It is 12:23pm Eastern Standard Time, but for some reason my phone hasn’t switched from Pacific Standard Time and still displays 9:23 AM. I’m in my little sister’s guest bedroom in Wilmington, North Carolina where they pay as much for a 4000 square foot house as we do for 2 studio apartments in the Seattle metro area. I’m ready to take a serious nap since I only had a brief cat nap on the red eye. I just ate sweet potato chips and one quarter of a serious caramel apple (we’re talking chocolate chips, pretzel bits, the works) because there is really only junk food in this house. Stuff I deem un-edible and wouldn’t have in my house, because I’ll eat it.

My sister and her husband are physicians, so you know, typical American dream…. eat like crap, no mentionable exercise routine, and take medicine when you get sick. Then there’s me; I would have to have Lyme disease to get me to take an anti-biotic; only my will, echinacea, zinc and, good sleep, for this immune system of steel! I’m the cool, mystical Auntie that teaches my 4 year old nephew how to “smudge” with palo santo and sage, and about crystals and negative ion generators.

My point is that maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle can be even more of a challenge when traveling, with extra challenges around the holidays. I’m kind of a gypsy and travel a lot, so I would love to share some tips that I use to stay grounded and integrated in those energetically dense airports, and while hanging out with the family.

1. Travel with stones, crystals or a negative ion generator. Put small grounding stones in your pockets, bra, and wear your metaphysical jewelry. I actually do this every day in life, but it is an especially helpful practice to keep you grounded when flying or even driving. Currently, I have a small seraphinite heart stone and a pocket size disc negative ion generator. My favorite local maker of negative ion generators is Better Earth Research and Development. I met the founder and researcher this summer at the Alki art festival. That’s when I bought my pocket sized disc. These negative ion generators, just like natural sources-earthing or walking barefoot in outdoors, water, forests, thunderstorms etc., can help counter the harmful effects of electro-magnetic radiation. This is well researched and documented. Cell phones, Wi-Fi, cell phone towers, and electronics all emit positive ions which have known harmful effects on our health. As far as crystals, any are grounding, but dark colored or black stones such as obsidian, onyx, black tourmaline or hematite, are known to have the strongest grounding effect.

2. Opt out! Get the pat down! I don’t know about you, but I have not once gone through one of the full-body scanners now implemented by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration). Mostly as a matter of principle and exercising my freedom to not expose myself to x-ray radiation every time I fly. This right to “opt out” is actually backed up by the court. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was sued in 2012 by the Electronic Privacy Invasion Center (EPIC) with allegations that implementation of full body scanners is in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, the Privacy Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Fourth Amendment. The court ruled that the units could be used as long as passengers were offered alternative choices. The alternative when you opt out is a pat down. It’s simple and only takes a few extra minutes. Tell security you don’t want to go through the scanner or that you are “opting out.” They simply have you step aside and call for a security person of the same gender. They pat you down, check their hands, and you are good to go. Extra bonus, the pat down is like a free mini massage. I’m not kidding. I think it feels pretty good.

3. Do some yoga or go upside down. I most recommend any poses that open the front body to counter all the sitting. I like a low lunge or anjaneyasana for great hip extension or hip flexor stretch. You can also check the airport you are in to see if they have a yoga/meditation room. Some offer this feature now. Otherwise, find a spot around your gate. Put your coat down and do a headstand. You will never see these people again anyway.

4. Journal, read, listen to chill meditation or yin music. As hectic as travel can be, you can also look at flying time as a great opportunity for self-nurturing. With minimal distractions, sitting on a plane can be prime time to actually read a book, do some journaling, or even meditate. Leave your phone on airplane mode (that in air Wi-Fi barely works anyway), put your earphones in and listen to some relaxing music to enhance the vibe of your “me” time.

5. Set the intention to align with the natural earth rhythms if traveling to a different time zone. I usually only do this with big time zone shifts (6+ hours). I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt to try it coast to coast either. I’m telling you, it’s actually quite effective. You may find that you can adjust more quickly.

6. Energetically cleanse after travel. Airports and planes are quite energetically “dense.” We can pick up a lot of other people’s energy being in close quarters. I’m sure you relate to that “icky” feeling after travel. I believe that’s at least partially due to energetic “sludge” by picking up others’ thought forms and emotions. The best way to energetically cleanse is to shower and change into fresh clothes. If this isn’t possible right away, you can do a meditation and cleanse your energy field with a silver ray of light. I actually do this before or during travel as a preventative measure. Then you can put on a “robe” or “bubble” of white light for extra protection. There are many similar metaphysical techniques out there. Use what resonates with you.

7. Try new yoga studios, make new connections. I love checking out new yoga studios when I travel. Make it a fun adventure. The plus side is, many studios offer your first class for free! Today, I took a nice power vinyasa free of charge that included free mat and towel rental! Score.

8. Go to a health food store and stock up! Hopefully where you live, there is a Whole Foods or other health food store nearby. Stock up on healthy foods regularly! Keep your immune system and mood on point by sticking to a “relatively clean” diet. It is the holidays, so live a little and in moderation. I usually go for some green juice, hemp milk, and other clean eats today to make me feel a little better about all the junk food that comes with holiday travel.

Whether you travel or not this holiday season, allow this time, be about connecting to loved ones and celebrating life. Enjoy receiving as much as giving and vice versa (yin/yang!). Most of all, remember those yamas and niyamas when sitting around the family dinner table!

Om shanti shanti shanti & Namaste friends!

 


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Elli Yokochi

Elli Yokochi has been practicing yoga since 2000, however, it wasn’t until her own healing journey with traumatic brain injuries and adrenal fatigue, that she really deepened my practice. She was completely unable to even attend a yoga class for a few years because of her severe fatigue and post-concussion symptoms. She had to develop my own practice that would heal and energize. She was incredibly disciplined with my meditation practice and anything that would bring me back to vibrant health. Elli dove into multiple healing modalities at the same time developing her personal yoga practice.When she was finally able to attend yoga classes again, she was blessed to walk into my rockstar teacher’s class, Eliza. This healing experience informs her teaching as well. And there is not one second that she takes her practice, health, or strength for granted.

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