Dizziness and vertigo can be uncomfortable and downright the bewildering. Unfortunately, some of us know this all too well. We understand what it feels like to be unbalanced and unsteady. But with yoga, we have the ability to find solace and strength. There are certain poses that can effectively fight dizziness and soothe the symptoms of vertigo.
The combination of the Cat and Cow poses are an excellent remedy for both dizziness and vertigo. From a table top position, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips, take a few deep breaths. On the inhale expand the chest and drop the belly, this is the cow pose. On the exhale, draw the chest towards your navel, arch your spine, and tuck your chin. This is the Cat pose. Alternate between the two for several rounds and notice how your dizziness seems to subside.
Tree Pose is a standing asana that not only brings balance and focus to the body, but can help with the symptoms of vertigo. To move into Tree Pose, start in Mountain Pose with feet parallel and hip distance apart. Place your right foot against your lower left calf and then bring your palms together in front of your chest. Keep your head, neck, and spine aligned as you lift your gaze, keeping your foot firmly on your calf. Stand in the pose for as long as it feels comfortable, shifting your weight back and forth and feeling the sensations of balance and stability.
Lion’s Breath is a powerful pranayama that can help soothe symptoms of dizziness and vertigo. Start in a seated position with an upright spine and take a couple of deep breaths. After inhaling deeply, open the mouth wide and stick the tongue out, reaching it as far out of the mouth as possible. Exhale and make a ‘ha’ sound with the mouth and exaggerate the inhale and exhale. Repeat this for a few rounds and notice the sensations in the body and how the dizziness gradually subsides.
Both supported and unsupported forward folds can help with vertigo. To do a supported forward fold, place a bolster or yoga blanket in the front of the mat. Sit in front of the bolster and slowly hinge forward, bending at the hips and allowing your stomach to rest on the bolster. Allow your arms to hang down and feel the sensation of balancing and grounding down. To practice an unsupported forward fold, stand in Mountain Pose, Inhale and on the exhale, slowly begin to hinge forward at the hips (bend your knees, if needed) and allow the arms to dangle.
Child’s Pose is a gentle resting pose that can help us find inner stillness and groundedness. From a table top position, move the knees wider than hip distance and bring your toes together. On the inhale, lengthen the spine and on the exhale, bow the head, let the arms rest by the side and move your chest down towards your thighs. Stay here for several breaths, allowing yourself to be held in the comfort of the pose and the stillness of the mind.
These yoga poses are gentle remedies for dizziness and vertigo. But please remember to practice caution and self-care with each pose, and to speak to your doctor before trying any new exercises.