My Top 6 Ways to Overcome Jetlag on a Yoga Adventure!

10592947394_d879c221ff_bI travel internationally about every other month teaching workshops and teacher trainings on three difference continents.  People ask me how I managed to stay balanced flying around the world the way I do and acclimating to different time zones.  Sleep has become a ritual for me, something I prepare for, meditate on, and pray for!

I need deep sleep to be able to be alert and present for my students. I needed to find a way to get good quality sleep on these trips.  Sleep deprivation can accumulate and cause a variety of problems such as increased anxiety, risk of hypertension, obesity, depression, heart attack, and just being straight up delirious!  Sleep is important and deep sleep heals!

It’s important to understand that deep sleep heals the body, the mind, and our spirit. Our daily dose of shut-eye regulates our weight, strengthens our immunity, protects our health, repairs our tissues and cells, and restores our energy. Sleep also allows us to process situations in our lives balancing our emotions, helping us to better solve our problems, and feeds our creativity.  When our mind becomes quiet in deep sleep, our energy in our heart chakra increases and we wake up feeling more inspired to move through our day.

Here are my top 6 sleep strategies:

1. Create a ritual before you go to bed to calm your energy down.  Excessive worry, activity and traveling, can all disturb the spirit and activate the mind—making it near impossible to fall asleep and stay asleep. Try rubbing an ayurvedic oil (I use sesame oil for us vatas) all over your body in a circular motions paying attention to your joints to reduce any swelling especially from flying.  Wait about twenty minutes allowing the oil to soak in and jump in the shower or a warm bath to rinse it off.  You could also try some of my favorite essential oils such as lavender or peace & calming. These oils are extremely healing for the nervous system and aid in the relaxation response that puts us in a state of healing and grounding.

2. Try warm milk before bed or any kind of valerian tea or herbal tea with relaxing herbs. Avoid alcohol before bed because it will disturb deep sleep and can create anxious dreams usually waking you up in the middle of the night creating some type of hyperactivity.

3. When traveling and adopting to time zones I will take melatonin to keep me asleep. I find it helps me get through the first couple nights of jetlag.

395474_275052729233929_1837254280_n 4. Turn the lights down and do restoratives like legs at the wall (Viparita Karani) using an eye pillow to add some weight to the eye sockets. This helps my brain relax and eyes to stay shut.

5. If you do get stimulated easily, stay off the computer and avoid TV shows that create any kind of fear or worry.  It’s best to shut all electronics off before bed and soak in this quiet time with a warm bath and light reading instead.

6. Avoid eating at least two hours before bedtime and try to make dinner your lightest meal.  Eating late will stimulate your digestive system and also can create disturbing dreams.  When traveling, this may be hard but better to sleep through the night and wake up on an empty stomach.

These suggestions don’t just apply to overcoming jet lag, but are great support for good deep sleep at home. Make sleep a priority!  Do what is necessary to take care of yourself and promote healthy sleep.  Watch how the quality of your life improves when you commit to these rituals before bed.  You will see that you will become more inspired, joyous, and actually excited for each day to begin!

Find out more about Joan below!

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The Five Health Benefits of Meditation

It is 2014, and life is busier than ever. We work hard, we play hard. More than ever, we need to get on board with meditation and sit hard (maybe without the hard part, but we were on a roll there).

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There are as many types of meditations as there are styles of yoga pants. You will ultimately find your perfect fit, but as you try on various styles for size, you are gaining the benefits right away. Here are some of those benefits that you are adding to your life:

1)            Meditation will make you more socially connected. Much different from social media connected, the solitary activity of meditation can increase positivity to other individuals and the world at large. It can even make you feel less lonely!

2)            It improves your ability to be creative. Creative people know that writer’s (or painter’s, or dancer’s) block is a very real thing. As a substitute for banging your head against a wall, try mediating. It sure is less painful.

3)            It gives your own 50 shades of gray. Meditation has been shown to increase the gray matter in the brain, in areas relating to memory and thought. The brain volume also increases in the area that regulates  emotions. Why, what did you think this was about?

4)            It can relieve pain. The Journal of Neuroscience has discovered that meditation can relieve pain by activating multiple brain layers. The study involved voluntarily receiving uncomfortable hot flashes to the leg. Be grateful for the people who help out in the name of science!

5)            It makes you see the glass half full. Besides the well-known benefits of decreasing anxiety and stress, meditation can help you to see the bright side of life and can increase positive emotions.

Bring more mindfulness into your life this year with tuja wellness. This Canadian wellness website will offer an absolutely free 30-day meditation challenge starting in February. Meditations will range from 5 to 20 minutes (let’s be honest, you spend more time than that each day on internet browsing) and it couldn’t be easier. Sign up here!