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Traveling This Holiday Season? Don't Forget Your Dosha!

Right before writing this, CJ and I got on the same "page" in regard to our calendars for the next few months. Between the two of us, days and weeks were blocked out with the following cities and countries: Asheville, Boston, Englewood, FL, Haines City, FL, Sterling, NY, Lake Placid, NY, Louisville, and India.

In addition to our summers, our winters are very much enjoyed on the go. By foot, plane, train, bus, and boat. Sleeping in airports, RVs, hotels, and relative's homes. Thankfully, I'm a darn good traveler. And yet, while I've always loved being an "explorer of the world", I haven't always been so successful with keeping my body, mind, and emotions well-balanced during and after times of travel...especially when that travel involves lots of different personalities, as travel in November & December generally does.

The shift to maintaining great health during holiday travel started gaining traction once I understood how travel affects the doshas (if "dosha" is a new word for you, it has to do with your specific body type, or constitution, according to Ayurveda. If you don't know your Ayurvedic constitution, take a dosha quiz and find out).

My dominate dosha, or body type, is Vata. This makes perfect sense because I love traveling – taking in new landscapes, having new experiences, meeting new people, tasting new foods, etc. This also lines up because transitions can be challenging for me. So while it is my nature to move, it is also true that change throws me out of balance, more so than for those whose dominate dosha is Pitta or Kapha.

Depending on your primary dosha, travel can elicit different responses in you.

  • If you are KAPHA, you may be resistant to change, resistant to the idea of travel, but it would probably be great for you.

  • If you are VATA, you may love the idea of travel because you love change and spontaneity, but travel may also aggravate you.

  • If you are PITTA, you may really love to plan your travel and want to be in control of your travel situation because Pittas like control.

Knowing your dosha, knowing your tendencies, you can create a smoother travel experience for yourself (and those you are traveling with or visiting).

Know your dosha and plan accordingly.

  • VATAS: R&R is the name of the game, and those R's are RYTHM & ROUTINE! Too much spontaneity will disrupt your digestion, sleep, mood, etc. You'll be happiest & healthiest if you stick to your regular morning and evening rituals.

  • PITTAS: Plan your trip, visualize your routine (this is good for everyone) and then practice going with the flow. You can’t control everything when you travel.

  • KAPHAS: Use your routine to energize you and then practice spontaneity.

With Thanksgiving a week away may we acknowledge that a spectrum between stability and spontaneity exists and may we dance where we need to within that spectrum!

A follow up post coming later this week will detail the best rituals & tools for hitting the road this holiday season! Check it out for motivation on staying hydrated, well-nourished, and grounded, as well as tips for supporting your digestion, sleep, immune system, and morning/evening routines.

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