Monthly Archives: February 2010

Jet Lagging

If you’re a jet-setter you might also be a jet-lagger. Yeah? You know, like when you get home from your flight and it’s hard to get back into routine? You might have a headache, lethargy, feel extra sleepy or cloudy in the mind. And it might be hard to wake up and stick to your normal routine. You know, jet-lag! Jet-lag happens because we are traveling SO fast up in the air and space (vata!) where it’s cold (vata!). And we’re crossing time zones (vata!), ungrounded (vata!), and dehydrated (vata!) from the puny 1.5 oz glasses of water the airlines provide.  All these things added up will increase one of the doshas. Can you guess which one? I’m not seeing any hands…ok give up?! It’s vata! Vata, the energy of movement made up of the elements air and space severely increases when we fly. And as we know like increases like according to Ayurveda, so with all that movement, cold, dryness and change, vata goes through the roof.

I got back from India a little over a week ago and prepared myself for the crazy long flights back and forth. I didn’t feel any effect of jet-lag going there. And except for one day of feeling wiped, I really didn’t feel that jet-lagged when I came back either. The secret is to pacify vata before and during your travel day(s) by warming and grounding the body. Here are a few simple things you can do:

Thing 1. The night before your flight, fill ears with warm sesame oil. This will not only help avoid jet-lag, but if you have any ear problems (popping or pressure) while flying, this will significantly reduce if not completely stop those affects as well. One of the places where vata lives is in the ears so we want to protect that space, ground it, and keep it warm. Lay on your left side and fill the right ear with warm oil – fill it but don’t spill it (wah wah wah). Lay there for 10-20 minutes. Then cover with a towel because oil might drizzle out. Switch sides and repeat. After this you can sleep.

Thing 2. Oil massage before your shower the next morning. Take that same warm sesame oil and give yourself a full body massage with all strokes toward the heart and clockwise around the joints. If that’s too much, then just do your feet. Let it sit for 10 minutes and shower off. This lubricates and warms the entire body through the skin, which is another place where vata lives. I like to think of it as a resistance shield to all things chilly.

Thing 3. Have warm ginger tea in the morning. Ginger is heating, so a nice cup of ginger tea will keep the insides warm. Feel free to take some with you and ask for several puny glasses of warm water on the plane.

Thing 4. You can take ghee in a glass of warm water (optional). Ghee is very lubricating and will help coat the insides of our body with oil. It sort of covers up and fills in delicate holes and spots where vata could get trapped. It’s sort of like an inner resistance shield to all things chilly, dry, and spacey. If you can stomach it (it’s really not that bad, it’s like drinking butter) melt 1 tblsp in a glass of warm water and chug. Chase it with a little more warm water.

Thing 5. Drink warm water on the plane. Cold water is counterintuitive to balancing vata, so ask for warm water. Or, let the puny glass of water sit for a spell because it won’t take that long to reach room temp.

Thing 5. Do So Hum on the plane to calm any anxiety.

With over 24 hours of flying and 3 stop-overs on my way to India, I did all of the above and didn’t have any problem with jet-lag. On the way home we had 5 flights (five! I did not plan the trip. Did I mention, five!?!) and only on the very last one did my ears start to crackle. Usually on only two flights my ears are a clogged disaster. So! Don’t be afraid to take some well sealed oil with you on the plane or in your luggage for when you land. It will be your best friend! You can use and repeat these things on the way home too. Enjoy your travels and stay healthy. It’s more fun to be a jet-setter than a jet-lagger!!

Tip: Eucalyptus for Sinuses

Hey! For sinus problems and congestion, put a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a paper towel and sniiiffff! You can also put the drops on the floor of your shower in the morning for instant steam therapy.

Jai Ho!

(I wrote this around Feb. 1st, but the computer I was on was super slow. Posting it now that I am back :)

Friends! I’ve returned from an amazing, AH-MAZE-ing trip. I wanted to share a very special part of it with you. Last week we went to the Asha Jyothi Handicapped Wellfare Society which is an orphanage for handicapped children (you can donate!!). These kids stay at the orphanage for their entire childhood where they are given food, shelter, toys, beds and schooling. I have to admit that I was kinda nervous before we got there thinking that I might have a major meltdown once I saw children without homes. What I experienced was quite the opposite.

We got there at about 1:00pm and we were told that the children had been anxiously waiting for us since 9:00 (your typical “India time” – nothing is on time here. Ever.). When we walked up, they had trays of flower petals that they threw on us in celebration of our arrival (our arrival? incredibly humbling). Once we got in the room and sat down, one child per person came in and gave us a flower. The MAJOR HIGHLIGHT (of my entire trip) was an explosive Bollywood dance by the children to, “Jai Ho!” from the movie Slumdog Millionare. A-mazing. We cried. To my surprise, I didn’t cry because I felt sorry for them. I cried because I was so humbled by their generosity, beauty, joy, and talents. They made this dance for US. Sooo humbling.

I captured it on video – take a peek! It’s about 4 min long and worth every second.

Jai Ho Video!!

Prior to arriving I thought for sure I would be emotionally drained, but I never expected to feel as good and FULL as I did. A truly delightful treat of life. The children were warm, kind, unspoiled, considerate, loving, super fun, and most of all grateful. Most of all, they loved what they HAD rather than moping about what they didn’t have. Maybe we can learn something from them by adopting some of their vigor and positivity. Imagine what the world would be like if we all took this attitude with the challenges we face? Our jobs, families, communities, and world would be totally different.

I went to the orphanage expecting to hand out books, clothes, etc., that would help enhance their lives. Turns out they gave way more to me. Thanks for everything kids, Jai Ho! xoxo

my favorite little guy

The girls! the girl in the red dress looooved to get her photo taken. What a doll, hey?!

Donata and I joined in their dance. I’m in the way back on the left in purple. SO fun!