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Yoga Asanas for Motion Sickness

Yoga asanas for motion sickness

Motion sickness is usually experienced while riding in a car, boat or an airplane. It can also be caused even while standing still and viewing a large screen movie that contains significant motion. This is characterized by dizziness – nausea, vomiting, fatigue followed by pallor (loss of color).

Motion sickness is due to oversensitivity of the nerves that carry the information of position sense to the brain. During rapid changes in position caused by travel, the motion messages from the ear and the eye conflict thereby causing motion sickness. These over reactive nerve impulses in turn set off a general alarm response called Stress Adaptation Response (SAR). Caused by a disturbance in the inner ear, motion sickness can be aggravated by hunger, anxiety or unpleasant odors such as tobacco smoke. Staying calmand keeping your vehicle well-ventilated can help stop the world (and your stomach) from spinning.

Yoga asanas are meant for achieving stability and balance at mental as well as physical levels. Regular practice of yoga should include balancing postures such as sirsasana, sarvangasana, matsyasana and vrikshasana. Before going on to these asanas it is necessary to stabilize and prepare the body with 20 minutes of other loosening and breathing exercises followed by three rounds of dynamic suryanamaskaras.

Do deep relaxation in supine posture and chant ‘aaa’ to get into a nice calm state of mind. Stand up, close the eyes and start rotating the whole body by going round and round with hands stretched out. Go on faster and faster. Stop when you feel uncomfortable. Keep the eyes closed. After the discomfort is gone, rotate again. Repeat this alternate stimulation and relaxation several times for 15 minutes and end the session with a good shavansana for 10 minutes.

Sirsasana (Headstand)

Sarvangasana (shoulderstand)

Sarvangasana (shoulderstand)

Meru Prishthasana 

Starting position : Tadasana

Besides Yoga, there are few things you can do to minimize motion sickness

  1. Get plenty of rest before traveling.
  2. Avoid heavy meals before or during a trip.
  3. Avoid alcohol before or during travel.
  4. Avoid smoke and unpleasant odors.
  5. On a ship, stay on deck rather than indoors. Focus on the horizon or some stationary object.
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