Yoga for Jet Lag

Yoga for Jet Lag is similar to Yoga for Insomnia as symptoms of a jet lag is insomnia triggered by that act of passing through different time zones.  There’s also what’s called a “social” jet lag, where one has never left town on air travel but has a lifestyle that resembles a jet lag where the sleep/wake patterns are not in sych with the actual biological body clock … that could be again as a result of social reasons or due to some dementia where your day reverses with night.

In normal healthy situations, with jet lag symptoms receding, insomnia usually cures itself but unfortunately there are exceptions where jet lag symptoms drag on or manifests into full blown insomnia.  Yes, there are some who carry on and have a challenging time shaking off the affects of a jet lag that could be a cause of (1) insomnia (2) headaches (3) stomach upsets – of one extreme to the other (4) fatigue (5) general sense of unease and anxiety. (6) body aches and stiffness.  There are many theories and advice on how to deal with jet lag online that are valid based on science and medical studies and there are many that are simply anecdotal which may or may not work.  The most common is from those who will say that it’s the mindset – you just power through and never think about it and totally trick your mind into the new time zone.  This is of course possible but there are variables that affect the success of that – pretend all is good – method and this article may give you a clue that “fake it” until you make it OR denial method does not really work on the long run – your body knows even if your brain/mind may pretend otherwise.  These factors determine the severity of our jet lag discomforts:

  1.  Depending on where you are going to, your body may undergo additional stress to acclimate and adapt to the new environment – I am talking about the climate of the new location you find yourself in.
  2. How many time zones you few in.  Usual rule of thumb is per each time zone, give one day of rest.  That of course is not possible for many and some are traveling right back or traveling further so … further confusing the body-clock.
  3. You weight and any predisposed cardiovascular and circulatory conditions;
  4. Your age and general fitness level. More advanced in age, the harder to cope; less fit, the more challenging to cope and adapt.
  5. Quality of sleep you normally enjoy.

***                               ***                                 ***

So whether combating a jet lag which is a short term problem or insomnia which might be a bit more complicated, we have to first understand why we sleep so I found this book by Matthew Walker to be very insightful.  There’s also his interview on Fresh Air NPR I would recommend listening to.

More later on the How-To’s Tried-and-True and this for not just jet lag but for the need to improve quality of sleep for general positive outlook on life and yes, happiness.  We are happy when our energy is bountiful – and when our energy is bountiful, there’s happy body and when our body is happy, mentally, emotionally, we are happy.

It’s about the energy. Our prana.  Instead of wasting it or losing it, how to harness it; how to retain it; how to use it for the right purpose; how to increase it. And that all hinges on how we rest, repair, recharge and renew.

So would an inversion help?  What about a heart-centric practice or how about decompression of the spine and opening of the hips?  Things to think about in designing a sequence to serve as a remedy for those who can’t afford one day of rest per each time zone and have the need to get up and go and be productive from the get-go.

Visiting Nagano, Japan

A dormant mountain is now actively volcanic as of this summer … which reminds the visitors that we are at a treasure trove of hot springs here at this mountain resort dotted with many hot spring baths.

In how many languages to convey the message that …the theme of this place is all about Health/Wellness & Healing. (健康と癒し:)

200 hot springs !!!

In 1998 Winter Olympics was hosted at this location

Prada?  Guess crazy rich asians show up here … tons of tourists  Not my kind of place probably because … I am not CRA but a humble one with reasons for being here a bit different from the shoppers here.  Why am I hear?

It’s for a very extraordinary school campus to visit.

And always there’s time for YOGA:)  The class advertised looks very enticing – just wear regular clothes – offering of locally sourced fruits and veggie smoothies for the participants.  Lovey idea. *Realized why we have no desire to wear the American ideas of yoga wear such as Lululemons – it’s way too muggy with high humidity, there is no one who would want to wear that kind of tight fitting body hugging clothing doing yoga.  Loose fitting cotton tunics and light pants makes sense in this climate – further reminding us that yoga is not … gymnastics.

An offering of a very grounding and serene morning yoga class … the air is fresh, everything so moist and dewy.  Indoor options I am sure is available but … if you are in Karuizawa in the summer months, why?  Breathe in the fresh air; cool down from the Tokyo heat.  Refreshing not sweating. In this lush forest … sun light is kind and … air is pure.

Public & Private

There’s a big public bath house where photo taking is not allowed – then, there’s this private hot spring in this room adjacent to the tatami room.

Healthy breakfast of local fruits (berries and melons) and imported fruits (pineapple from Philippines) topping plain locally made yogurt, sprinkled with local raw honey and … KINAKO – soy powder often used in desserts in Japan.

Traditional Japanese Breakfast of Miso soup, sea and land vegetables pickles and seasoned in traditional methods … missing is Natto – the fermented soy beans that disappeared very fast from the buffet table.

More breakfast veggies

Locally dried raisins made from Kyoho grapes + decadence of pastries from locally famed bakery, Asanoya … all petit sizes so you can enjoy the variety – cinnamon danish topped with strawberry, chocolate blueberry toast, and matcha muffin.