Calming Jet Lag with Yoga


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.IMG_8441.JPG
IMG_8440.JPGBegin 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.IMG_8443.JPG

Move to table top and then begin a series of cat cow breaths, inhaling in cow and exhaling in cat.  Stay wiIMG_8444 (2).JPGth the breath here for 5 cycles.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 bIMG_8452.JPGegin 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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Staying sane on road trips with kids (No, it is not impossible)

Every trip we take isn’t going to be international and sans children.  In fact most trips Jodi and I go on in our lives includes our kids in the backseat of a car.  Let’s all just take a moment to remember what it was like the last time we went on a road trip with children . . . horrors.
You can only play the license plate game so many times before you want to leave your precious offspring along the side of the road by that sweet little farm house and hope someone else will pick them up and care for them so you can just enjoy scenic ride through the country.

Next time you start packing for another joyous family car trip, add these to the list: kids activity bags.
Activity bags are easy to adapt for each child’s interests and age using things you already own.  Let’s hear it for being cheap!  No really, I love cheap.

Here’s how it works:

1. Gather a gallon ziploc bag, paper lunch bag, or pencil box if you are really “Matha Stewarty”, for every hour of the car ride.  If it takes you 8 hours to drive to Grandma’s house, each kid will need 8 bags.

2.  Fill each bag with the following: one coloring page, five crayons or pencils or markers (or switch these up per bag), one book, one toy, one snack and small juice box, one game (the games can be paper or not; puzzles count, paper mazes count and so does origami for older kids.  Be creative or just steal other peoples ideas from Pinterest).

3. For older kids you can substitute the coloring page for a craft.

4. Every three bags, add in a music cd, playlist, or movie dvd (if your car has that capability) for the kids to play.

The activity bags help reduce the whining and impatience that inevitably ride along with your kids in the backseat by giving them something to look forward to every hour.  For every young children, reduce the time between bags to 30 minutes.  It also takes the pressure off of you to entertain them for 8 hours straight and reduces the number of times you threaten to turn the car around “right this minute.”

Happy road trip!

Photo: 1. Children and dogs in a car: Tomoka River Region, Florida by State Library
2. Joseph Kearns Jay North Billy Booth Herbert Anderson Dennis the Menace 1962