to face, ears, nose, top of head, and feet.
4. Sleep. Take an eye mask, ear plugs, essential oils, and whatever you need to be able to relax and rest.
5. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Hydration helps considerably with swelling, dry skin, and brain fog.
6. Try to eat only warm food. Warm food is great for grounding. Try soup or root vegetables and warming spices to help stabilize your body.
7. Your thermos is your best friend. I usually bring some fresh shredded ginger in a bag. Place the ginger in the thermos, give it to the flight attendant to fill with hot water, and sip it throughout the flight. Ginger tea is warming and improves peripheral circulation.
8. Make sure you stretch. I go to the back of the plane and do my stretches a couple of times during a trip. If you’re traveling by car, pull over every hour for a couple minutes somewhere in nature, and practice a few minutes of yoga to keep you fresh.
9. When you arrive at your destination, stick to the local time. In the evening before bed, do a long abhyanga and take one teaspoon of triphala with warm water. The abhyanga will ground you, and the triphala will ensure regular bowel movements.