5 Tips for Blissful Travel

 
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Flying used to give me such anxiety that I dreaded the idea of going to the airport. The ticket booking, the packing, going through security, and boarding the plane was a surefire way to get my cortisol shooting through the roof.

Meditation changed all that. It keeps me calm before, during and after travel, and also helps reduce jet-lag. Now I look forward to flying and find being 40,000 feet in the air surprisingly blissful.

Flying not only affects the mind, but is also tough on the body. The rapid change in elevation, the 500 mph plane speed, the increased solar radiation exposure, the drop in atmospheric cabin pressure, the electro-magnetic frequencies and radiation from the plane technology, and the turbulence (not to mention the dry, cold, recycled cabin air) all combine to make a rather demanding energy suck on the body. This makes it much harder to adapt to change without going into a stress reaction.

To mitigate the negative effects of travel, here are 5 recommended actions that I’ve found to work well for me. I’m on a plane at least once a month and wouldn’t be able to keep up with so much travel without these 5 tips. Try them out, and let me know how it goes for you!

1. Join the Mile-High Meditation Club

Have you meditated on a plane yet? It’s pretty awesome. There’s something quite peaceful about meditating 7 miles up. It’s a total game-changer for those longer flights because it boosts the immune system so you’re less susceptible to catching a cold, and it boosts energy to mitigate post-flight exhaustion and reduce jet-lag. Something about transcending in meditation helps reset our internal clock so we can get in the right timezone more quickly.

This year I flew to Europe and India with virtually no jet-lag on both trips. I timed my meditations during the flights to give me energy to stay awake at the right times so I could adjust to the new timezone upon arrival. The general travel strategy is to meditate during take off, for periods of time throughout the flight, and during landing. The longer the flight, the more you can meditate. Because flying is so demanding on the body, it’s one of the times I recommend meditating more than twice a day and for however long you wish. For example, if you’re flying between NYC and SF, you might meditate 6 or 7 times — once at take off, 4 or 5 times inflight, and once again at landing. There’s nothing like arriving at your destination freshly meditated. Your mind and body will thank you for it.

2. Bring a Hot Water Thermos

Hydrating with hot water is your second best friend while traveling. Put an empty thermos in your carry-on bag. Then before getting on the plane, visit a coffee shop in the terminal and kindly ask them to fill your thermos with hot water. Bring it with you on the plane and sip on it periodically throughout the flight. Hot water is very calming and soothing for the nervous system.

It’s best not to drink hot water from the airplane because the water quality is so poor. The right thermos is also important to consider. Glass with a protective sleeve is ideal. Stainless steel is the next best option. Plastic and aluminum containers are to be avoided due to potential toxicity leaching.

3. Protect your Nose, Fingers and Toes

Protect your nose from airborne toxins and dryness by applying a drop of nasya oil in each nostril. This is something I practice everyday whether I’m flying or not. I’ve found it to be super helpful especially in the winter when we’re most susceptible to airborne illness. You can learn more about different types and proper used of nasya oil HERE.

For your fingers and toes, wear a pair of thick socks, extra layers and a warm hat. You never know how cold it might get, especially on those longer flights. If you’re too cold on a plane it increases anxiety and compromises your immune system so you’ll be more likely to get sick.

4. Fast and B.Y.O.B. (Butter, that is.)

To optimize your body’s energy, it’s best to minimize digestion while flying. Fast from food and stick to water (hot and room temp) while flying if you can. Before you get to the airport, have a nice hot meal at home (like this oatmeal or this kitchari). In case you get hungry or don’t want to fast, bring with you healthy snacks that are easy to digest and easy to travel with such as soft fruits like bananas and organic nuts butters.

Now if you really want to try something unique (and super helpful), bring a small container of organic ghee with you (less than 4 oz.) and put a teaspoon of it in your hot water inflight. This will nourish and ground your nervous system like nothing else. The healthy fats in ghee do a body good!

5. Book a window seat

We live on a magnificent planet. Sitting by the window is a wonderful opportunity to earth gaze and appreciate the beauty. Notice the vastness of nature. How many shades of blue can you detect? What cloud formations are occurring? Perhaps there’s a sunrise, a sunset, or city lights to admire? Let the beauty stimulate your senses. The ombre fade of a rising or setting sun helps recalibrate our circadian rhythm. It can also have a wonderful calming effect, drawing out the bliss from meditation into the eyes open waking state. Plus, you never know, nature might just put on a fabulous show for you.

 
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Travel Tips Step-by-Step:

1. Have packed and ready in your carry-on:

  • Empty thermos

  • Nasya Oil (less than 4 oz contain)

  • Organic Snacks: bananas, almond butter, pistachios, etc.

