Traveling is one of the most empowering experiences. It not only allows us to connect with different people and cultures but it also gives us an opportunity to take a break from our daily routines and inspire a new sense of self. I love traveling for these reasons and I feel so blessed to have the opportunities to continue to explore.
With all of these great opportunities to travel, whether it is for work or vacation, how do we stay healthy while doing it? How can we maintain our healthy routines while “being on the road” for multiple days, weeks or even months at a time? We can’t be perfect and keep to the same schedule as we do when we are home, especially with the various time differences, climate changes and foods that may or may not be available to us. It is for these reasons that maintaining good health is even more vital while traveling. Ayurveda offers us a great way to help us stay grounded and nourished by using very simple, yet highly effective tools that are so universal you can “travel” anywhere with them. Below are some of my personal go-to practices that I use every time I pack up the car for a road trip or board a flight. They not only help keep my immune system healthy, but also allow me to maintain my routines.
1. Take care of your immune system!
Pack your own personal “first aid kit” to help you anytime you are feeling low energy or funky while traveling. You can see an example of my “first aid kit” below:
- 2 packs Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C. (these are fat soluble Vitamin C)
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Lavender sanitizer spray from EO
- Small glass jar of cardamom pods (for digestion + the lungs)
- Organic chamomile tea bags
- Mini bottle of KORA Organics Noni Glow Face Oil
- Mini bottle of hand lotion
You can certainly mimic my first aid kit, add to it or create one that you love and takes care of your travel needs.
2. Keep your nose moisturized
Apply a little KORA Organics Noni Glow Face Oil (or any oil you like) to the insides of your nostrils. This will help prevent bacteria from getting stuck inside the nasal cavity and keep the nostrils moisturized.
3. Keep your meditation and yoga practices going
Even if you need to cut the times down, practicing meditation while traveling is highly effective. This will give you a sense of grounding and connection with yourself. I will quietly meditate on the plane, in the car or where ever I have the opportunity and space to do so. Add a few yoga postures such as cat cow, spinal flex, stretching and you are good to go. If I am staying at a friends home that is not so spacious or at a hotel, I may even take a clean towel or blanket, place it on the floor of the bathroom, or in a spacious walk-in closet and do my practices (wherever I can find room and privacy). There are so many options, you don’t have to let the “space” prevent you from keeping up.
4. Stay hydrated!
Traveling (especially on airplanes) is very dehydrating and this is where most people experience fatigue, stomach issues and even allergies. Bring your own water bottle so you do not have to buy or use up plastic bottles and keep on drinking!
5. Avoid junky breakfast foods at the airport
I find that lunch and dinner options at airports are more varied. However, breakfast choices can be usually full of sugar or loaded with unhealthy fats and starches.
Below are some healthy breakfast and general foods ideas that travel well:
- Organic instant oatmeal packets. Just get a cup of steaming hot water from any coffee place, add your oatmeal, let it sit for a few minutes and there you go! Add some bananas, nuts and a little cinnamon if you can find it.
- Fresh fruits such as bananas and apples are great travellers for snacks and also added to oat meal.
- Raw nuts such as cashews and almonds. Make a mixture!
- Ojas balls travel easily and are full of protein. See recipe here: http://www.harisimranayurveda.com/recipes.html
- I love bringing avocados as they are easy to travel with and come in their own container. Try and find mini or very small avocados for this purpose. You can add them to any foods you may buy at the airport or try bringing some organic hummus and a few tortillas to create a quick and easy wrap. Note: To open the avocado simply get a plastic knife from a nearby cafe or store. To be more earth friendly, you can also buy a bamboo cutlery set to travel with.
6. Music is a must!
Load up your phone with mantras that give you a sense of ease and joy as well as music that inspires you. You never know when you’ll need a special moment to close off that outside noise and go within. Many of us can get anxious while traveling. Music, especially mantras, can help tremendously with reducing stress and anxiety.
Below are a few mantras I recommend for all travellers to chant and listen to:
- Aad Gurey Nameh: This mantra is to help invoke protection.
- Music by: Snatam Kaur and Simrit Kaur
- Guru Ram Das: This is a mantra for healing and miracles.
- Music By: Amrit Kirtan and Singh Kaur
You can find all these artists on iTunes and Spotify or wherever you get your music.
As you listen to these mantras, close your eyes and slow your breath way down. Breathe deeply from the root of your belly in and out thorough your nose. Do this as long as you like.
Wherever life takes you, remember that traveling gives us opportunities for growth and knowledge. Keep your sense of adventure alive, stay healthy and have fun traveling this holiday season!
“Travel light, spread the light, be the light.”-Yogi Bhajan
Hari Simran Khalsa was born into a family of Kundalini Yogis and has been a student of Yogi Bhajan’s since her early childhood. She has been teaching and practicing Kundalini Yoga and Ayurvedic medicine for over 10 years. Hari’s work incorporates the principles of these powerful, ancient sciences to heal modern health and life issues. Using Ayurvedic medicine and Kundalini Yoga as tools to support self-healing and happiness, Hari believes all people no matter what stage of life they are in can feel their very best both inside and out. She is currently an Ayurvedic health practitioner, healer and Kundalini yoga teacher living and practicing in Los Angeles, CA.