In the world we live in, people are always on the go. As a creative type, your book/art/music can take you to different parts of the world for extended periods of time. As an entrepreneur, the need for learning, meetings, networking, and lead following can surface at unexpected moments. And you have to grab it with all earnestness.
A few years ago, I started to recognize that I don’t sleep well in new spaces and places. Travel stimulates me, and my brain doesn’t know how to shut down. If I eat the wrong foods or drink an extra glass of wine, it makes me annoyingly alert. My internal circadian rhythm goes for a toss.
As a result of all of the above, I become emotional, hyper sensitive to sound, and sleep-deprived.
Why Does This Happen?
Ayurveda says that our Vata dosha can go into imbalance when we travel. According to Maharishi Ayurveda and Kellen Brugman,
“Made up of the air and space elements, Vata governs all movement in the body. It’s responsible for movement of the muscles, respiration, heart rate, and the flow of thoughts and emotions. These functions have a natural, regular cycle. So, excess movement such as long car rides and airplane travel can upset these functions, causing stress.”
However, life goes on and plans emerge, so we need to find ways to cope. As Audre Lorde once said: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
Ayurveda has taught both the creative type and entrepreneur in me how to honor my dreams without compromising on my wellness. Here are a few Ayurvedic tips to stay healthy that have helped me with my travels, and hopefully they can help you as well.
1. Drink Hot Water
It’s readily available everywhere and helps maintain the health of the digestive system. Vata imbalance can lead to digestive issues like bloating, constipation, and irregular bowel movements. Hot water prevents it.
2. Practice Mindful Eating
Despite all the party invites and dinner treats, I always make sure that I have a few simple, warm, and grounding meals in a loving environment. Emotions affect our food intake as well as digestion.
3. Get Some Alone Time
While it’s beautiful to be surrounded by loved ones, it’s equally important to spend quiet time alone to reflect, introspect, and grow. Even if it's just for 30 minutes a day, I make time for myself — no agenda, commitments, technology or community. Find quiet moments reading a book or staring into space or strolling through parks or beaches.
4. Celebrate a Wellness Hour
Love drinking during happy hour? Then you should also have and celebrate a wellness hour. What does that mean?
If my travels include spending time with family or friends, I carry my homemade massage oils and herbal cleansers. On some evenings, instead of opening a bottle of wine or going to another restaurant, I give marma massage to loved ones. We still have fun but people are relaxed, not hyper, at the end of the evening.
5. Practice Alternate Nostril Breathing
Every night, before going to bed, I do a few rounds of this beautiful breathing technique that helps keep the mind calm by balancing the right and left hemispheres.
6. Take Triphala
It’s an Ayurvedic herb that presents several heath benefits, including but not limited to digestive health. Dr. Vasant Lad of The Ayurvedic Institute is the reason I started taking Triphala—he recommended it at one of his workshops and I can’t be more grateful.
Thanks to Ayurveda, I now have a mindful living practice that allows me to nurture myself better whether I am in trains, planes, or automobiles. When my health is okay, my productivity gets elevated because creativity and wellness belong together.