Let’s face it: holiday travel is stressful. The quest to spend time with loved ones and family is fraught with endless lines, stale airplane air, questionable food choices, and a schedule that isn’t entirely your own. All of this and you’re supposed to look and feel good while you’re doing it? It’s a lot to be sure.
But, the ancient practices of Ayurveda, a holistic lifestyle approach that seeks to balance the body, mind, and spirit for optimal health, can help with all this. Not only can these ancient principles help you feel better while you’re on the road, but you’ll wind up looking bright-eyed and glowy.
“In Ayurveda, there’s a saying about how everything in nature works together in harmony.”
“In Ayurveda, there’s a saying about how everything in nature works together in harmony: ‘As is the macrocosm, so is the microcosm. As is the great, so is the small,’” says Kimberly Snyder, New York Times best-selling author, certified holistic nutritionist, and certified Ayurvedic practitioner. “True beauty is about balance and letting our natural vitality come through, and your beauty becomes diminished from congestion and toxicity buildup in your digestive system when you eat the wrong foods and inhabit improper sleep and lifestyle routines.” Which pretty much describes holiday travel, amirite?
So, exactly how does one find this look-good, feel-good nirvana state while traversing the land in search of hugs and pumpkin pie? Let’s talk about how to get some of that inside-out beauty magic in your life while you’re on the road.
Keep scrolling for Ayurvedic beauty and wellness practices for while you travel.
1. Maintain a morning ritual
Even though it can be hard to keep your own rituals on someone else’s turf, try to maintain some semblance of normalcy, so pack routine-making beauty products to come with you. No matter where Snyder’s world travels take her, she tries to take time out for her morning pause, which includes hot water with lemon (which she stresses is super important for balanced beauty), taking her SBO Probiotics, and oil pulling. “Ayurveda stresses the importance of dinacharya, or daily routine, as an important want to balance the body and mind.”
2. Get in a few downward-facing dogs
The effects of changing environments and time zones can really throw off your system, so get grounded as soon as possible. Snyder travels with a yoga mat and tries to practice asanas in her hotel room. “Yoga is the sister science to Ayurveda, so while traveling, to counteract the wind energy (or Vata) which gets kicked up from traveling, [yoga] can help bring in more of the grounding earth element,” explains
3. Give yourself a massage
Snyder is a big fan of Abyangha, or self-oil massage, as an important part of her Ayurvedic beauty practices, and says this practice is important to detox and soothe the lymphatic and nervous systems, respectively, from travel-related stress. She recommends using sesame oil in the colder months (coconut oil for warmer times and climates,) and to spend a few moments giving yourself a massage with long strokes towards your heart before showering. Once in the shower, stimulate the scalp to promote better hair health, which can be done using herbal oils or nothing at all.
4. Spice things up
Snyder suggests getting as many Ayurvedic spices as possible into your diet to help with digestion, which can become disrupted during your trip. During the cooler months cumin, turmeric, black pepper and ginger are recommended. “Ginger is a great warming spice that works with most people’s constitutions, and is not irritating like onions and garlic. It’s grounding and helps open the ‘strotas’ or channels of the body.”
5. Have a tea (or two)
Snyder says for a healthy, post-travel glow you should focus on warm liquids that are a bit more hydrating. “Drink plenty of warm water and herbal teas on the planes and in restaurants,” she says, “which aid digestion and helps balance Vata imbalance.”
6. Don’t skimp on sleep
One of the most important factors for skin is still rest, which can be hard while you’re on the road, but some studies have linked poor sleep to increased skin aging. Snyder recommends maintaining an evening ritual, removing electrical appliances from where you’ll be sleeping (which includes your phones, sorry), reading books, listening to relaxing music, taking a hot shower, and meditating. Basically, whatever helps you wind down and get good quality sleep.
Once you’re done traveling for the holidays, you can set your sights on some amazing locales. Here’s a quiz to help you find when you should go in 2018 and when all else fails: Bali.