The Best Yoga Poses to Combat Jet-Lag

The Best Yoga Poses to Combat Jet-Lag

You finally arrive at your destination, but you cannot seem to shake off the fatigue from your journey. The excitement may have set in, but if you have traveled across a few time zones, unfortunately the jetlag probably has too. Even if you have kept well hydrated, had a snack, and maybe even a little nap, one of the surest ways to combat jetlag is through movement. So grab your comfy pair of harem pants or yoga leggings and try these yoga poses to pull you out of an energy slump, and help you feel refreshed!

1. Full Body Stretch

This may not be a traditional yoga pose, but once you start including this pose you’ll never want to let it go. It is a variation of the corpse pose, and is a fun way to fight off any lingering sleepies you may be feeling in your body. The mechanics of the pose is exactly as it sounds. Roll out your mat, and let’s get started.

How to do the pose:

Lay flat on your back and inhale deeply. Make sure your core is engaged, and your lower back is glued to the mat. If you have an arch you are compromising your spine.

The next time you inhale, lift your hands over your head and touch the ground. Exhale and interlace your fingers. On your next inhale push your fingers away from your head and point your toes, continue to breath and stretch as far as you can.

2. Spinal Twists

A twist massages the organs and provides new blood supply after unraveling from the pose. The fresh oxygen is exactly what your muscles need to feel awake again.

How to do the pose:

While on your back, bring your left knee towards your left armpit. Hold it with your arms, gently rocking it left and right. When you feel your hip start to relax, straighten the same leg towards the sky, and stick your arms out to the side (option to take cactus arms).

Let your raised leg fall across your body until your toe touches the mat. If this stretch is too deep for you, bend that leg. To increase the twist, turn your head in the opposite direction. Breathe for five inhalations and exhalations, then unravel and repeat on the other side.

3. Happy Baby Pose

Whether you were traveling by airplane, bus, or car – you probably felt tight for space. Owning the happy baby pose is a great way to reclaim your space. Explore this playful posture by choosing different toe grabbing variations, and rocking your happy baby left and right.

How to do the pose:

On your back, inhale and draw both of your legs into your chest. Your left arm gently pulls your left leg in and towards your left armpit. Mirror this movement on your right side. Make sure your lower back is pressed down flat to the mat and engage your core.

Wrap your peace fingers (index finger and middle finger) around your big toe, and on your next inhale stretch your legs towards the sky, keeping a generous bend in your knees to start. Rock your baby left and right. As you start to feel your body loosening in this pose, try to straighten your legs. Open up to a V for a deep hamstring stretch.

4. Camel Pose

The camel may not be an animal that inspires vigor, but the camel pose delivers! It is a great posture to fire up your muscles and add heat to your practice.

How to do the pose:

This pose starts on your knees. Position your knees hip-width apart and place your hands on your hips. Inhale and stretch your hands over your head, bringing them together in prayer pose. Tighten your core and squeeze your gluteal muscles as tight as you can to prevent any lower back injuries.

Start to lean back, letting the weight of your arms pull you backwards. Inhale and straighten up again. This time keep everything tight, and windmill your right arm behind you to grab your right ankle. Repeat this on the left side. To avoid a collapsed camel, push your hands against your ankles to keep your chest puffed up.

5. Downward Dog

Anytime you do a backbend, it is always a good idea to complete a counter-pose to give your spine a break. After a camel pose, a downward dog is your best friend. Downward Dog is considered an active-rest pose. Your spine and back muscles will relax, but your body still experiences the energizing benefits of the pose.

How to do the pose:

Start on your hands and knees. Lift your hips towards the sky so your body looks like an upside-down V. Your arm muscles are engaged. Although your hands are flat on the mat, you should be actively twisting your arms away from each other. 

Your head hangs, and your shoulders should be relaxed away from your eyes. If you are clenching your jaw, relax.

Keep your spine and hamstrings long. The stretching sensation in your hamstrings will vary based on how straight you keep your legs. Bend your knees if the feeling is too intense.

6. Headstand Pose

Ending your practice with an inversion is an excellent technique to change the flow of blood in the body. Headstand pose has many variations, and can be adjusted to fit the space you are in. You can either do a headstand against the wall, or free-standing on your mat.

How to do the pose:

While on your knees, lower your forearms to the mat, and clasp your fingers together. Your arms should be in a triangle shape, leaving space for your head to rest on the mat. Learn forwards and place your head on the mat.

If you are able, use your core to lift your legs over your head. If you need a hop, climb up to your tippy toes and give yourself a baby hop until your feet are in the air.

Hold this pose for multiple rounds of breath and drop your legs when you are ready.