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Indianapolis, IN


How can I help you Thrive?  I'm Ellen Leonard, a huge nerd using my expertise in Ayurveda, Yoga, Positive Psychology, Stress Management and Health Coaching to help you achieve your health and wellness goals.  Be happier, be healthier.

Packing - Ayurveda style


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Packing - Ayurveda style

Ellen Leonard

The holiday season is a time when you can easily become overwhelmed, especially when you travel.  Because of the disruption of routine and movement, traveling can aggravate Vata dosha.  Most Ayurvedic Pracitioners have a plan to help maintain balance while traveling.

I asked some of my Ayurveda friends – if you could only pack three things when you travel, what would they be?

Katie Maffeo, an Ayurvedic Practitioner, Yoga Instructor, and Ironman Athlete who lives in Florida would bring:

What I love about this answer: It’s incredibly simple.  And it all fits in a carry-on.  I’ve traveled with Kattie several times, and let me tell you that this is a woman who is prepared.  We lived together for 2 glorious weeks this past summer while we attended Dr. Lad’s summer intensives. She seemed to have an endless supply of sesame oil that would magically appear out of her suitcase.  She has a fierce dinacharya practice.  Everyday.  No matter what.  The reason she seems so grounded and happy when traveling?  Because she is.  Maybe it's this grounded-ness that allows her to give the best hugs ever.

Katrina Svoboda Johnson is an Ayurvedic Practitioner and owner of an Ayurvedic Health Center in Bellingham, WA, where they offer a variety of magical Ayurveda treatments.  

Katrina did not like the idea of being limited to three items, but eventually she narrowed it down:  

  • tongue scraper
  • home-made dental floss oil
  • neti pot

What I love about this answer:  Katrina included the neti pot, which is super useful for travel congestion – when you fly or stay in a new place, the shift can cause congestion – the neti pot is a simple way to help ease this congestion.  Funny side note: Katrina mentioned that you might encounter some issues when trying to get a bag of white powder (the salt for your neti-pot) through airport security.  However, it's a great opportunity to share Ayurveda and neti-pot knowledge!  

Also, she was kind enough to share the recipe for home-made dental floss oil:

“Here is my recipe for floss oil:

So, it's not homemade dental floss, but an oil that I put on the dental floss to bring more healing goodness to the nooks and crannies of my mouth. :-)

6+ drops peppermint essential oil
3 drops clove essential oil
2 drops clove bud essential oil
~3 drops tulsi essential oil
100 drops tea tree essential oil

I mix all of these in a 1/3 to 1/2 oz. repurposed essential oil bottle. Then I fill the remaining space in the bottle with sesame oil and replace the orifice reducer and cap. Voila!”

Kristen Schneider is an Ayurvedic Practitioner, Yoga Instructor, and Dancer living in Florida; she also owns a business that sells phenomenal Ayurveda products called WellBlends

She said:

“Lavender or ylang ylang essential oil to help me relax on the plane and feel
instantly calm in my new location...I often put a few drops in a bubble bath once I get to the hotel ;) 

Golden Milk...most restaurants/coffee shops will serve you hot almond milk so I just sneak my golden milk in my purse and sprinkle a teaspoon right in! Helps me feel at home no matter where I go :) 

Senna leaf helps me stay regular when I'm away. If I forget it, I buy ghee from the local health food store and put a heaping tablespoon of it in my morning coffee with cardamom. Works every time!”

What I love about this answer: That Kristen is wandering around the world with Golden Milk in her pocket or purse.  Awesome!  It’s actually genius – light weight, not an issue in your carry-on items, and super useful.  Golden Milk contains ginger, which helps soothe digestion, and turmeric, which help with inflammation.  If you run into her somewhere, ask her if you can share a cup of Golden Milk.  Or buy some of her your own here.  

When travelling I rarely check baggage, so figuring out what to pack is a challenge. For me, I always travel with:

  • Tea – a ginger/lemon tea for digestion and colds, a licorice tea for coating my throat and belly, and any other seasonal teas that will soothe and balance me
  • Triphala tablets – constipation is a common side-effect of travel and triphala can help with that
  • Sesame Oil – as much oil as I can figure out how to pack in my 3.4 ounce Nalgene containers/ 1 quart bag – I can use this same oil for abhyanga, oil pulling, and nasya

If I was allowed to pack more than three things? 

I would also pack: tongue scraper, neti pot and salt, Klean Kanteen for warm water, Super Nasya Oil, and Banyan’s Hair Oil.  I have this fantasy that Banyan comes out with a travel kit that is designed to get through Airport Security in my carry-on and has everything I need in leak proof containers.  Hint hint Banyan!  It’s taken several tries to find leak-proof containers. 

*fun side note: when travelling from a cold climate to a warm climate with coconut oil, remember that it will melt – sometimes this can lead to an oil disaster.