Thursday, September 14, 2017

THE GUIDE: HOME AWAY FROM HOME

T H E   G U I D E  |  H O M E   A W A Y   F R O M   H O M E
A  guide on finding ground & a sense of home amidst travels . . .

As I packed my trusty bag many more times than my creature of habit self is comfortable with the past month, I reflected on my past packing habits. I used to be a chronic over-packer, plopping my butt over stuffed clothes. After the lightbulb incorporation of picking outfits first then packing them, the next move of simplification came to me with this travel tote of mine. Compartmentalisation is key to intelligent and efficient packing—which this bag is the queen of with zippers & pockets abound—because it allows for physical then emotional space. When tangible things are organised, we can allow for space to feel the emotions that might come up for us when travelling away from home. 

Below is a guide on other tangible and non-tangible things to tuck away for sane travels . . . 


Magnesium
Travel often disrupts the road tripper's digestive and sleep cycles. The solution that kills two birds with one stone is magnesium, which relaxes the musculoskeletal and digestive systems. Take caution though: as calcium + magnesium function together, they must be supplemented together to avoid deficiency or overload of the other. If you are experiencing any magnesium deficiency symptoms, have recently traveled, or are taking  calcium supplements, you might want to look into supplementing with  Natural Calm or  Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil Spray, both of which I love before bedtime . . .

Another easy option is increasing your intake of magnesium-rich foods. Snacks squeeze extra minerals in well and anything with sesame seeds, such as  Go Raw's super chips, is a potent option. Reminiscent of the susam helvas or pastelis that I used to nosh on as a child by the Turkish seashores with the seaweed incorporation . . . but devoid of strength-sapping sugars. My ultimate snack! This little concoction is sprouted for bio-available nourishment, married with digestion-soothing and blood-building dates, and is a good source of protein. Those with the Ayurvedic Medicine constitution of Vata dosha would especially benefit from this snack as the earthy sesame seeds and sweetness of dates will ground their flighty, scattered energies that are already afloat. You can get it for the über-discounted price at Thrive Market with an additional 15% off your first order  here. 


Abhyanga
Abhyanga is a traditional Ayurvedic medicine practice that dates thousands of years & is touted to combat dry skin, regulate the sleep cycle, increase circulation, & promote lymph drainage and circulation. Simply pick the oil that is appropriate for your constitution or  doshasesame for vata,  sunflower for pitta, and  coconut oil for kapha—gently warm it up, and massage it in upward strokes. I normally use sesame seed oil to reground my energy or reach for Jiva Apoha's  Amma after my travels to recirculate stagnant energy.  Here is a wonderful instructional video from the Ayurvedic leader Banyan Botanicals. Ayurvedically speaking, this is also a balancing activity for  not only physical transitions but that of the seasons.

"Your vital issues are created from nature's seasonal rhythms & provisions. By imbibing nature's foods, you are able to transport nature's essential nutrients to your cells, thus your mood, memory and overall health are directly affected by the biorhythms held within the tissues of your body. This is why we must remain attentive to the cyclical changes of our inner rhythms during each season and its transition into another” — Bri Maya Tiwari



Nasya Oil
Lubrication  of the nasal passages not only prevents germs from entering into our system through the sinuses but it also calms the mind, which can be erratic when we are away from the routine comforts of home. You can learn more about this Ayurvedic practice over at the incredible Claire Ragozzino's Vidya Living  shop section.



Natural Fibers
Just say no in general to synthetic fibres such as polyester, but even more so after travelling. Our bodies are often bothered with dryness or bloating after travelling and the accompanying pressure changes as well as seasonal transitions. Synthetic fibres not only prevent proper circulation but can also irritate the skin. Opt for natural fibres such as cotton, silk, and linen instead. Travel with a cashmere, wool, flannel, or a heavy cotton sweater to bring a sense of koselig or sense of cosiness reminiscent of what your home elicits for you. 



Crystals
Any crystal will be beneficial in balancing out & moving stuck anxious energy, but there are a few that are more potent than others. Hematite is considered to be the ultimate grounding crystal—it's so strong that you feel a magnetic drawing of energy when holding it. It also eliminates negative energy and renews the energy field around the holder in protection. Smoky quartz is another option for those looking for a lighter stone in its energetic quality and a sense of calm centeredness rather than a jolt of energy.



Medicinal Mushrooms
 Medicinal mushrooms such as chaga, cordyceps, and reishi amongst many others allow our bodies to adapt to daily stressors in life, including that induced by our travels. Their  Instant Cordyceps blended with rose hips & ginseng provides both the energy and immune boost that our bodies are depleted of upon our arrival back home. For a cosy and indulgent option, try their  XOCO hot cacao mix. Alternatively, you can also blend your own calming tonic by blending half cup each of coconut milk and water; a teaspoon of rose petals for cooling the mind overheated by anxiety; half a teaspoon of reishi; a 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom for a grounding earthy aroma; and a dash of pink salt. You may add stevia to taste.



Visualisation
 Most often, when we're tired, we visualise our bodies as tired as well. We drag it and its energy around. A visualisation meditation allows for re-grounding, recharging, and a shifting of our perspective of the impact external factors, such as travelling, have on our bodies. In this meditation, you may take as long as you'd like, whether that means three minutes or ten minutes for you. Sit with your feet gently touching the ground. It's preferable if you can sit outside with your feet on grass, allowing you to feel the magnetic energies of the Earth. Close your eyes and visualise roots growing out of you, sprouting from the top of your head and reaching out into Mother Earth below you. Deepen this vision as you begin to become more aware of your breath. Breathe out any negative conception of your body that has taken you wherever you've been and back home. Feel a sense of rejuvenation through your gratitude for this body. Reroot yourself and bring your energy back up from the ground as you imagine a healing green light enveloping your entire body . . .