Restorative Yoga is a perfect antidote for jet lag.
I often turn to these poses to feel better following a flight and had the opportunity to share their power with my client Nancy last week, just back from a three week cruise around South America and jet lagged from a ten plus hour flight home.
Exhausted, bleary eyed and unsteady on her feet, our typical stretch, strengthen and balance session was not what she needed.
I suggested we try some nourishing restorative yoga poses instead.
Restorative Yoga Poses
We started with reclining bound angle pose, a deliciously relaxing posture that loosens the hips, relaxes the low back, gently opens the chest and abdomen and relaxes the entire nervous system. Propped on a bolster and block with blankets under her hips, eyes closed focusing on her breath she relaxed deeply for ten to fifteen minutes.
Next we moved to supported bridge pose, a gentle inversion that opens up the chest and increases circulation to the upper body. Lying on two bolsters aligned end to end she slid toward her head until her shoulders lightly touched the floor with arms out to her sides, palms turned up. She rested with her legs stretched out on the bolster for another five to ten minutes. (Alternatively this pose can be done with knees bent and feet on the floor.)
Legs on a chair pose was next, a gentle variation of legs up the wall pose, that promotes circulation to the legs, hips and low back and is calming to the nervous system. As Nancy lie on the floor and lifted her legs, I placed a chair in position so she could lay her calves on the seat allowing her knees to snuggle into the seat’s edge. She rested here for several minutes.
Her body rested and nervous system calm we continued with some of her favorite stretches, like cat /cow and child’s pose, ending with a long final relaxation (savasana) lying on the floor with legs and arms a comfortable distance from her body focusing on the smooth steady flow and rhythm of her breath.
When finished, Nancy’s eyes were brighter and her body rejuvenated. She said she felt much better and was grateful we took the restorative yoga route instead of engaging in her typical practice.
More About Yoga
Relax and Renew - the definitive guide to restorative yoga by Judith Lasater
Staying Yoga with Yoga - yoga really will keep you younger. Here's how.
Breathe Away Stress - A simple breathing exercise to help you invoke the relaxation response
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