Jet lag is a definite downside to travel, but luckily I don't have much to do the next few days so I can ease my way back into this time zone. I've found the best way to overcome jet lag is to hydrate like crazy, and eat and sleep at the normal local times. Doing a few stretches doesn't hurt either, especially after a long flight. Here are three yoga poses you can do to open up the body.
The first, above, is rag doll pose.
How to do it: Keep a micro-bend in the knees so you don't hyperextend your hamstrings. Gently fold forward and grab opposite elbows. Release any tension in the neck by gently shaking your head. Feel free to sway side to side with the upper body.
Benefits: This releases tension in the low back, calms the mind, and stretches the hamstrings, calves and hips. It also improves fatigue and anxiety.
Next up, standing pigeon pose.
How to do it: Stand on one leg. As you inhale, cross the other over the standing leg thigh. Bend the standing leg as if you're about to sit on a chair. Tuck the tailbone for a long, flat back. Bring the hands out in front and press firmly together. Gently come forward with the upper body until you feel a good stretch along the hip of the bent leg.
Benefits: Stretches the hip, helps sciatica, and strengthens the thigh.
Last, urdhva hastasana, or upward salute.
How to do it: Stand with the feet together, spread the toes and root down into all four corners of both feet. Tuck the tailbone for an elongated spine. Inhale and lift the arms up overhead, pushing the hips slightly forward and engage the abdominals as you lean back. Breathe for a few breaths.
Benefits: Stretches the front body including abdominals and armpits. Gently opens the chest. Helps to relieve anxiety.