Vertigo is chiefly caused by ear problems, balance disorders, and some medication.1 Feeling dizzy, to the point of feeling that the room is spinning or whirling, is a common symptom of vertigo. You must be aware that not all cases of dizziness are caused by vertigo – for instance, dizziness caused by dehydration, a drop in blood pressure, or poor blood flow.
Remember: Practice near a wall or with a teacher so that you have support at all times.2
While prescription drugs are an option, it might turn into an addiction. And yoga offers a natural alternative cure. While the discipline is vast, you can go for just the poses that do not require a lot of balance, since vertigo is, after all, a balance disorder. Here are 5 asanas you can start with to get your vertigo issues under control.
[expert_opinion expertname=’annieau’ opinion=”When practicing these poses, remember to breathe deep into the belly and expand the ribcage on each breath. Doing so alleviates the anxiety that you might have from feeling dizzy.”]
1. Mountain Pose
Mountain pose, or tadasana, is a foundational standing pose. It’s simple and great for beginners! This basic move is extremely grounding, making it the perfect yoga pose for vertigo sufferers.
How To Do
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, keeping them flat on the floor. Your weight should be evenly dispersed between your feet.
- Imagine a line running from your head to your groin. If needed, lift your tailbone to straighten out your body.
- Widen your shoulders to avoid hunching over and relax.
- Let your hands hang at your sides. Face your palms outward and breathe.
2. Auspicious Pose
The auspicious pose, or svastikasana, is a meditative position that helps ground the body’s center. It will also strengthen your back and hips, improving the poor posture that’s often seen in vertigo sufferers.
How To Do
- Sit on the floor and straighten your legs in front of you. Bring in the right leg so that the sole of your right foot meets your left inner thigh.
- Fold in the left leg such that the sole of your left foot meets your right inner thigh.
- Take the right foot and pull it up and through the left knee gap.
- Gently move your knees toward the floor. You should feel a gentle stretch in your thighs, but it should not hurt.
- Straighten your torso and back. If necessary, adjust your pelvis and buttocks.
- Rest your hands on your knees and hold the pose strongly.
- If you feel dizzy, close your eyes and focus on the spot where your pelvis meets the ground.
3. Bridge Pose
To correct your posture, try the bridge pose or setu bandha sarvangasana. This pose opens up your chest and strengthens your back. However, do this pose only with the support of a teacher or friend. Do it gradually to avoid sudden movements.
How To Do
- Lie down on your back.
- Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
- Place your hands along the sides of your body.
- Slowly lift your hips, pressing your feet into the floor for optimal grounding support. Don’t forget to open up your chest, too.
- During the entire pose, keep your feet parallel at all times. Your knees should be over the ankles and in line with the hips.
4. Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose
The hand-to-big-toe pose, or supta padangusthasana, is an easy yoga position for vertigo sufferers. While it might sound silly, it’s actually quite powerful. This pose strengthens the thighs, hamstrings, and surrounding muscles. It gives you more stability when you stand up.
How To Do
- Lie down on your back and straighten your legs out in front of you.
- Bend your right knee and bring it to your chest.
- Lace your fingers together along the back of the right thigh. Gently take in your leg until you feel a comfortable stretch.
- Extend and straighten your leg upward, with the sole of your foot facing the ceiling. Adjust your butt and hips so that they stay flat on the mat. If you can, hold your right foot to deepen the stretch. You can also use an exercise band or even a towel.
- After lowering down the right leg, repeat with the left.
5. Staff Pose
As a seated exercise, the staff pose or dandasana requires minimal balance. In this pose, you stretch your calves, hamstrings, and thighs. Most importantly, it strengthens your back and fights vertigo problems.
How To Do
- Sit down and straighten your legs in front of you.
- Ground yourself by placing your sit bones straight on the mat. To do this, use your hand to shift each butt cheek so that you feel the bones on the floor.
- Flex both feet until you feel a stretch. Keep your shoulders right above the hips and widen your shoulders. As always, you should not be hunched over.
- Rest your hands flat on the floor along your hips. Lengthen your spine, thinking about a straight line through your body. This will strengthen and support your back.
If you’re new to yoga, try these moves slowly. Sudden movements might make your vertigo worse. Over time, you’ll be able to treat dizziness and fatigue by strengthening your mind and body through yoga.