The past three years have seen me moving house a lot. The most recent move was back to Tunisia on a one way ticket. The last time I moved here, I arrived with a cold that lasted a month. I was anxious and fearful, my digestive system was up and down; basically I was your typical vata completely out of balance. Us vatas love travel which is the very thing that can derail us if we’re not prepared.
This time I was prepared. Over the past couple of years, I have discovered what I need to help me land more smoothly, rather than suddenly, with a bump and a jolt. Let’s call them my traveling non-negotiables; TNN for short (geek!).
So! My TNN are:
I move towards a routine that I know works for me as soon as possible. For instance, bed before midnight and getting up early at the same time everyday after a good night’s sleep. Having an early light dinner makes this more possible; how our morning goes is partly shaped by how the evening before goes.
My vata body is naturally cold and dry, and travelling by its nature can make this worse. Spices such as cinnamon and ginger are my two staples that offer the sweetness and heat that help me find balance. These go in my oats for breakfast along with a little coconut oil, which also aids dryness. Along with my tea this breakfast is grounding, warming and makes the dry juicy for us vatas.
Post-traveling, I can mostly be found drinking a ton of water and checking the color of my pee. Dark yellow- not good. Light yellow – very good. Travelling by plane, which is naturally dehydrating, alongside suddenly finding ourselves in a new climate and the busyness of moving home can easily lead to not getting enough water; something so simple but so impactful on our wellbeing. Drink water. Check pee.
Just before traveling, I begin a book that I love. It is often one that I have read before that is comforting, inspiring and somehow reminds me of what’s important. Continuing to read this book during traveling and then finding it waiting for me in my new home is incredibly lovely. The place inside of me that is moved by these words, is the same place where ever I am. This is comforting and reminds me there is a home within me as well as the home that is changing outside of me.
Each morning, i have a practice that sets me up for the day, wherever I am. Right now my focus is less on what the practice is, and more on how I am doing it and how it supports me in ‘doing yoga’ during my day. Doing yoga during my day means being responsive over reactive, being present- me at my highest.
I find ‘doing yoga’ during the day especially hard when I have just moved house. There is so much to respond to and so much is new. My yoga mat is where I practice the art of being each morning. And yet. I often forget this art of grace, breath, and mindfulness as soon as I’m off the mat. I still have much work to do. This incredible journey continues.
Photo Credit: Amin Ben Abderrahman