- by Latha Raman Sivashakti Yoga Bangalore
- 4 Shares
- Nov 07 2017
Managing vertigo with yoga
Vertigo is a sense of rotation, rocking, or the world spinning, experienced even when someone is perfectly still. Vertigo tends to last for many hours or for days before resolving. It is associated with a disturbance in the sense of balance and equilibrium in the brain, and this causes dizziness. It usually affects the inner ear. The causes could be anything, ranging from a lack or drop in blood flow to the year, calcium or fluid accumulation, or even the entry of a virus.
Movement of the head or body, like rolling over in bed, can escalate or worsen the symptoms. Many people experience associated nausea or vomiting. Physical examination often shows signs of abnormal eye movements, called nystagmus.
Vertigo is based on whether the cause is peripheral or central. Central causes of vertigo arises in the brain or spinal cord while peripheral vertigo is due to a problem within the inner ear. The inner ear can become inflamed because of illness, or small crystals or stones found normally within the inner ear can become displaced and cause irritation to the small hair cells within the semi-circular canals, leading to vertigo. This is known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).
Often during the bout of Vertigo people find it difficult to even come out of the bed due to imbalance and other associated symptoms. Hence only gentle yoga has to be practised at a minimum level of one’s capacity, at that point of time.
Some yoga exercises to attempt with or without support to reduce Vertigo:
1. Sandhi Sanchalan (Joint loosening exercises on bed/ sitting upright on a chair)
Movement of all joints from toes to neck, including arms, with synchronised breathing.
2. Standing (Tadasan) balancing to and fro movements with a wall support or chair in front or both as support.
Holding the chair in front or resting back on the wall, move sideways, backwards and back forth, mainly, off from the particular side where the vertigo has affected. If possible keep the toes raised throughout. As a next step, distribute weight equally to the front and back of the feet (distribute the weight on the 3 points of the foot: First the centre of the heel, second on the ball of the foot on the little toe and last the ball of the foot on the big toe side.) Then place the toes down, if you had held them up during the initial movements. Finally correct the standing posture (Tadasan). Stand erect with your spine aligned over your pelvis, knees pointed to same direction of the feet and with your weight evenly distributed between your feet; gaze (drishti) pointed to a point above eye-level or far away on the floor, in-front. If you feel confident you can now stand without the support of wall/chair too.
3.Holding Mudras such as Hakini mudra, yoni mudra , Apan Mudra, Shunya Mudra, Namakara/Anjali mudra aids in regaining balance. Do as needed, or use three times daily for 15 minutes as a course of treatment.
Yoni mudra Anjali mudra Shunya Mudra
4. Nadhi shodana or Alternate breathing can help to regain balance.
There are some YOGA poses to manage Vertigo when the symtoms have subsided:
It is also known as child’s pose and it is a relaxing pose. It is meant to calm the mind. At the onset of a vertigo attack, a restorative pose such as this will help you overcome the dizziness. This asana helps to strengthen the nervous system with regular practice.
How To Do It – Come onto your fours. Now, bring the feet together as you widen your knees. Rest the abdomen on the thighs and your buttocks on the feet. Place your forehead on the ground. Bring your arms around you, alongside your legs. You can hold your feet with your palms. Hold the pose for a few minutes, and release.
Seated Forward Bend, Intense Dorsal Stretch
It is also known as seated forward bend and Intense Dorsal Stretch. It is a great stress reliever. It helps balance emotions and relieves anger, anxiety, and irritability. It increases the blood flow in the head and the balance centres, thus helping with vertigo. Your nervous system is strengthened with this asana.
How To Do It – Assume the Dandasana. Then, stretch the arms above the head, and gently bend forward. Depending on how flexible you are, you can either touch your toes or catch your feet. Lower your head as much as you possibly can. Hold the pose for a few seconds, and then release.
3. Viparita Karani
It is also called as Legs up the Wall. This asana is primarily benefits those who have vertigo. It calms the mind and relieves headaches associated with the problem. Closing your eyes also helps you regain your sense of balance.
How To Do It – Sit across a wall and raise your legs up using the support of the wall. Lie down gently and stretch out your arms to the sides, folding them at the elbows so as to resemble a cactus. Place your palms facing upwards. Once you are comfortable, close your eyes and take long, deep breaths. Release after a few minutes.
4. Supta Baddha Konasana
It is also called as Reclining Bound Angle Pose. This asana works on the centres of balance, and almost instantly reduces dizziness. It improves the blood circulation throughout the body, including the head. It is also an extremely comforting pose that calms your nerves and your mind.
How To Do It – Lie on your back. Bend your knees, and bring your feet together, thereby opening up your legs on the side. Raise your arms above your head. Relax. Release when you are satisfied.