Travel is an amazing thing - new places, people and adventures can bring about such personal growth on so many levels. However it can also unsettle the body's natural rhythms and flow, which for some, can cause a series of unpleasant symptoms such as fatigue, irritable bowel, fevers, skin conditions, lowered immunity alongside many others.
There are some very simple, easy to apply Ayurvedic travel tips that can be used by anyone (unless otherwise mentioned), no matter what your natural constitution or current imbalance to stay strong and well during your time away. In a general sense, travel of any description, will escalate the flighty, beautifully light Vata dosha. Like any dosha, it has its positive sides, but when out of balance, can cause trouble like the symptoms mentioned above. So here are our top five tips to take with you on your next journey:
1. Keep up the warm water. Warm, pre-boiled water is a miraculous liquid. It soothes the gastrointestinal tract and helps to alleviate conditions such as constipation and dry skin. Flying in particular can dehydrate the body severely, so when the flight attendant comes to offer you a drink, go for the warm water to help soothe and hydrate your body. You will thank us later.
2. In addition to warm water, keep up the warm, well cooked and nourishing foods if you can. Heavily processed, refrigerated and raw foods will put a strain on your digestion when its already under pressure. Choose the soup of the day or a nice curry for lunch as you travel and this will aid digestion rather than seize it up.
3. Ginger is an amazing travel herb. It eases nausea, increases digestive strength, sweats out a fever and can ease vomiting and vertigo. Sometimes travelling with herbs can be tricky, so luckily, we in Australia have some great alternatives such as the Blackmores Travel Calm Ginger tablets. They are usually very easy to access at your local chemist and essentially, is the same as packing some dry ginger powder. Always a good one to have on hand, even if just to settle the tummy after eating something not quite right.
4. After you’ve landed or arrived to your destination, it is likely that your body clock will be unsettled. One way to immediately calm and soothe the body is to give yourself a warm oil massage with a simple oil like sesame (for Vata and Kapha types) or coconut oil for the Pitta individuals followed by a warm shower 10-15 minutes later. Warm oil massage pacifies and grounds the Vata dosha and will increase your circulation, clear the mind and ease any aches and pains. You don’t need to know the traditional Ayurvedic massage techniques, simply start by applying oil on the head and face, working your way to peripherals of the body. Slow, smooth hand movements are good and give any other achy spots a good rub. A warm shower after is essential, do not leave oil on the head as this can lower the immunity and cause a cold or headache.
5. Lastly, one of the best things you can take with you on your journey is your meditation and yoga practice. This is a totally transportable practice no matter where you are. Yoga will help to keep the body strong and flexible with fluidity, and meditation with pranayama (breath) practice will centre and clear the mind. The two practices combined will help you to get the most out of your travels, while keeping the body and mind strong and healthy.
If you are about to head off on a journey, I wish you all the very best. May you learn a lot, be present throughout and find the joy always.
With love and light,