Traveling to a foreign destination is an intriguing and magical experience, however; entering a new time zone is often tiresome on the mind and body. A change in energy, fatigue and fogginess of the mind is often experienced with jetlag; taking away from the bliss of your adventure.
We have found that one of the best jet lag cures beyond rest and water is a short yoga sequence. Moving and stretching the body will enhance your energy, making the transition to your destination much easier.
Here is a short series of yoga poses that you can perform from the comfort of your own hotel room; Flowing through this sequence will help clear your mind, stabilize your energy and boost your mood.
1. Supta Bhadda Konasana (Supine butterfly-pose)
Start by laying down on your back; bring the souls of your feet together and let the knees fall by either side.
Allow your arms to fall down by your sides with your palms facing up, letting your fingers naturally curl.
Close your eyes and become aware of any sensations you may feel; sounds, touch and smells.
Begin connecting to your body by taking a big breath in, filling your lungs all the way up and then holding the breath and the top. Slowly exhale, and then take 10 full deep belly breaths.
Give yourself permission to pause, let go of any subconscious gripping in the body and let your mind slow down.
2. Supta Matsyendrasana (Supine Spinal Twist)
Keeping your eyes close or gaze soft, bring your knees to center and compress them into your chest.
Wrap your right forearm around both shins, take a deep breath in and as you breath out let the knees fall over to the right side of your body.
Take your gaze over to the left, allowing the left shoulder to settle to the ground further as you take each exhale.
Stay here, or extend your bottom leg out straight to take the spinal twist deeper.
Take 10 deep breaths where ever you are, and repeat on the left.
This posture will realign your spine, massage your inner organs and naturally detox your body of anything you may have picked up on your journey here.
3. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
Draw your knees to center, keep the thighs and shins at parallel.
Bring your heels towards your gluteus muscless and plant your feet directly below your knees.
Press down in the inner edges of your feet, take a full breath in and then lift your hips as you exhale.
Lift your chest and slide your shoulder blades beneath you, keeping the spine extended and outer arms firm and engaged.
Engage your gluteus muscles and inner thigh muscles.
Stay for 5 full breaths, release down and then repeat the posture two more times.
This pose will rejuvenate tired legs, open up the chest and spine; as well as alleviate stress and anxiety.
4. Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby)
Bring your knees into your chest, inhale and wrap your palms around the outside soles of your feet.
Keeping your entire spine pressed into the ground align your ankles over your knees.
Flex your feet, breath steadily.
Stay stationary or rock side-to-side (laughing baby).
Happy baby will open your inner hips and alleviate your fatigue.
5. Bitilasana & Marjaryasana (Cow-Cat)
Begin in a table-top position, aligning your shoulders over the wrists and your hips over the knees.
As you inhale, lift your chest and drop your belly, tilting your sitting bones toward the ceiling (cow pose)
As you exhale round your spine toward the ceiling and let your head drop toward the floor. (cat pose)
Move through these two postures 5-8 times, synchronizing each breath to each body movement.
Cow-cat will massage your spine, stretch and open the torso and regulate emotional balance.
6. Surya Namaskar (Sun salutation)
Begin to move your body through a series of three to five sun salutations as your body begins to crave movement.
On your first salutation land in each posture for at least five full breaths.
After your first round on each side, begin to move through giving one full breath for each body movement.
Sun salutations will awaken the mind, create space in the body and boost your circulation after a long day of travel.
7. Ustrasana (Camel)
Bring your knees down the floor hip-width apart.
Continue to lift your torso up out of your hips, keeping the spine long and extending.
Place your palms on the sacral part of your spine with your fingers facing up or down and gently push your hips forward. (Keep your thighs at parallel)
Inhale and lift the heart towards the ceiling, keeping the chin inline with your neck and shoulder blades drawn down. Continue to gently ease deeper into the posture with each breath out.
Stay here or take it further by releasing your palms to your ankles.
To release out of this pose: place your hands on your hips, draw your tailbone down and lead with your heart.
Invigorate and awaken your body with a back-bend; opening the throat, chest and heart.
8. Virasana (Hero's Pose)
Kneel on the ground allowing your kneecaps to press together, keep your spine long and shoulder blades released down on to your back ribs.
Separate your feet outside of your hips and with your next exhale sit your buttocks between your ankles.
Modify by sitting on a block or book if hips do not release fully to the ground.
Keep your chest lifted and collarbones expanding with each breath.
Place your palms on your thighs, close your eyes take ten deep breaths.
Slow and steady your mind, gently stretch your outer hips and connect to your heart center.
9. Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Move out any last fidgets or wiggles and then lie down flat on your back, allowing your entire body to give in to gravity.
Let go of any gripping in your body, letting each point of yourself release into the ground below you.
Let your breath take its natural state and find stillness.
Optional: Imagine your breath is tied to a flower: each time you breath in the flower opens, each time you breath out it gently closes, letting it be natural.
Find ease and stay here for as long as you need.
When you're ready press up into a seated position, bring your hands at prayer to your forehead center, take a deep breath in and fill up. Exhale and let it go.
Give yourself space to connect to your mind and body, allowing you to be present as you explore a new corner of the world. Namaste.