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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Letterboxing: Something FREE To Do On Your Next Vacation

Road trips can be long and boring, so before we get to our official destination we like to do some Letterboxing along the way. If you have never heard of letterboxing, it is very similar to Geocaching except a GPS is not required which makes it more like an old fashioned treasure hunt. Also, instead of little trinkets, you are searching for a box with rubber stamp to stamp in your Letterboxing journal and a book to leave your mark to show you have been there. Having these planned before any road trip is essential. You can have your children take turns reading the clues, figuring them out and of course the always favorite, stamping the books. It adds to the excitement of the drive while discussing the last letterbox, the next clues or trying to figure out what the next stamp could possibly be. It also is a great way to get your family to work as a team while trying to get to the same goal.  

To get started it is best to visit this website: www.letterboxing.org. The site is excellent and has everything you will need to know to get started, find locations all over the world and print off the necessary clues.

The next step will be to create your “handle”, “character” or I.D.  I found the best and easiest way was to visit the local craft store and find a rubber stamp that everyone likes.  Some people like to make there own out of white erasers and you can find out how to do that by going here:

  http://www.mitchklink.com/letterboxing/carving.htm 

But for newbies, I’d stick with buying one for your whole family or one for each individual in your family.  When we began ten years ago, we were a family of five; hubby, three boys and me, so I chose a stamp with three Cootie bugs and made our name “Ima Cootie”. To make it more special, we use turquoise ink when we leave our mark in a Letterboxing journal and usually leave a note like, “This was a fun one” or ” What a great hike” with our “Ima Cootie”, date and where we are from.

It’s always a lot of fun to look through the journal to see who else has been there, what notes they leave and where they originated.
One of the fun parts about Letterboxing is the secretiveness. Most are placed where people walk by everyday and have never noticed a SPOR(suspicious pile of rocks) or a perfectly placed downed log. Some boxes we have found have even been in museums behind furniture or in crevices and supposedly the museum workers don’t even know they are there, so it is imperative that you search very sneakily and when you find it, remove yourselves from the location to open it and do the stamping. Then very quietly and covertly put it back and secure it in it’s original location so that others can find it just like you did.
Most of our road trips, vacations or days out include at least one letterboxing adventure which have taken us through the woods, in museums, historical and government buildings, lighthouses, rest areas,  on top of waterfalls and even under benches and statues at the beach.  There are so many things we would have never discovered or experienced together if we had not gone on these little treasure hunts. They keep everyone busy and excited when you’ve run out of other things to do.

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!