Circadian rhythm sleep disorder or… Jet Lag.

Reality during the day.
Reality during the day.

Oh my God.

I have not been able to sleep well since I came back from Chile. I think that I have been sleeping something around 10 hours in total during the last four days.

I never had a Jet Lag like this before – and I can understand that idea that it´s easy to get crazy if you don´t get enough sleep-. It´s not that I´m dying but I am in a super-duper low energy mode with, reality, during the day, looking like a dream and, during the night, looking like something really hard to handle with.

But, since I´m a positive person and I see every crisis as an opportunity, I have been learning some very interesting things about how to deal with your yoga practice when you are jet lagged. Here you have my observations:

  • First of all (this might sound obvious but I think sometimes obvious things are the easiest to forget): Practice needs to change. I mean, seriously, my body simply can´t do a long sirsasana without feeling super dizzy or a long sequence of standing postures without feeling that I´m about to fall. This takes us to the next point
  • Taking it easy: Everything we do in the practice has to be done with precaution, slowly and tenderly. This type of practice is an amazing opportunity to listen one self in a new way and treat ourselves with love.
  • Props are my friends: In general I use props to go deeper in my understanding of the actions in the yogasanas but, during the last couple of days, I have been using props in the restorative-relaxing way. Urdvha Dhanurasana looks impossible but some restorative backbends with the chair or bolsters feel like a massage to my spirit that´s learning how invigorating actions can be done in a gentle way.
  • Recovering the energy (or distribute it in a better way) is the mantra. Listening to the body, conscious breathing and tender (but precise) movements and actions will help us to re-build or find the energy that is missing, helping us A LOT in our day life.

During my practice, I feel that my body is tired, confuse and lost. And the energy that I usually feel moving trough myself gets stuck in my joints or, simply, is not there at all.

I have been trying different sequences every day/night (my practice today was at 04:00am) and I will share with you this sequence that I found that it was made for jet lag. Here you have the adaptation I did of it for my own needs:

1.- Virasana

2.- Supta Virasana on bolster with support for the head

3.- Baddha Konasana for Supta Baddha Konasana on bolster.

4.- Padmasana

5.- Supta Padmasana  on bolster  and changing sides.

6.- Uttanasana, with support for the crown of the head.

7.- Adho Mukha Svanasana with support for the head.

8.- Sirsasana: I stayed something around three minutes, I felt super dizzy but my body was “waking up” slowly.

9.- “Rope I”

10.- Salamba Sarvangasana and part of it´s cycle: Eka and Parsva eka pada sarvangasana, Supta konasana, Parsva halsana and Halasana: I added this because it´s a posture where I feel good and I can go deeper on it,  keeping the actions but, at the same time, enjoying the “refresh” that the posture brings.

Forward bends with support for both the pelvis and the head feel really good! Also very gentle twisting actions with the help of the chair or the bolsters bring calm and space.

All these are just ideas since I´m talking from my own experience. I´m sure that, if you have been practicing for a while, you will be able to understand and listen what your body is telling you and there´s a big chance that, your needs will be different from mine.

If you don´t know what to do I absolutely recommend you to find a teacher who can guide you properly.

They estimate that the “recovery rate is one day per time zone crossed. That gives me at least two more days, although I already feel a little more adapted to the rhythm of the mountains, the most important thing is that I feel happy and grateful to be learning from this experience.

Time Zones of the World, from Wikipedia.
Time Zones of the World, from Wikipedia.

2 thoughts on “Circadian rhythm sleep disorder or… Jet Lag.

  1. Oh dear! Hope you “find back” soon! Being in a jet lag like this feels as if you were in a kind of weird dream all the time, it’s great you can use your yoga practice to dive through. I once had a jet lag like this and for me it was so difficult to be around other people, as if they came from another universe (and me feeling like a zombie😉 Mx

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