Wellness Travel: Restore balance in your life.

I’ll start with a confession; I was over-stressed, over-scheduled and deeply involved in a love affair that was about to end badly. 

Of course, I didn’t know the breakup was coming. And, I certainly didn’t realize it would happen so fast! Isn’t that usually the case? My amore was bold, full of energy and vitality. I never saw the downside to our relationship. 

Then one fateful day, things got complicated. What should have been a single shot Macchiato turned into a double. Then right before my eyes, a third shot found its way into my cup. Two shots may have been do-able, but three shots, most definitely not! 

This relationship was spinning out of control. I was indulging myself way too much ever-seeking increased energy and rich flavor. So what did I do? You guessed it, I drank it anyway. 

The Universe Spiked my Coffee.

A simple order gone wrong, gone very wrong sent my already spiraling health into a tailspin. I told myself, “I’ll be fine.” But as you can imagine, I wasn’t fine. My heart was racing, and I was sick! 

This tiny but important event represented the lifestyle I found myself living; bad habits like drinking multiple cups of coffee every day, stress overload, neglecting my own self-care and running at an incredible pace. That was just the tip of the iceberg but what ultimately set in motion a decision to seek changes in my lifestyle.

And so, began my investigation into Ayurvedic health and my foray into Wellness Travel. This summer, I had the privilege to study with Dr. Vasant Lad, M.A.Sc. Holistic Health Pioneer and the creator of the expression, “Food as Medicine and Medicine as Food. My one week sojourn at the Ananda Ashram in the Catskill Mountains was just what the doctor ordered. The food was fantastic, vegan and vegetarian offerings prepared by a great Ayurvedic chef! Add in yoga twice a day, meditation, mantra chanting, and Sanskrit lessons – the perfect combination to take the mind away from worldly thoughts and reground a bit. 

Dr. Lad was incredible! Each day we spent 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon listening to him teach. His personality is so open and giving, and his knowledge is immense. It’s understandable why he draws crowds from around the world to this peaceful spot in the mountains once a year. I was fortunate to meet people from Australia, Brazil, France, and British Columbia, to name a few. Being a part of this intimate group where such a beautiful soul opened his heart to all was truly life-changing. We learned how to incorporate this “ancient” wisdom into our lives and how to help others with Ayurvedic practices.

Words of Wisdom from the “Doctor from India”

  • All foods can be medicine, and all foods can be poison. Choose wisely!
  • Drink Holy Basil Tea to improve memory.
  • Turmeric is the Secret to anti-aging as it helps with inflammation.
  • Travel with Nutmeg in your pocket, your stomach will thank you!
  • Black Coffee, Pinch of Nutmeg, Squeeze of Lime helps Montezuma’s  Revenge. 

In Ayurveda, it’s important to place an equal measure on the food coming into our bodies, the amount of quality time we give ourselves to rest, and how we actually feel about ourselves. Good health and happiness start with looking at what types of exercise we are gifting our bodies and how we relate to the people around us every day. It’s the total package.

Decide what you want to learn and find a destination.

Life is moving fast! The desire to connect to grounding practices like Ayurveda; “the science of life” is stronger than ever. Dr. Lad conveyed the need to create an individualistic protocol for each person. After all, not one of us is precisely the same. While there were many doctors and functional medicine practitioners in the audience, there were also yoga teachers, massage therapists, energy workers and people who were sick themselves and looking for answers to heal their vast array of problems. There was something for everyone.

Dr. Lad spoke intuitively to his audience as if our little community was the most cohesive and vital group on the planet. And maybe we were? A collective bond forms after studying, practicing yoga, meditating and eating together as a community for a week. Wellness travel can have many lasting benefits and is a great way to spend a vacation. 

I’m happy to say that learning about myself from an Ayurvedic perspective has paid off.  My stomach has calmed down immeasurably; I’m happier and sleep much better. And to think, I had a triple shot of Espresso to thank for a new world opening up and my introduction into the ancient practice of Ayurveda: “food as medicine,” the cycle of the seasons, dosha types, and so much more.

Check out the documentary, “A Doctor from India” about Dr. Lad and his journey.

For more information on Ayurveda

Chris Glavin

Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Happiness Advocate, RYT 300

Chris Glavin is a Yoga and Meditation teacher, the mother of 3, and the founder of The Mama Lama Wisdom Collective. She is passionate about living a joyful life. Chris is a happiness advocate guiding women on how to implement simple but life-changing ideas about healthy eating, yoga, mindfulness, having fun with friends and the importance of self-care. Her passion as an avid traveler and adventure seeker takes her around the world in search of joyful experiences. Chris is working on her 500-level advanced teaching certificate and will travel to India next year to study. She likes to surround herself with family, friends and joyful people and her ever-growing family of Happy Mama Lamas. Chris is on InstagramFacebook and Mama Lama

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References: 

Lad, Vasant. Textbook of Ayurveda. 1st ed., vol. 1 3, Ayurvedic Press, 2002.

Fetrow CW, Avila JR. Complementary & Alternative Medicines. Vol. 762 Springhouse; Springhouse, Pennsylvania: 1999.

Herbal Sources:

[https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4943679/#R3]

Chiu S, Wang T, Belski M, Abourashed EA. HPLC-Guided Isolation, Purification and Characterization of Phenylpropanoid and Phenolic Constituents of Nutmeg Kernel (Myristica fragrans). Natural product communications. 2016;11(4):483-488.

[https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4296439/]

Cohen MM. Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine. 2014;5(4):251-259. doi:10.4103/0975-9476.146554.

[https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5871277/]

D’Souza SP, Chavannavar SV, Kanchanashri B, Niveditha SB. Pharmaceutical Perspectives of Spices and Condiments as Alternative Antimicrobial Remedy. Journal of Evidence-based Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 2017;22(4):1002-1010. doi:10.1177/2156587217703214.

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