Some weeks I catch as many as six flights and long distance trains per week for work...
I know, it’s not ideal for the environment, for my health, sanity, nor is it a sustainable way to live. Luckily it doesn't happen as often anymore, and I have time in between traveks to recover.
Sometimes though, we do need to move our bodies. After all that’s what we humans do - we move things. A wise teacher once helped me shine some light on that, and upon reflection I have to agree. We move things to build things, to eat, to thrive, to give and receive, or we move ourselves.
When we travel the Vata dosha, or the wind element and subtle energies in us are affected.
The qualities of Vata are then increased in us, and so our bodies become crispy, dry, light and our mind can get affected by becoming disoriented and distracted.
Both on the outside (our skin gets dry) and on the inside (constipation and internal dryness) is common. This does not only happen when we physically travel.
When we have an overload of impressions, watch a flickering screen for hours at the time or talk excessively, Vata dosha is affected. Put in a simple way, modern life dries us out.
There is hope!
I got back from New York last week, and pleasantly discovered I didn’t have Jetlag this time around. I am so happy to have find ways to take care of my body, and I’m looking forward to sharing my tips with you. With simple measures you’ll recover swiftly and imbalance won’t have time to creep in. This is how I do it:
1. I prepare food. Make sure you pack food for your trip, ideally a warm meal in a thermos. When we travel our digestion is compromised, so make it easy for your body. A kitchadi is a wonderful idea, find the recipe here. If you’re flying make sure you don’t make it too watery. I learned this painful lesson when I once had to throw away my precious food for this reason.
Fresh dates is also one of my go-to take with food, they last long outside of the fridge and makes for a great snack.
2. Prepare your body. What is the opposite of dry? Make sure you lubricate your body and practice abhyanga (self oil massage) before the travel so your skin stays lubricated and protected. Then you will be on the inside too.
3. Adjust to the time zone you’re traveling too the moment you get on the flight. Will you arrive in the evening? Don’t sleep on that flight! Will you arrive in the morning? Do your best to get as much sleep as you possibly can. This really is key. I use an eye mask, and even if I can't always sleep, I rest my eyes and body this way.
4. Upon arrival make sure you have time to practice abhyanga (self oil massage) again. Ideally the same day. This does not only have physical benefits, it’s also a great way to ground and reconnect with yourself in silence. Make space for it.
5. Stay awake. This might sound strange when you’re tired and used to take naps, but the sooner you get back into your rhythm, the better. Go to bed early, ideally before 10 pm instead of sleeping during the day, and enjoy a quiet morning alone if you end up waking up a bit too early.
6. Be gentle with yourself. Sometimes things don’t go our way and life doesn’t happen the way we planned. Let it go. Breathe. Smile at yourself and the part of you who wants to be in charge of everything.
I hope this is helpful for some of you. I would love to hear your comments and requests for future blog posts. I have loads to share and will continue to share what have helped me, hopefully you find something in it too.
If you want to learn how to practice abhyanga, send me a message here and I’ll get in touch with instructions. I also offer online and in person consultations and cooking classes here in Hamburg.
The next Cooking Class takes place this Sunday the 17 December, 15.30-19.30
there is still a few spots left. Book and read more here.
Happy holidays to you all!