This post is for all lucky travelers who are going to celebrate holidays with the family and friends or taking off to a vacation spot. Traveling is always fun and exciting but it can also get quite stressful, especially if you are flying. Packed airports, TSA screenings, and delays can upset even a tough traveler. Besides that, Ayurveda says that any movement faster than a walking speed gets the entire system out of balance. Also traveling disrupts your daily routine and often pulls you across time zones. All this aggravates the vata dosha—the subtle energy that governs movement—and leaves you vulnerable to dehydration, insomnia, sluggish digestion, anxiety, and jet lag. As a result you might feel a little spacey, irritated, and tired upon your arrival to the destination. To make sure this doesn’t happen and that you arrive ready to party, follow these simple Ayurvedic traveling tips:
Before you leave the house:
– Take a few ginger or cinnamon tea bags with you. Both herbs have warming and calming qualities. Herbal caffeine-free tea is a good alternative to coffee and black tea since they won’t have a dehydrating effect.
– Bring healthy snacks or a home cooked meal. You will save money and your stomach. Most airport terminals still lack freshly prepared meal options. So unless you have something with you, you will end up eating a day old dry sandwich. If you don’t have time to prepare something, take a packet of instant oatmeal. You can get hot water at any terminal.
– Bring an interesting book and ipod with calm music. That’s in case you get delayed.
– Carry a Lavender pouch if you are an especially sensitive traveler. Lavender has a calming effect on the nervous system.
At the airport and during the flight:
– Make some tea. Once you pass the security, the first thing to do it to get water for the flight. Warm tea will keep you warm form the inside out and will keep your belly happy.
– Avoid coffee and soda as they will dehydrate your body even more
– Choose light warm meals if eating at the airport or taking something for the plane. Dry sandwiches, nuts, and dried fruits require a lot more effort to digest than soups or cooked grains.
Once you arrive:
– If you are in a new time zone, Dr Vassant Lad advises to adopt the local time immediately. Reset your clock and go to bed and get up at the same time you would at home. Resist the urge to nap; it prolongs jet lag.
– Get active. Take a brisk walk outside or do some yoga. You need to get your blood flow moving after sitting on the plane and in the car. It will help open up your shoulder, hips, and increase blood circulation to the brain, which will make you more awake.
– Spend some time in the sun to reduce the jetlag. Sunlight reduces jet lag and helps adapt to the new time zone. It will make you feel more alert while providing the necessary vitamin D.
– Get grounded. Some foods are more grounding than others. Good after-travel foods are cooked apples, steamed veggies with garlic, lentils, quinoa, hot soups, fish and chicken.
Almond milk is another great choice! This nourishing drink relieves anxiety and other vata-related imbalances. Most health stores have it. If you can’t find it, try soaking 10 almond over night, peel the skins in the morning and have soaked almonds as a snack.
– Get it going. Long flights or driving often have an adverse effect on the elimination systems of our body due to dehydration and lack of movement. Triphala is an ayurvedc herb that widely available in capsules in the health stores and online. It is a mind bowel tonic, it helps prevent constipation and calms jet lag. Take 3-4 capsules on an empty stomach before going to sleep the day before traveling and the day of you arrival.