Balanced travels with Ayurveda

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I sometimes take as many as 6 flights and trains a week for work. I know, it’s not ideal for the environment, for my health, sanity, nor is it a sustainable way to live. 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 bigger things, to eat, to thrive, to give and receive, or we move us. 

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 frail, dry, light and sometimes our mind get 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

When I got back from New York in November I pleasantly discovered I didn’t have Jetlag this time around. Lucky to have found ways to balance my body, I’m looking forward to sharing my tips with you! With simple measures, you can 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. Instead, make it thicker, keep it as warm as you can, and then add on hot water on the plane or from a coffee shop.
  2. Prepare your body. What is the opposite of dry? Make sure you lubricate your body and practice abhyanga before the travel so your skin stays lubricated and protected. Then you will be on the inside too. Bring a jar of ghee and add some to your food to stay lubricated on the inside too. 
  3. Adjust to the time zone you’re traveling to the moment you board. 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.
  4. Upon arrival make sure you have time to practice abhyanga 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.

If you want to learn how to practice abhyanga, send me a message here and I’ll get in touch with instructions. You can also book a free 15 min consultation to learn more about how you can find tools to support your overall health. 

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 has helped me, hopefully, you find tools and support though my experiences. 

Lisa Åkesson Stryker