Updated: Dec 15, 2019
AYURVEDIC TRAVEL TIPS
Travel tips for balancing Vata dosha
Amrita Ma Devi Author
With over 13 years of travelling experience with our family of four to well over 50 Air B'n'B stays, living in 5 countries, in 3 continents of the world we have some wonderful tips to share with you about anxiety-free travel with 16 self-care tips. I will be sharing with you prompts that will guide you into deeper protection for the nervous system, which makes for your journey to go smoother, that will leave you with more time to enjoy your break away in a calm and rested manner. Travelling at high speed through the air to distant places will be a breeze if you follow these travel tips.
BEFORE YOU LEAVE
The tips compiled below are a combination of what you need to pack and self-care tips to help you travel with the least amount of stress on the physiology. Ayurveda has many wonderful ways in which you can do this, you will be balancing Vata dosha which is expressed as Air & Space and governs all movement in the body and externally in the movement of travel. To make it easier to do this all you need to do is pack with ease and concentrate on the tips on this list and your travel details – and oh, don’t forget your passport!
Here are some things to consider:
Choose a sunscreen which is natural, Ayurveda suggests an oil base such as raspberry oil, carrot seed oil or coconut oil. According to a 2000 study, raspberry seed oil offers UVA + UVB protection similar to titanium dioxide with a 28-50 SPF protection factor against UVB rays and 8SPF against UVA rays.
Wear warm clothing with thick layers, and add in a shawl for chilly evenings and mornings - you will also want to wrap yourself up in meditation. You may want an extra layer handy for the flight too.
Natural insect repellent to keep away bugs. Aromatherapy oils are useful, and specifically, Citronella, Lavender, Thyme, Basil, Lemon, Neem and Peppermint can be used to repel insects.
Tea tree oil is a wonderful antiseptic and can be used after insect bites or to dab inside the nostrils before stepping on the plane. It acts as a barrier to bugs that may be in the air on the plane.
The night before the flight you can soothe any unrest by making yourself almond milk. pamper yourself and calm vata with an oil abhyanga(Ab-ee-yanga), with sesame oil or a blend of massage oils. This will not only hydrate your skin which is the largest organ by keeping the body protected from infection, viruses, harmful bacteria and pathogens around the clock, but skin dryness also weakens your immunity. This self-care hack will make you feel insulated from the stress of travel. The Charaka Samhita text says “The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if objected to accidental injuries, or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age.”
Method: You will need 2 clean towels, sesame/coconut/almond massage oil, 4 drops of lavender aromatherapy oil (optional), hot water and a metal or ceramic container for hot water, a glass container for the oil small enough to fit inside the other container.
Place the one towel on the surface to sit on, like the bathroom toilet seat, and the other on the floor. Create a warm environment by bringing in a radiator and a candle.
Warm up the oil by making a bain-marie - the method is to fill a pan halfway with hot water and place the glass oil container inside the pan, and it will warm the oil. See image below.
Soak in the oil for 20 minutes, then wash it off in the shower. In these 20 minutes, you can put on your dressing robe on and peel your apples for breakfast place them in water, and sit quietly and meditate for the remaining time.
As a side note, if you have trouble sleeping, it is good to take sesame oil with you and massage your feet before bedtime. You can make abhyanga into a daily ritual, which will benefit detoxification and calmness of mind throughout the day.
6. Eat stewed apples for breakfast along with toast or oats to keep vata in balance.
Here is a great way to start your morning with stewed apples. Be prepared to take 20 minutes, start to finish and have it in front of you ready to eat, so why not give it a try. This is a superfood for anyone with sluggish digestion and the smells will have you smiling in no time, did I mention it will boost your immune system!
1 apple peeled,
1 tbsp goji berries,
1-inch fresh ginger root,
1 ½ cups of water.
Peel the apple and slice in half and then again. Cut out the cord and place in water in the pan. Peel the fresh ginger root with a knife and cut into quarters, add these, the goji berries and cinnamon powder to the pan. Cook on a medium flame for 8 - 10 minutes until the apple is tender. Serve immediately.
7. If your ears and nose are sensitive on flights, you can carry a 50 ml of sesame oil and apply a baby finger size amount of oil to drop in the nostrils and ear canals to prevent drying air irritation.
8. The air cabin can be dry and to uplift and hydrate yourself, so you can refresh your skin with an organic rose water spray. This can also uplift your mood and balance stress whilst on your journey. If you prefer jasmine or cedar, these are other great aromas to balance the body and mind.
9. If this is a long journey, invest in a travel pillow made from cotton or any other natural fabric (by choosing natural fibres you are supporting the environment and the vibrational field of the body). If you are on a red-eye flight and need to catch up on sleep, get yourself an eye mask and some earplugs and lull yourself to sleep.
10. If you suffer from constipation, which is a Vata disorder, then prepare ahead of time and purchase Triphala from Maharishi Ayurveda which is a great product. Eating stewed apples will also reduce the effect of this kind of imbalance.
11. Travel will be dehydrating for the body and it is wise to drink water and natural tonic water two days before the flight to start hydrating the body. Make sure that you pack your reusable drinking bottle with you and fill it with warm water or tea to sip on before the gate. Before catching your flight, fill it up at a cafe with hot water and buy extra spring water for the onward journey on the flight. Tip: take your favourite herbal tea bag with you such as ginger to keep your digestion strong and vata balanced - it will also boost your immune system and reduce congestion.
In The Airport
Make sure if you suffer from constipation you need to eat soupy foods, as this will stop any discomfort. Tip: Take dates or dried fruits with you to snack on the plane. You can pre-soak and drain almonds and take them with you for snacking. You can also buy and pack your own solid foods which you just add hot water too. If it’s an early flight, you can pack your own chia pudding: Suggested Recipe 2 tbsp chia and sunflower seeds 1 cup of oats, just add sweetened almond milk in Tupperware to snack on during an opportune moment. I like to leave my chia in milk to soak overnight or for at least 1 hour to make the seeds swell. Chia is a great source of fibre and will help to keep you hydrated.
On The Plane
Settle into your travel with more hydration.
Sleep as your body wants; rest and remove electrical stimuli; meditate and connect with the intentions you want to place for the coming immersion.
Settle into your room as soon as you can. Hopefully, you won’t be suffering from jetlag, but if you are, try to adapt to the destinations sleep hours and waking hours. Restore yourself in the sunlight and in the good company of others, whilst staying hydrated. If you suffer from jetlag, you can bring with you melatonin or homoeopathic remedy to help rest in the evening. Ayurvedic herbs like Tagara, Ashwagandha & Brahmi will aid in good sleep and also helps you concentrate and stay alert. Gaia Herbs is a great brand and we also recommend Maharishi Ayurveda or MAP products.
Give yourself morning abhyanga to feel alert and ready for the program.
Take two Triphala tablets with warm water before bedtime to help tonify the intestine and help keep regular with bowel movements. Rest well and enjoy the trip!
For more information or some pointers on how you can tune into a healthier, whole, wellbeing please contact Amrita Ma Devi by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.