  • Warm Layers: thick socks, sweater, warm hat

2. Meditate before you arrive at the airport (at home or on the way in your cab ride)

3. Make sure thermos is empty before security check

4. Fill up thermos with hot water at coffee shop in the terminal

5. Meditate through take off

6. Hydrate, Earth gaze, meditate, repeat

7. Meditate through landing

Meditation Myths

 
 

When I first became curious about meditation 10 years ago, I thought, "Where do I start? Do I have to become a monk? What if I can't do it?"

I had many preconceived notions about how meditation works, which were holding me back from learning. It turned out I was completely wrong about several important things.

Once I realized how simple and easy it was to incorporate into my busy life, I jumped in and took the course.

Let me debunk for you 8 of the most common misconceptions about meditation...

 
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When you learn Vedic Meditation, you get to sit comfortably with your back supported and your arms and legs in any comfortable position. What a relief! You can also adjust your position during meditation; there's no need to be a statue (thank god).

In Vedic meditation, we don't require perfect posture because this technique works better in a relaxed upright position. Forcing perfect posture can create strain and stress rather than add benefit. So sit back, relax and enjoy.

 

 

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Thankfully, thoughts are a part of the Vedic meditation process. Thinking is completely natural and one of several legitimate outcomes of correct practice. If this weren't true, there's no way I'd still be meditating today.

Did you know, the average person has anywhere between 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day? Our minds are designed to think, just as our hearts are designed to beat.

A flood of thoughts will arise during Vedic meditation after the body has purified itself of some stress. We welcome the release of stress so that we no longer hold onto it. The clarity, creativity, energy and happiness that comes from meditating is experienced after stress has released from the body.

 

 
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Some styles of meditation require focus, however in Vedic Meditation we do not focus or concentrate. It's the perfect technique for us ADD, creative, super busy and over-analytical types.

When we practice Vedic Meditation, we silently repeat a personalized mantra in an effortless way, and spontaneously the mind is able to transcend thought without even trying. This technique makes daily meditation approachable and doable for us busy, modern people who already spend so much effort focusing throughout the day.

 

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Great news: your mind naturally knows how to meditate, but has simply forgotten how. Taking a Vedic Meditation Course will retrain your mind so you can meditate effortlessly for life. 

When you take the course, you learn how to properly meditate on day one using a time-tested technique from an ancient lineage of master teachers. It's a very simple, natural process with a digestible recipe of instructions that only requires a curious mind.

 

 

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There's no way anyone could meditate everyday in the city if this were true.

When you learn the Vedic Mediation technique, you also learn how to handle noise and interruptions, so that you can meditate in a taxi, on the subway, hotel lobby, park or airplane and still benefit.

You become the sanctuary so you can stop, drop and meditate anywhere you feel safe and comfortable. I created the Meditator's Map to help students start exploring.

 

 

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Biking and drawing are two of my favorite activities, but they don't produce the same benefits that Vedic Meditation does. When we meditate we experience the benefits of stress release through de-excitement of the body.

Vedic Meditation effortlessly triggers the mind into a state of deeply rested wakefulness (deeper than sleep, yet alert inside). This de-excitement of the body allows for deep-rooted stresses to purify from the nervous system.

Elevating the heart rate through exercise or focusing the mind in a creative project doesn't give you the same restful state of awareness. People who meditate daily report having higher quality experiences while exercising and making art, so meditation can bring you even greater joy from your favorite activities.

 

 
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I had 99 problems, and then meditation solved like 92 of them. I used to think meditation was a way of escaping your problems, but it's actually the opposite. Instead, meditation melts away stress and all the irrelevant "would've," "should've," "could've" and "what if's?" circling in your mind.

Also, we don't meditate to get good at meditation, but to get better at life. The Vedic meditation technique reduces stress and gives us the ability to handle difficult situations better and solve problems more easily.

This enriches the quality of our day-to-day life, our work and relationships. When we enjoy life more, it positively impacts everyone we come into contact with. In this way, meditation becomes an act of selfless service for yourself as well as others.

 

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When you learn Vedic Meditation, you are not required to change anything about your beliefs or lifestyle. There's no dogma involved in learning or benefiting from the technique. Vedic knowledge is universal and all-inclusive.

Did you know that meditation is both spiritual and scientific?

Vedic Meditation is a spiritual technique, which means that it gives you a direct experience of your essence - that which exists beyond thought and beyond the senses. Imagine if you were to remove all thoughts in your mind right now. What would be left is your essence. It's the gap between thoughts.

Meditation doesn't work on the level of faith or trust, but direct experience. In this way, it's a scientific technique (supported by scientific studies), where we follow a specific procedure and then experience benefits as a result of carrying out the research of twice daily practice.

 

Curious to learn more? 

Join Hunter for a free Intro Talk