Meditation for a Travel Bug

There are two kinds of people in this world. One, for whom traveling is a passion and a lot of fun. Exploring new places, tasting different foods, discovering new cultures – they are simply smitten by the travel bug! And then there’s another category of people who start making a long face at the mere mention of the word ‘travel’. They have had too much of it and they can’t seem to enjoy it anymore! For these people, traveling itself is a bug.

The good news is: we have a tool, so simple and handy, to fix this bug.

Jet Lag

The first and the most common after-effect of long hours of travel. Change in time zones disturbs sleep patterns and the entire body cycle gets affected. But that’s not all. With the body not feeling great, the mind is unable to function effectively. If you are on a business tour, jet lag can be particularly problematic as it can affect productivity and efficiency at work.

Just for thoughts: Rajita Bagga, President of the World Forum for Ethics and Business, sometimes travels 2-3 weeks a month but despite long flights and jet lag, she manages to remain productive, creative, enthusiastic, and fresh. How?

How to include meditation in your tour itinerary?

  • Meditation is possible anywhere – flight, airport, car transit (when you are not driving), or train.
  • It’s good to meditate morning and evening but if you can’t, do it any other time of the day.
  • Meditating before in-flight meals is a good idea. But don’t worry if you missed it, meditate whenever!
  • Download a few online guided meditations on your Ipod or laptop.
  • Register for a Sahaj Samadhi Meditation Course and carry your mantra with you during travel.

Poor digestion

The last thing you would want on a holiday is an upset stomach. Unfortunately, change in place, change in weather, different eating habits and different food types all make it happen. Sometimes, the craving to taste a different food is so strong that we end up stuffing ourselves and crying with pain later.

Just for thoughts: Srinivas Uppaluri, Management Consultant, needs to travel quite a bit for work. Yet, he has a healthy digestive system. Apart from the fact that he is fairly strict about his diet and eating habits, Srinivas is also extremely particular about his daily routine, no matter which part of the world he is in. Long traveling times and jet lag don’t bother him and he is fresh and charged up when he arrives to take on the day ahead of him. How?

Motion sickness

Most people are uncomfortable in transit because of motion sickness, particularly on flights. While some people feel like throwing up during take-off and landing, some feel light-headed and restless all through the journey. The result: not a very favorable start to that perfect vacation.

Just for thoughts: Shreya Chugh, National Coordinator, Art of Living Yes! Course, travels extensively and used to keep popping pills each time she had motion sickness during air travel. Now, not only has she bid adieu to this problem forever but she doesn’t suffer from any jet lag either in spite of her hectic traveling. How?

Back-to-back travel can take a toll on the body

Imagine what would happen if you had to make more than 12 trips in a year? Sometimes, two back-to-back trips in a month can be enough to leave you exhausted and not wanting another for at least a year again! Continuous travel in different modes of transport – car, train or flight – can actually make one feel sick after a while. Most young business people these days, between the age group of 20 to 35 years, complain of back problems and body pain because of long uninterrupted travel schedules.

Just for thoughts: Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, spiritual leader and founder of the Art of Living, has traveled at least 54 cities in the past 3 months alone! Yet, he looks fresh and energetic after every tour. Whether it is a satsang he needs to attend the moment he lands at the airport, or a business meeting that he needs to go to soon after, the enthusiasm remains unchanged. How?

There is only one answer to all these ‘hows’ – meditation. A few minutes of sitting still with yourself can work wonders, especially when you are traveling,

  • It helps you get over the jet lag so that you can spend the day holidaying or finishing business deals instead of catching up with sleep in the hotel room.
  • Meditation helps keep the digestive system in place
  • Meditation can help restore balance coupled with a few yoga postures, pranayamas, and a little check on the diet. And the best part is that you can do some of these yoga poses even on the flight! (see yoga in airplane). Srinivas Uppaluri, Management Consultant, shares the secret to his good health – “I make sure to carry my yoga mat everywhere I go and the first thing I do after arriving at the hotel is practice yoga, Sudarshan Kriya, and meditation. With that, my jet lag is gone and I’m fresh and active for the entire day.” • A few minutes of meditation helps eliminate the fatigue and travel-related stress in the mind and body.

Ok, all this sounds great but where do I fit meditation into my busy travel schedule? If this is your excuse, there is all the more reason for you to start meditating. It will help add more hours to your day. Just 20 minutes of meditation and see the change for yourself – your mind becomes more focused, productivity increases and you will be able to strike much more profitable deals – all with just a 20-minute time investment.

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Inspired by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's wisdom talks

Graphics by Niladry Dutta