Its that time of the year where air travel and hotel stays are the priciest. We are officially in travel season. Travelling is fun because not only is it time for yourself, family and/or friends, but it is also a time to unwind and relax. Most people count down the days until the day they fly away to their destination and switch off from work and home responsibilities. Some travel by car just a few hours away, where as others will take a cruise or fly many hours to another country. Regardless of where your travels are taking you, keep these five Ayurvedic and Yoga tips handy to recover much more quickly from jet lag and to overcome the health challenges that come with travelling.
1) When travelling, Vata becomes imbalanced because Vata loves routine and stability. Therefore, when travelling, its important to have a Vata pacifying diet. A Vata pacifying diet includes favouring warm and well-cooked foods. It is best to have soups, cooked vegetables and whole-grains. Out of the six tastes in Ayurveda of sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent, as a part of balancing Vata, it is best to favour sweet, sour, and salty tastes. This doesn’t mean having chocolates and foods high in sugar. Some great Vata pacifying foods include dates, figs, almonds, coconut, mango, carrots, cauliflower, rice, barley, yogurt, milk, lemons, citrus fruits, and of course, do have some salt in your diet. It is best to eat at regular times throughout the day and avoid skipping meals.
2) Staying hydrated is key when travelling. During long drives and especially when travelling by plane, it is quite easy to get away without drinking any water. But dehydration will dampen your digestive capacity and it will make you feel more tired. When flying, rather than having soft drinks, juices, or alcoholic drinks, go for water and drink lots of it. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. By drinking water rather than fruit juices, soft drinks, or alcohol, you will have greater amounts of energy, a stronger digestive system, and you will recover quicker from any time zone changes.
3) Start your day off with a few rounds of Sun Salutations, Pranayama, and Meditation. Sun salutations, pranayama, and meditation are all excellent for balancing not just Vata, but all three doshas. Sun salutations are a series of yoga postures that are recommended to be done in the morning. You will find that starting your day off with yoga, especially when travelling will have a very grounding effect and you will feel lighter throughout the day. Pranayama, which is a breathing technique, and any form of meditation will also allow for a reset of your body and prepare you for your day’s activities. In fact, it is recommended to meditate when flying because it will help ease the jet lag.
4) Have a glass of warm almond milk with nutmeg and saffron before bed to help you sleep better. Of course, this one is based upon whether or not you have access to warm almond milk, nutmeg, and saffron. Almonds are Vata-pacifying and nutmeg and saffron are natural sedatives. Otherwise, drink a cup of a soothing herbal tea, such as chamomile tea, to help you unwind and relax. With time zone changes, it is essential to get a good night’s sleep to prevent major jet lag.
5) Most people struggle with keeping a strong digestion and having daily bowel movements while on holiday. Feeling constipated can leave a heavy and lethargic feeling as you try and enjoy yourself. Therefore, start your day off with hot water with lemon which will aid in cleansing of the digestive tract. It is best to have hot water with lemon before you go about your day. Ideally, brush your teeth, then have your cup of hot water with lemon and then you can go about your morning routine. Alternatively, you can also take the Ayurvedic herb mixture, Triphala, before bed to facilitate healthy bowel movements.
These simple, yet powerful five tips will ensure that you have a great time on your holiday without feeling too tired from travelling and without feeling the effects of jet lag. Once you arrive at your destination, it is necessary to adapt to the new time zone and to try and keep a normal routine throughout your trip. It is also very important to keep your digestion strong, which according to Ayurveda, will also keep your immune system strong as well.