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Charmaine Yabsley's yoga guide to beating jet lag

  • Wellness
  • By Guy Humphrey
  • Published 01 October 2018
  • Published 01 October 2018

No matter how much you travel, jet lag can sometimes make or break a holiday. There are endless tips to combat the tiredness, bloodshot eyes and other common symptoms, however if you’ve tried everything and jet lag is still creeping up on you, yoga could be the answer. To help, we’ve enlisted the assistance of freelance health writer and journalist Charmaine Yabsley who has previously contributed to publications such as Grazia, Women’s Fitness, The Independent and The Times. Being the author of an array of bestselling wellbeing books including Yoga: Relaxation, Postures & Daily Routines, there isn’t anything Charmaine doesn’t know about the ancient art of yoga. So, what are you waiting for? Close the door, take deep breaths and follow this amazing routine that ensures jet lag is a thing of the past.

Leave jet lag at customs with this fantastic yoga routine from Charmaine Yabsley


There’s no doubt about it, jet lag can wipe you out. But what exactly causes it? “Jet lag is caused by our bodies inability to adapt to changing time zones, hence our desire to sleep when it's daytime and usually vice versa, once we've arrived at our destination.” Charmaine says.
Preparations to feeling energised starts even before you touch down. “While you're travelling try to move around as much as you can, drink plenty of water and avoid overeating, which can make you feel sluggish,” Charmaine says. “When you have arrived at your destination, take some time to follow these yoga movements as they will increase circulation, flexibility and, if it's time to sleep, aid in having a restful night. While it can take up to one day for every hour of change to adjust, you can encourage your body to rest and recover with the following yoga routine.”


The focus of this routine is on the lower back and body with the aim to reduce pain or discomfort caused by prolonged sitting. “We've included lots of hip-openers, spinal stretchers and twists, which helps to free stuck energy and restore your energy reserves. These moves are also great to do at other times when you may be suffering from stress, insomnia or body pain, as they help to increase tissue flexibility and strength.” Charmaine says. 

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1.    Skull Shining Breathing 

Otherwise known as Kapalabhati, this breathing technique should be done with a straight back. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, push your navel towards your spine in a short, sharp movement. Repeat this once a second for approximately three minutes.

2.    Alternate Nostril Breathing

Inhale for five seconds, hold for 20 seconds, and slowly exhale for 10 seconds. If you’re finding this difficult, inhale for five seconds, hold for 10 seconds, breathe out for five seconds and work your way up. Repeat this four times.

3.    Corpse Pose

This resting pose looks easy, but it does wonders for your wellbeing. Lie flat on your back with your eyes closes and your arms relaxed. Stay like this for eight breaths.

4.    Sun Salutation

This pose is fantastic for a full-body workout. Begin by bending down and touching your toes. With your arms on the mat, kick your legs out behind you one after the other into a similar position as a high-plank. Lower yourself to the floor and raise the upper half of your body before rising so you make a V shape. Repeat up to six times.

5.    Corpse Pose 

Hold for eight breaths.

6.    Single-Leg Forward Bend

Raise one leg straight off the floor behind you and bend your body until you make a T shape. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other leg.

7.    Corpse Pose

Hold for eight breaths.

8.    Inclined Plane Pose

Also known as an upward plank, this movement builds strength and flexibility in the arms, shoulders, legs, chest and glutes. Hold for one minute.

9.    Corpse Pose

Hold for eight breaths.

10.    Plough Pose

Keep your torso perpendicular and bend your body from the hips so your toes touch the floor above your head. Keeping your arms out straight in front, this movement is brilliant if you’re experiencing back pain or if you’re having trouble sleeping. Hold for up to one minute.

11.    Fish Pose

Lie on your back before pressing your arms into the floor and lifting your chest. Due to your back being arched, it’s highly beneficial if you’re experiencing any pain or discomfort in that area. Hold for one minute.

12.    Corpse Pose

Hold for eight breaths.

13.    Wide-Leg Forward Bend

From a wide stance, bend from the hips down to the floor. This movement will help to stretch your legs and spine and is ideal if you’re planning on a lot of sightseeing while on holiday. Hold for one minute.

14.    Seated Forward Bend

Helping to relieve stress, this stretch begins by sitting with your legs extended out. Bend forward from the hips until your head and legs meet, grab onto your feet and hold for one minute. 

15.    Inclined Plane Pose

Hold for up to two minutes.

16.    Corpse Pose

Hold for eight breaths.

17.    Crescent-Moon Pose

In a standing position raise your arms above your head before moving your body either to the left or right so you make a crescent moon shape. Hold for up to one minute.

18.    Triangle Pose

Engaging the whole body and core, the Triangle Pose is the penultimate move. From standing with your legs apart, turn your left foot inwards and your right foot out. With your arms outstretched, move so one of your hands touches the floor. Hold for one minute.

19.    Final Relaxation of Corpse Pose

Hold for up to 10 minutes, or longer if needed.


Taking around 40-minutes to complete, this routine is ideal for a wind down after a long-haul flight, or for times when you need to relax and simply get away from the stresses of every day life. Even if you’re a yoga newbie or you consider yourself a pro, any jet lag you may have will be eliminated and you’re guaranteed to have the holiday of a lifetime. Haven’t booked your getaway yet? Enquire here or call one of our personal travel managers on 0203 816 0985 now.
This routine is from Yoga: Relaxation, Postures & Daily Routines by Charmaine Yabsley, published by Flame Tree Publishing 2018 and available via www.flametreepublishing.com. To find out more about Charmaine click here to go to her website.

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