{Well On The Road} Charlie Knoles



Charlie Knoles
Founder of The Veda Center 

Most recently in: New York & Arizona

The one snack you can always find in my carry on is: If I'm on a short domestic flight then my wife always packs me a toasted, sprouted-grain wrap with grilled veggies, beans and cheese this way I can eat a nutritious and protein rich meal and avoid nasty airline or airport food. I also love to bring a bag of organic cherries with me so I can share them with people around me. It always surprises people and brings a smile to their faces.

Tell us your in-flight rituals: Flights are perfect times for meditation. Once I've taken my seat I like to get settled and ignore all of the announcements as I close my eyes and experience a calmer state of consciousness. This works best if - like me - you always choose a window seat. That way no one is pushing past you to get to their seat and you can just settle in to your center. After about half an hour of meditation, I open my laptop and get to work on writing and answering emails. I find that flights are my most productive time, without any of my normal distractions. This is especially true if the plane has WiFi as it is usually the perfect slow bandwidth to enable productivity but disable YouTube.

How do you conquer jet lag once you've arrived? When I fly internationally I use an intermittent fasting method. Basically I fast for several hours before the flight and then avoid eating for the duration of the flight. Once I arrive I eat a big meal as close to local mealtimes as possible. This has the added bonus of avoiding horrible unhealthy airline food and travel snacks. I also practice observing the first sunset and sunrise after my arrival. I believe that your brain is reset to local time when you observe the sun dipping below the horizon and rising above it.

Describe your workout on the road style: I love to hike, forage for wild foods and climb. Recently I managed to overcome a 7-year-old knee injury thanks to exercises I learned from a Chi-running expert. This has been life-changing for me. I've also become very inspired by my new pal Rich Roll who runs ultra-marathons and does iron man competitions on an all-vegan diet. For the first time in years I'm able to run without pain and I'm loving going out for longer runs.  It's such a joyful, quiet and meditative practice and as I build my strength and endurance back up I can see long-distance running becoming a big part of my life.

How do you keep sickness at bay? Meditate and eat lots of probiotics. When traveling in places like India I always eat the local yogurt and despite spending months at a time there I've never gotten Delhi-belly. I believe that the local probiotic cultures have evolved to keep the local pathogens at bay. It's also good to dose up on Saccharomyces boulardii which can be found in GT's Kombucha as well as probiotic tablets. 

What's your 'go-to' restaurant item? My approach is to know what food I'm going to order within 10 seconds of opening the menu. I find that my subconscious can filter out foods I won't like much quicker than my conscious mind could so I do a quick scan over the menu and then whatever my eyes settle on first I order. This means that I always get to try something new and I can devote my time to talking with my dining companions rather than obsessing over food. Try it out, you may be surprised at how well it works.

What do you do to stay grounded? Meditation and yoga really help of course but the best way to get out of your head and back into your heart, feet and hands is to do work in service to others. Always look for projects that you can get involved in over the long term. Most of the time when people try to help others they do so with good intentions but without much understanding. It takes time to see the simpler ways that you can help others. In the end though, you'll use your time, energy and money much more efficiently and effectively and actually achieve good results.

What is your preferred method of staying connected with loved ones? FaceTime seems to be the most reliable and easy method. I can use my iPad mini almost anywhere and I often end up reading bedtime stories to my kids that way when I'm traveling.

About Charlie: Charlie Knoles is a Vedic Meditation teacher who was taught Vedic Meditation at age 4 by his father, Maharishi Vyasananda Thom Knoles. You can enjoy his teachings online with this Essential Guide to Meditation. Stay connected to this life on the West Coast via Instagram.