‘Tis the season…for stress, numerous social commitments, overindulgence in rich foods, anxiety, travel, and weight gain…among other, more pleasant things, of course. The good news is that Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga has some ideas about how to get through the holiday season gracefully whilst visiting with family and friends.
If you’re traveling a lot you will need to take extra care as travel aggravates vata, the dosha/ consitution responsible for wreaking havoc on our mind, nervous system, and ability to deal with stress. Here are some vata reducing tips to get you to your destination and enjoy your holiday time.
1) Take ginger tea bags with you on flights. Ask for a cup of hot water. Ginger capsules are good too.
2) Eat warm foods and incorporate spices into your meals. Black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, garlic, nutmeg and cardamom help stoke your digestive fire, keeping digestion at an optimal level and melting away excess winter weight.
3) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Caffeine and alcohol make recovery from travel worse and increase insomnia, anxiety, and weight gain. No cold drinks as they will diminish your digestive fire.
4) Apply warm sesame oil to the soles of your feet (and scalp for even greater benefits) when you arrive at your destination. Slip on some old cotton socks and voila, this will settle your nerves, fatigue and stress.
5) Breathe deeply and often. Meditate and be still for at least 5 minutes a day. And, get your body moving. Be sure to exercise daily too: walk in nature, dance in your living room, play with the kids, allow it to be fun and invigorating!
Being mindful of how you are feeling, what you are eating (and how much), and if you are falling into old negative habits with family is the first step to conserving your energy and ensuring this holiday season is filled with magical memories, peace, and joy.