Beat jetlag, dehydration, and other travel-related troubles with Ayurveda. Whether you’re heading off to Spring Break or getting ready for the Summer season of yoga and music festivals, it’s hard to stay balanced on the road. Why? Because when you travel your body moves faster than nature intended and you disconnect from your daily rhythm. Travel by trains, planes or automobiles aggravates Vata dosha - the energy of movement—by increasing the light, mobile and spacey quality of your body and mind. This can cause dehydration, insomnia, sluggish digestion, anxiety, forgetfulness, constipation and jet lag. But here’s the good news: Ayurveda offers a number of tips to keep you grounded and balanced so you can enjoy your vacation while avoiding the common imbalances associated with travel.
1. Stay Hydrated
This may seem like a no-brainer but staying hydrated is key to staying balanced while traveling. Drink lots of water and avoid beverages like coffee, alcohol, and soda, which are dehydrating, and the bubbles from the carbonation in soda aggravate Vata.
2. Eat Foods That Are Grounding
Avoid dry raw foods like salad, dried fruit, and airplane pretzels, which I know are all the travel favorites. Choose warm moist foods like oatmeal, steamed veggies, sweet potatoes and warm soups.
3. Do Yoga
Get creative with your yoga practice while traveling. You can do yoga at the airport, in your seat or while pumping gas on a road trip. Simple forward folds, legs up the wall and twists are all good choices. If you’re on a long flight be sure to get up and walk occasionally and do a few standing poses.
4. Love Your Soles
Massage the soles of your feet with sesame oil and lavender before bed. This is a great practice while traveling or anytime to ground your energy and reduce insomnia. Also lavender is great to have on the plane. A little on your wrist or back of neck to calm the nervous system. When I’m on long flights, like flying to India, I always have lavender and a few other of my favorite essential oils with me. Lavender has many uses but while traveling its anti-bacterial properties and ability to reduce motion sickness are helpful.
5. Get Sun
Did you know that sunlight reduces jet lag? When you reach your destination, go outside and let the sun soak your skin for 20 minutes. Ayurveda tells us that spending time in nature resets your body’s internal clock to local time.
6. Try Triphala
Constipation is a common imbalance associated with travel. Triphala is an Ayurvedic herbal remedy that prevents constipation and can help with jet lag. Triphala is made of three fruits and is loaded with vitamin C, so it’s great for boosting your immune system too.
Enjoy the Adventure!