Beat Vata Season Travel Anxiety with Ayurveda
As the cold sweeps in to take its turn in our lives once again, a new season of travel presents itself. Where we once camped, we can now ski. We all look forward to enjoying some time away from our normal lives, no matter the cost to our healthy routines! The problem is, we might plan an exciting getaway, but we can’t get away from ourselves. No matter how fast we travel, our bodies and minds come right along with us.
And we all know how difficult it is to enjoy a trip when we are stressed and not feeling well. Luckily, Ayurveda can help us to stay mentally and physically primed to meet the myriad of stressful situations and opportunities for illness travel inevitably throws at us.
Vata Season and Balance
Vata season , with its cool, airy and unstable qualities, exacerbates many of the components of travel. Airplanes are cold and unpredictable, delivering our bodies to places often in a different time zone creating more instability. If your Ayurvedic body type, or dosha, is Vata (Don’t know yet? Take the short test), it’s even more important to balance the Vata elements with warmth and tranquility so that the stress of travel doesn’t get the better of you.
There are many ways we can add warmth, tranquility and even stability to our crazy travel schedules. It just takes a little planning.
- Cleaning – If you’re like me, I like to feel like I’m not the millionth person to touch everything in my hotel room. You can do a quick wipe-down of high-trafficked doorknobs and sink handles while pacifying Vata at the same time with these recipes for essential oil cleaning.
- Chromotherapy – What you surround your body with has a profound effect on your mood and health! You need a backup plan when your snoring neighbor’s elbow drifts into your limited airplane seat space. Be sure to choose colors opposing Vata that create a sense of warmth and calm. Yellow, orange, gold and deep purple sweaters and scarves are great options to keep your body and mind warm.
- Food – As much as possible, continue your healthy, seasonal diet while traveling. The less disturbance, especially during the erratic Vata season, the more support you are offering yourself. Choose Vata pacifying foods: cooked food over raw , warming and moist over dry (soups, Buddha Bowls, stir fry), and drink warm water and hot teas.
- Music – Our minds and bodies are built on our five senses! We can’t forget sound when incorporating Ayurvedic wisdom into our travel plan. Raga Madhuvanti is known for its ability to decrease Vata. A long flight is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of this ancient calming music.
- Exercise – You didn’t think we were just going to cozy up near the fireplace with a cup of chai watching the snow fall, did ya? But that sounds great after we do a little Vata balancing movement pre and post flight! Since Vata is light and rough, our exercise should be the opposite. Simply walking is a grounding exercise, and can create a sense of calm, especially if we can do it in nature.
- Pranayama – Before a long trip, or even overwhelmed in our office, try Pranayama, or Ayurvedic breathing techniques. Nadi Shodhana, opposite nostril breathing, is the best approach to balancing Vata.
Despite all the pains of travel, the benefits far outweigh the trouble. The great news is that by educating ourselves on how we can balance potential anxiety through color therapy, eating the right foods, treating our senses to calming music, grounding our bodies through movement and incorporating ancient breathing techniques into our daily routine, we can make travel almost as rewarding as coming home to our own beds after a long time away. Perhaps even just as rewarding when we have a supply of Vata balancing Dosha Pops to indulge our sweet tooth during a long flight!