Yoga Poses To Fight Motion Sickness
Motion sickness is caused when a part of your balancing system senses motion, while the other parts don't. Nausea, headache, sweating, vomiting, and feeling ill are the common symptoms. They subside once the motion stops. However, yoga practices such as Sirasasana, Sarvangasana, Matsyasana, Vrikshasana, and Nadi Shodhan Pranayama can help prevent and manage motion sickness.
Feeling sick while traveling in cars, ships, or airplanes is generally termed as motion sickness. The common symptoms include feeling ill, nausea, headache, sweating, and vomiting, which usually subside once the motion stops. It is caused when one part of your balancing system senses motion, while the other parts don’t. Example, when you are on a freeway in the car, your inner ears sense the motion of air, but your eyes don’t sense a change. The mismatch between the two senses induces motion sickness.
Like in case of other health conditions, yoga has been proven effective in preventing and managing motion sickness. It helps achieve stability and balance between your senses making your travel hassle-free. Mentioned below are the asanas.
Preventing Motion Sickness Through Yoga
1. Sirasasana (Headstand)
Sirasasana increases the blood flow to your eyes, scalp, and head by enhancing the level of oxygen supply to these parts. It also helps relieve stress and focus better, which are vital for overcoming motion sickness.
- Move your mat adjacent to the wall so you can get the support.
- Interlock the fingers tightly, palms forming a cup shape.
- Place the crown of the head on the ground such that it touches the palms.
- Raise the knees from the floor and walk your toes inwards towards the head.
- Slowly raise your legs upwards from the floor and rest them on the wall.
- Once your body gets properly balanced in this position straighten the legs slowly.
- Make sure that the spine and thighs are in line, straight and vertical.
- Close your eyes and relax the whole body by breathing deeply.
- Stay in the pose as long as you feel comfortable.
- Come back to the starting position by sliding the knees down to the floor.
- Stay in the child’s pose for a few minutes and breathe deeply to completely relax.
2. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
Sarvangasana enhances the eyesight and improves the coordination between your brain and eyes. It also improves blood circulation to your ears strengthening your hearing power. These benefits help manage motion sickness well.
- Lie down flat on the mat and relax for 5 counts of deep breaths.
- Place your hands sideways and close to your body and bring your feet together.
- Lift your legs and bring them close to your chest.
- Place your hands on your back and lift your lower body up slowly.
- Stretch your legs up too, such that the entire body is in a straight line, with your arms supporting your back firmly.
- Hold the pose for as long as you can.
- To return to the normal position fold your leg from the knees and get your upper body down.
- Get back on the mat and rest before you repeat the pose.
3. Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
Matsyasana strengthens your neck and shoulders. The improved blood circulation to the brain positively impacts the sense organs and helps relieves stress on them.
- Lie on your back with your spine straight and relax your hands and legs.
- Place your hands below your butt by lifting the pelvis slightly. Let your forearms tuck into your sides and your butt rest on your palms.
- Inhale and lift your back up, raising your chest, head, shoulders, and back, off the floor with the help of your forearms.
- Now, drop your head back, allowing the top of your head to rest on the mat. Let your elbows hold most of the weight of your body.
- Hold this pose for a comfortable timeframe, while breathing deeply.
- Come back to the starting position by bringing your upper body down on the mat and relaxing your hands and legs.
4. Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
Vrikshasana improves the balance and stability of the body. It also improves blood circulation and strengthens the respiratory system. This helps overcome motion sickness by improving your sense of smell.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your weight evenly distributed between them. Let your spine be erect and your arms at your sides.
- Bend your right knee and draw your right heel up toward your pelvis. This will put all the weight of your body on the left leg.
- Place the heel of your right feet on the inner thigh of your left leg, with your toes pointing towards the mat and right knee facing outwards.
- Press the foot and inner thigh against each other.
- Place your hands in front of your chest with your palms pressed together in a praying position.
- Extend your arms overhead such that your biceps touch your ears. Keep your elbows straight and stay in the position for at least 1 minute.
- Repeat the pose with your left feet pressing against your right thigh.
5. Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
This breathing technique purifies your blood, enhances oxygen supply to your sense organs, and keeps you active throughout the day.
- Sit comfortably in a lotus pose or cross-legged and deep breathe for 5 rounds.
- Press your right thumb on your right nostril and inhale deeply through your left nostril.
- At the peak of inhalation, close your left nostril with the ring finger of the right hand, while your index and middle finger rest on your forehead.
- Exhale through your right nostril.
- Repeat the process by switching the nostrils for inhaling and exhaling.