Jet lag is for amateurs, but it is a real challenge anytime you are traveling through different time zones and there’s not much time to let your body naturally adjust. Yoga can help make the transition easier and certain poses can help you get you adjusted to your overseas sleep schedule.
Here is a sequence you can use when you need to sleep, but your mind and body want to stay awake.
Begin in hero pose for 5 breaths. Let yourself feel grounded to the space you are currently occupying. You can move into tip toe hero pose for a few breaths and then reclining hero if you feel comfortable in those positions. If not extend your basic hero pose for 3 more breaths.
Move to table top and then begin a series of cat cow breaths, inhaling in cow and exhaling in cat. Stay with the breath here for 5 cycles.
Slide your body back into child’s pose and let gravity pull your body into relaxation and grounding. Notice where you are holding any tension and breath into those spaces. Stay in this space for 8 breaths. Remember to pause at the top and bottom of each breath.
Lie down on your back and put your legs up against the wall. Bring your right ankle to your left knee for figure 4 against the wall pose. Stay here for five breaths and then switch legs to balance the body.
Put both legs back against the wall for legs up the wall pose and let gravity pull your lower back down to flatten and release any tension. Stay in this position for 10 breaths.
Lie flat on your mat, legs outstretched. Pull your knees up and feet on the ground hips width apart. Allow your legs to drift gently to the right side to begin your supine spinal twist. Put your arms out to your sides and turn your head in the opposite direction of your knees. Breath into the spine for 5 breaths and then repeat on the other side. If you want a deeper stretch, use your ankle on your knee to lengthen the muscle.
Return to your back, pull your knees towards your chest, and grab your big toes. Flatten your lower back and rock side to side in happy baby pose. Stay here for 8-10 breaths.
Using bolsters, blocks or pillows for your knees, move into reclining goddess pose. Be gentle with yourself and don’t push. Let gravity do the work and use those props to help you release your tendency to tighten the inner thighs.
End in corpse pose, palms turned to the floor for grounding. Lie here and let your breathing be natural. Stay in this position as long as it feels good. You can use a block or pillow under your head and another under your knees for more comfort.
This sequence will help you ground to your current time zone and help you prepare the body and mind to sleep.
Always remember, no matter where you travel to, never forget to pack YOGA!