The One Yoga Secret To Avoid Jet-Lag.

Via Claudia Azula Altucher
on Jan 11, 2012
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Paul Dallaghan shared with us his technique for avoiding jet lag towards the end of Teacher Training circa March of 2009 in Thailand, and since I -like most other students- was about venture into a 20+ hour plane-ride, my ears perked up.

Graduation day, right before embarking on the 20+ hours of flying

I don’t remember all the details, but what did stick with me was the part of not eating anything, at all, during the whole ride.  The reasoning was that if your body thinks it is starving all life force will go towards conserving energy and any time references will become secondary and irrelevant. He explained it much better than me.

He also said that in the morning he normally would do some basic stretching and pranayama and invited us, if we were so inspired, to belch out loud “Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu.” or any other mantra of our liking.  For the Guru Brahma mantra you can hear George Harrison sing it here at minute 3:29

I was rolling on the floor laughing picturing it.  Still am.  I can’t stop imagining me singing and signaling people around to join me, you know, going: “c’mon!” as if it was cool, from a middle seat of a packed airplane. You had to be there. But I digress.

Before last year’s trip to Mysore to practice Ashtanga at the KPJAYI a place that is very far from the USA, I told my husband James about it and he decided to try it and be jet-lag free. I could not. I get too hungry.  But he is stronger.

When He arrived in India he was ‘disoriented’. For example, he did not know that the key was supposed to go in the key-hole to open the door, you know? confused! yet not jet lagged.

His brain was not working at full capacity and I should probably have played a game of chess with him right then and WIN! … (darn!) but the actual time difference, the  feeling like it is 3 AM when it is really 3 PM (and which normally takes me 4 to 6 days to adjust to), did not seem to affect him at all.

James is the one on the right.  The one on the left is the Argentinean champion under 17 at the time. James won.

So this year… I tried it!

The not eating part was easy.  I just slept the whole trip to Dubai and pretended not to smell anything.  Whenever I got hungry I remembered Yoga Sutra 3.31 that says that by performing samyama (the last three limbs of yoga -concentration, meditation samadhi-) on the throat tip, hunger and thirst retire.

Somehow just putting my attention on it helped me.  Call it beginners luck.  I did drink plenty of fluids though and no alcohol at all, I never do, don’t find the fun in it anymore, I know, I’m boring like that.

The 380 from Emirates goes to Bangalore and has room for yoga
right near the staircase. I luuuuuuv that plane

The Dubai to Bangalore portion was easier, in a 3 hour flight not much is served.  Then the 3 hour car-ride to Mysore, Gosh! Does it ever end?.  I asked the driver if we could stop for chai, I wanted something warm. He did. Ahhh.

And so at 6 AM I arrived at my home in Gokulam and unpacked the bag I had left from last year.  I put all clothes in the drawers, prepared some tea, got the big bottle of water, and decided to keep going because: the worst thing you can do is fall asleep (or so James tells me).

In all fairness, that is what I did in my past two trips, right on arrival, at 7 AM, and waking up at 3 PM to go register at the yoga studio was not pretty.

So the first thing I did was breakfast! I was now allowed after all, only thing is, I did not remember what time Santosha (a local coffee shop) opened, and since the interenet was not yet connected guess what helped me?  My own book! There it was, in black and white, 8 AM.  It was one of those moments…

Then I got busy. Cleaned up, unpacked, went to Loyal World [Supermarket] for food and other supplies, cooked, took a walk, went for more chai, bought a notebook, wrote this, Skyped James awake at ridiculous hours of the night for him, and finally… registration.

Will the jet lag trick work?  We shall see…. Can that even be considered a cliff hanger?

Just so you can actually sleep tonight, let me tell you that I wrote that yesterday, and it did work.  I slept the whole night and even though I am a bit disoriented the time difference is not affecting me as in previous trips.


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About Claudia Azula Altucher

Claudia Azula Altucher has studied yoga for a long time. Her only focus these past eight years has been on Ashtanga through which she studied at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, India (three study visits so far), and at Centered Yoga in Thailand (focus on practice, philosophy and pranayama). Currently she studies at Pure Yoga in NYC. She has taught yoga classes in both Spanish and English. She is also the Author of: 21 Things To Know Before Starting an Ashtanga Yoga Practice (you can get a free PDF at her blog). She writes daily at And you can follow her on Twitter:


9 Responses to “The One Yoga Secret To Avoid Jet-Lag.”

  1. George Harrison, My Sweet Lord, Hare Krishna, and tasmai sri gurave namah to help jetlag? I'll take it!!!!

  2. Claudia says:

    🙂 As long as you dont eat anything while singing it will work … thanks for your comment!

  3. Thaddeus1 says:

    This is the most amazing advice…Chanting Hare Krsna and not eating can only possibly make my long awaited journey to Kovalam in a week an a half only better…Thanks Claudia. I will be sure to give you an update. Just a quick question about timing? When does the no eating start? When you get on the plane, or since my flight doesn't leave until 5:00 pm, can I eat up until then?

  4. Claudia says:

    Thaddesus1, hello! thanks, the not eating part really is what does it, chanting is optional, although I always do it mentally and love it 🙂

    My plane took off at 11. I stopped eating at 4 PM, about 7 hours before take off, but I would have started earlier if I could, the trick is to get the body to the point where it is really hungry 🙂 so it thinks it might be starving. Enjoy your trip! you going for yoga?

  5. Thaddeus1 says:

    sweet…thanks for the tips…i will let you know how it goes…yeah, we are headed to spend a month with David Garrigues in Kovalam and then heading to the Vrindavan area for another month of seva and sadhana.

  6. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    So glad you remembered this!! Love it – looking forward to hearing more about your trip!!

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
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  7. Claudia says:

    Thank you Tanya!

  8. Claudia says:

    would love to hear about how you do and also David's workshop, lucky you! and then another month of seva and sadhana, very auspicious, enjoy!

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