Ayurvedic Travelling Tips
While travelling, do you ever feel more tired than usual? Do you suffer from insomnia, have dry skin or is your digestion not as good as usually? You may think it’s just due to being away from home, but this is not the only reason.
Ayurveda looks at travel in a really specific way. If you love travelling or have to for work, this article will give you tips to help you regain your balance as soon as possible when you are away.
The simple fact of being in movement in a car, train or plane, turns your biorhythm upside down because you are moving faster than nature can. If on top of that you add the change of habits, climate, food, and time zone you get the perfect cocktail for disrupting your systems.
Let us be clear, this does not mean you cannot travel anymore! Keeping in mind these changes and using the tips below will help alleviate your discomfort to make the most of your discoveries!
The main reason why you are having trouble is because there is too much movement during travel. Movement is regulated by the elements of air and space. Both are naturally light, dry, mobile and cold, creating in the body the symptoms of these qualities: dry digestion (constipation), dry skin, as well as mental lightness and movement (difficulty concentrating, feeling scattered). Air and space are the features of the Vata dosha. Vata is the governor of the nervous system; so make sure to take good care of it before and during your trips to avoid sleep disturbances, anxiety and dryness.
To prevent these disorders while travelling, keep in mind to:
- Keep warm. Especially if you are travelling in places with air conditioning or draughts (have scarves, socks, long sleeves even if it’s summer outside).
- Drink hot liquids. Bring a little thermos that you can fill with hot water wherever you go (airport, railway stations etc.). This will allow you to keep your system hydrated and warm (cold drinks reduces your digestive fire which is a key element to your health!). Avoid beverages that dehydrate like coffee, tea and alcohol.
- Avoid eating complicated meals. Your digestive system is naturally weakened by the fact that you are in motion. By eating simple meals, it will be happier and you will be able to digest properly. Get meals with easily digestible food (not heavy, fermented or dry food) with less than 5 ingredients, cooked and hot! You can even bring your own meal on the plane, bus or train (kept in a thermos). Porridge, soup, or kitchari are good examples!
- Eat less. If the appetite is not there, do not force yourself. Wait to get settled and acclimated to your new surroundings first.
- Get used to you new rhythm and environment as quickly as possible. Wake up and go to bed with the sun (or as close as possible), eat again your three meals at specific times during the day, 7 am, 12 pm and 7 pm. Expose yourself to natural light to get your circadian rhythm get back to normal.
- Self-massage with warm oil (Abhyanga) before your departure and on arrival to stay hydrated, circulate lymph and calm your nervous system. Keep your sinuses hydrated by applying a little oil in your nostrils if you are taking the plane.
- Stretch regularly. Remember to move and take breaks if you are driving, get up and walk about on the train or plane, stretch your arms up, touch your toes, grab your shoulders with opposite hands, yawn, roll your shoulders and smile!
Most of all, have a wonderful trip!