Can Bikram Yoga Help With Jetlag?

Every Thanksgiving, we travel from NYC to visit my husband’s family in California. It is a lot of fun, bustling with cousins, good food, and festivity, but it is also a long trip for a relatively short period of time. It is amazing to think that I have been doing this for twelve years (since my daughter was born), but each year the three-hour time change has gotten a little harder for me to stomach. Getting older is no fun…

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So this year, I decided to find a local Bikram studio and carve out some time to take a class or two. I was able to practice twice during our visit and it made a world of difference. Thankfully, I was able to do laundry because packing up those smelly Bikram yoga clothes for the long flight home would have been rather disgusting!

The studio I found was located about 15 minutes from where we were staying. It was a small studio, but clean and welcoming. I dragged my husband to class with me (he was going to have to drive me there anyway) so it gave our children some one-on-one time with the grandparents, which both sides seemed to enjoy.

I always love visiting other Bikram yoga studios, since each one has its own idiosyncrasies within the standard Bikram yoga format. I almost always learn something new. This studio had thick carpet in the yoga room and everyone straddled the mat for Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose, Triangle Pose and Standing Separate Leg Head To Knee Pose, which I didn’t really like, but the students were incredibly friendly. One gentleman even came over and introduced himself thinking we were new and pointed out a good place to be in the room. Nice.

Back to the jetlag. We were up at 5:30am so we were able to take a morning class without a problem. We were achy and sore from the long flight in coach (could they put the seats any closer together?) and our first night on the blow up bed (had the bed sprung a leak overnight?), so we arrived at the studio in quite a state.

The Bikram yoga class turned it all around. The heat and the stretching were just what we needed to get the kinks out of our body and the savasnas recharged our batteries. The hassles of yesterday’s air travel fell away and we were better equipped to enjoy the festivities ahead. And that night, we slept like babies. We never did find the leak in the mattress, though.

Luckily, we were able to return for a second Bikram yoga class two days later. By then we had eaten enough turkey, stuffing and pie to last us until next year, so class was another great reset for our bodies. We were able to sweat out the toxins, jumpstart our digestion, and recharge ourselves for the upcoming flight home.

Fellow yogis, do you use Bikram yoga to help with jetlag?

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