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Ayurveda defines jetlag as a state of excess Vata energy in our organism. Vata is known as the motion principle and consists of the natural forces of air and space. On long flights these forces strongly act on us and lead to an accumulation of Vata. Therefore it is recommended to reduce the characteristics of Vata before, during or after the flight.

Vata properties are: mobile, dry, light, rough, subtle & cold. By using the polarity properties like heavy, slow, oily, warm, grounding, soothing and softening, we help the organism find back to it`s natural balance.

1. Oil massage

Sesame oil is the VATA oil no. 1 – it warms the body, stimulates the metabolism and has a calming effect on our nervous system. So ideal would be do this before and/or after your trip.

First warm the oil in a pot (not in the microwave). Then oil yourself from top to bottom. Maybe even use a body brush for that. If time allows, wrap yourself in a bathrobe and let it soak for about 30 minutes. If time is tight, take a warm shower and make sure you are using a mild (best unscented) body wash to keep the effect up. If a full body oil massage is not possible, a short foot massage after your arrival can already work miracles.

2. Sufficient Water

The dryness of Vata gets amplified when stayed in a dry area such as an aircraft. But this we can counteract by drinking regularly small amounts of hot water. I always bring my own water bottle which I fill up as soon as I enter the airplane. I too bring some tea bags, preferred ginger tea since it has a warming effect on our body and helps to aid digestion. Skip the soda and alcohol as they are both dehydrating. In Ayurveda a salty taste calms our nervous system and Vata, therefore simply order a glass of tomato juice after boarding.

3. Right nutrition

Whenever possible, away from from airplane food! These are neither fresh nor yummy. They also contain lots of flavor enhancers which disturb Vata even more.

The best would be to enjoy a hot, satisfying meal right before departure while bringing plenty of snacks with you! I ALWAYS bring some raw chocolate or musli bars, dates, dried berries and nuts.

Upon arrival, the ideal dishes would be soups, curries or stews with root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots. They warm from the inside out while gently soothing and grounding Vata.

4. Rhythm

When in the plane, it would be advisable to already set your watch to the time of your arrival destination. So you can already get a feeling for the day and night time and maybe even manage to adjust your sleep after it. Try to definitely catch some sleep since that is probably the best most proven remedy against jetlag.

Upon arrival try as soon as possible to adapt to the natural rhythm of your destination even if that means sleeping with open eyes or forcing yourself to stay up late!

5. Move!

Get up and walk around the plane about every two hours to keep the circulation flowing and to avoid blood clots. I additionally wear compression tights on really long flights over 6 hours.

After the flight try to get some fresh air, have a walk through the park or on the beach which will help to eliminate fatigue.

And of course there is Yoga. Which truly kicks every jet lag in the butt. Check out my JETLAG YOGA SEQUENCE for a short practice after travelling.

Hope these tips help you as much as they help me 🙂

H A P P Y  H O L I D A Y !


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