Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Ayurveda Helps With Staying Grounded During Travel

Travel brings a change in routine.  Sometimes people travel for business and other times for leisure, but either way the change of our daily chores and surroundings adds a sense of freshness to life.

Movement, creativity and inspiration are some of the characteristics of the body type (dosha) of vata.  Vata on a physical level governs all the movement in the body. For example, it is responsible for movement of the muscles, elimination, respiration, and heart rate.  These essential functions have a natural, regular cycle.  Vata also is related to the flow of thoughts and emotions.

The excess movement created by traveling in long car rides, trains or airplanes can cause an imbalance of vata. The disruption of these body cycles can cause stress in the body and may result in discomfort or illness.  This is why many people feel spacey or out of it after a day of travel, especially vata types.  Sometimes more concrete imbalances happen, like anxiety, irregular digestion, constipation, and difficulty sleeping.

Stopping travel and movement isn’t the answer. Rather, one must know how to stay grounded by keeping vata in balance when traveling. Making some simple preparations prior to travel will help one's body and mind function smoothly.

Hydration is very important.  Make sure to drink warm herbal teas or water and lemon.  Vata likes warmth so the warm beverage temperature is preferable.  Hydration also means taking care of your skin with natural moisturizers like sesame or coconut oil, especially in the form of self massage (abhyanga). Next, honor the time change of your destination. Go to bed and wake up at the hours of your destination. Use sunlight to reset your body’s rhythms by rising early and taking a walk or bike ride in the early morning, rising sun. Meditation is another tool to use to maintain balance. Bring a soft and warm sweater for traveling because you have no control over the temperature.  Vata is extremely sensitive to cold.  Also, traveling can interfere with digestion, so try to eat less on the days of physical travel (like in an airplane, train or car).

Taking care of our body when traveling allows us to experience the freshness and rejuvenation of travel without becoming imbalanced. Bon Voyage!

Stay healthy & well,

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