From an Ayurvedic perspective, traveling (especially air travel) increases Vata. When vata is high, you can almost guarantee that there will be a feeling of uneasiness, some poor digestion, forgetting things easily, and maybe even a sense of confusion and anxiety. More often than not, for me this manifests in my digestion getting so thrown off, that it takes a good solid week to restabilize.
My last trip to Dallas was just a few weeks ago. Let me tell you that it was literally a 1-hour flight there. Although it was a short trip, my body was so thrown off, that my sleep and mood were affected--and not in the good ways. I know it sounds crazy, but the next time you hop on the plane, try and stay in tune with your body, and see what happens--different sensations and feelings.
As much as I love traveling, there are definitely things I need to do to prepare my body for take off. Try these tips before you leave your home.
- A few days prior to you leaving, be sure to have warm and nourishing foods. Stay away from raw, uncooked, light foods, as these will all increase the vata qualities in your body. You want to think about warm, nourishing, grounding. Cooked veggies, especially roots are the best in this case.
- Oil! I've talked about it before, but oil is your best friend! The warm and smooth qualities of oil will combat the dry qualities of vata. Do you sense a trend? You want to counteract vata! Anyways, back to oil. Oil also has a quality of spreading, so it will get into those small little spaces in your body to make sure you're filled with goodness. This can be manifested both internally and externally. Try and increase your oil intake in your foods. Ghee, coconut oil, avocado oil are all good options to drizzle over your foods or to cook with. Also, give yourself an oil massage every day for a few days before as well, as it will help that dry quality. The more oil, the better!
- Ramp up your digestion! Your metabolic fire is going to decrease due to traveling. This is what leads to the poor digestion and toxin buildup. Try and incorporate more heating/warming herbs and spices into your diet. Ginger is a great go-to. Eat just the tiniest piece 30 minutes before your meals to help kindle that agni. Warm to hot water is also great for this.
- Hydrate like no other. You want to be consuming 1/2 your body weight in ounces already. Hydration also helps with the vata, but in general it will help prepare your body by flushing out any extra toxins that have been built up. Remember though, you don't want to chug 4 glasses at one time. Take it easy. Take a few sips every 15 minutes or so for proper hydration.
- Stay as prepared as possible! I know that traveling can be unpredictable, and even annoying at first. But, the little that you can do before hand, go ahead and do it. Have your bags packed the night before so that you get a good night's rest before you leave. Print your boarding passes ahead of time, so you can avoid standing in line. Try and pack light. This will help free up your brain space, and you won't have to worry as much!
These are just a few tips to help you prepare for taking off. Remember, you can help transition from city to city, airplane to airplane that helps your body and mind overall. The more you take care of yourself before hand and are prepared, the more fun you can have during your trip!