Are you a frequent flyer busy executive or is it just wanderlust?Although it can be fun and exciting, frequent and lengthy travel can disturb our bio-energetic forces, known in ayurveda as the three doshas—Vata, Pitta, Kapha. Air travel, in particular, can drive our vata soaring. What’s vata you ask? Well it’s the dosha that governs all movement in the body and mind and is predominantly composed of ether and air qualities. Vata’s characteristics are dry, changeable, irregular and light. Since the activity of air travel has similar qualities, it hampers the vata balance.Knowing what your ayurvedic body type is can help to reduce the negative health effects of travel and also make your experience more pleasurable.
Adverse effects of air travel
When we travel by air, the dry, re-circulated in-flight air, increased cabin pressure and high altitude add to our already disturbed diet and lifestyle routine. Coupled with time zone changes and disconnection to earth, air travel can leave our bodies feeling quite out of sorts. Air travel can leave people with:
- Excessive sleepiness
- Inability to focus
- Feelings of nausea and dizziness
- Muscular joint aches
- Indigestion and constipation
- Dehydrated/dry and blemished skin
Those individuals with a ‘vata’ dominant constitution or those who have always been used to [or have a preference for] a rigid routine are likely to be the most affected by jetlag. Here are some simple vata pacifying tips:
Before you travel, treat yourself to a hot oil abhyanga massage to lock in moisture in the deeper skin layers. This is a fantastic antidote for aggravated vata since it has warmth and lubricating qualities that counterbalance the dry and windy elements of vata.
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