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Feeling Lightheaded? 5 Tips to Help Prevent Dizziness in Yoga
Getting a little woozy while practicing yoga isn’t uncommon. The sensation can vary from an almost pleasant, slightly intoxicated feeling (like the rush after the first swallow of a good glass of champagne) to nausea accompanied by a frightening feeling that the room is spinning out of control. In severe cases, students can even pass out.
Although occasional wooziness while practicing yoga is no cause for alarm, if you regularly experience lightheadedness—during yoga or not—check with your doctor. If she gives you the green light to continue practicing, here are five strategies that may help.
1. Eat a Small Meal Before Yoga Class
Yoga teachers generally recommend that students not eat for three hours before practicing asana. It’s not bad advice, as long as you’re not hypoglycemic. If your blood sugar tends to be on the low side, eating a light meal or a protein bar an hour or so before class may make a world of difference.
2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
People who get woozy when they stand up or when they move their head from below to above their heart often suffer from postural hypotension (low blood pressure due to shifting posture from sitting or lying to standing up). Drinking lots of water before class helps pump up the blood volume and seems to keep blood pressure more stable.
3. Practice in the Afternoon or Evening
Many of my clients with dizziness issues have significantly fewer problems if they practice later in the day. I can’t fully explain why, other than that increased food, fluid, and daily activity all probably contribute.
4. Move Slowly
Sudden transitions result in lightheadedness. Coming out of a forward bend, moving from the floor to standing, even sitting up from Savasana. Make each transition slow, mindful, and focused on the breath.
5. Keep Your Head Above Your Heart
This one is tougher because it involves modifying the postures. Instead of going fully into a forward bend, try going halfway or keeping your chin slightly lifted. Sometimes a small change in form fixes the problem.
There are many causes for lightheadedness, including medication side effects, inner ear issues, low blood pressure, and low blood sugar. Some of them are much trickier to deal with than others. Remember: always check with your doctor if you have a health-related concern in yoga class. Once your health care provider says all is well, try one of these five tips. They have helped many of my clients continue their practice with comfort and ease. I hope they help you, too.
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Reprinted with permission from TracyWeberBlog.com
Tracy Weber, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT is a practicing yoga therapist, and also the author of the Downward Dog Mystery series, which won the Maxwell award for fiction. She loves sharing her passion for yoga and animals in any way possible.
Tracy and her husband Marc live in Seattle with their crazy new German shepherd pup, Ana. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, trying to corral Ana, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house.
For more information on Tracy and the Downward Dog Mysteries, visit her author website: http://TracyWeberAuthor.com/.