Yoga for Nausea: 9 Best Poses to Alleviate Discomfort
Find relief from that unsettling feeling with yoga for nausea. Learn calming poses and techniques that gently soothe your stomach and restore your well-being.
Feeling nauseous can be a taxing experience, unsettling your day and leaving you searching for relief. Yoga offers a calming antidote, bringing stillness to your mind and ease to your stomach. In particular, yoga for nausea is an effective remedy, providing techniques designed to alleviate discomfort and restore balance.
Within the graceful movements and serene postures of yoga lies the power to alleviate this discomfort. Stretching beyond mere physical fitness, yoga delves into healing the body from within, creating a harmonious balance. By partaking in specific asanas, one can witness a swift relief from the clutches of nausea. From stomach flu to motion sickness, the practice lends a gentle touch of relief, making it an ideal companion in times of need.
Yoga poses for nausea target the gastrointestinal system, central nervous system, and peripheral nerves — all contributing factors to feelings of nausea. With guided practice, you'll get to know more about the gentle asanas that align body and mind, alleviating discomfort.
What Is Nausea?
Nausea is defined as a discomfort in the upper stomach and mostly comes with an urge to vomit. A variety of factors can trigger it, ranging from digestive issues to motion sickness (1). Experiencing prolonged nausea can be physically draining and exhausting and needs to be treated without delay.
Why Practice Yoga for Nausea?
Practicing yoga for nausea is beneficial as it addresses the underlying stressors that may contribute to this uncomfortable sensation (2). Yoga's holistic approach encompasses poses, breathing techniques, and meditation that collectively work to reduce stress, tension, fatigue, and anxiety. Yoga can alleviate the triggers of nausea and sometimes provide instant relief (3). Engaging in specific yoga poses can be particularly helpful in soothing the body and mind when nausea strikes.
How Does Yoga Help with Nausea?
Using yoga to alleviate nausea means exploring more than just physical postures. Yoga, a practice deeply rooted in breath control, fluid movement, and mental focus, can help manage and relieve nausea.
1. May Improve Gastrointestinal Health
Yoga is known for its ability to foster gastrointestinal health, targeting disorders that often lead to nausea (4). Similar to how yoga poses for indigestion work, some poses involve twisting, squeezing, and holding the abdomen, which in turn promotes cell regeneration and healing of damaged areas for a happy and healhy gut.
2. May Enhance Nervous Functions
Yoga may help in improving nervous functions, particularly in the abdominal region. Poses that stretch the spine and focus on the abdomen stimulate the nerves that control involuntary movements of abdominal organs, aiding digestion and excretion (5).
3. May Reduce Inflammation
Yoga can also reduce inflammation in abdominal organs, a common cause of nausea. Poses that exercise the abdominal region aid in reducing internal inflammation, thereby preventing long-term damage to organs.
4. May Boost Immunity
Certain autoimmune afflictions, like food intolerances, can lead to nausea. Yoga, particularly inversion poses, positively influence the immune system, reducing digestive issues and associated nausea (6).
6. May Improve Blood Circulation
Many yoga poses aim to improve blood circulation, which is crucial for organ health. By increasing blood flow around abdominal organs, yoga ensures better nutrient absorption, improving digestive health and reducing nausea (5).
6. May Regulate ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) Health
Yoga poses focusing on the central nervous system and temporal region can enhance ENT health (7). These poses may alleviate nausea caused by eye and ear disorders through improved nerve functions and balanced fluids.
7. May Balance Hormonal Activities
A well-regulated hormonal system is crucial for a healthy digestive system. Yoga may help regulate the secretion of various digestive hormones, reducing gastrointestinal disorders and symptoms like nausea.
Choosing yoga poses for nausea is about aligning the body and mind for optimal well-being. From soothing the gastrointestinal tract to balancing hormones, yoga offers a gentle yet effective path toward relief and comfort.
9 Best Yoga Poses for Nausea
Nausea, whether sudden, intermittent, or chronic, can disrupt your daily life. Thankfully, yoga offers targeted poses designed to provide relief and address the underlying causes. Let's delve into some of the most effective yoga positions to relieve nausea.
1. Bound Angle Pose – Baddha Konasana
Baddha Konasana is considered one of the best positions for nausea. It provides immediate relief from sudden nausea, particularly if induced by gas or morning sickness.
- Start seated in a staff position.
- Bend your knees, bringing your feet together in a butterfly formation.
- Gently lean forward, emphasizing the stretch in your groin.
2. Gas Release Pose – Pawanmuktasana
Pawanmuktasana offers instant relief from nausea caused by gas or acid reflux by facilitating movement in the digestive tract.
- Lie on your back.
- Bring your knees to your chest, hugging them tightly.
- Hold for 5-7 breaths, and repeat five times.
3. Thunderbolt Pose – Vajrasana
Vajrasana stimulates digestive enzymes, offering instant relief from nausea post heavy meals and aiding digestion.
- Kneel and sit back on your heels.
- Keep the spine erect and breathe steadily.
- Hold for a few minutes, adjusting for any knee or ankle issues.
4. Frog Pose – Mandukasana
Mandukasana addresses intermittent and chronic nausea by stimulating the internal healing of digestive organs.
- Sit in Vajrasana and press your hands against your abdomen.
- Exhale and bend forward, touching your head to the ground.
- Breathe steadily for 10-15 seconds and repeat thrice.
5. Reclining Hero Pose – Supta Virasana
Supta Virasana calms the digestive system and is beneficial for intermittent and chronic nausea.
- Kneel and sit between your feet with a prop if needed.
- Recline back and stretch your abdomen.
- Take 10 steady breaths.
6. Bridge Pose – Setu Bandhasana
Setu Bandhasana addresses intermittent and chronic nausea by balancing hormones and improving circulation.
- Lie on your back and bend your knees, bringing heels close to the sitting bones.
- Lift your pelvis to knee level, bringing your chest to your chin.
- Take 5-7 breaths and release.
Yoga offers immediate and lasting relief from various types of nausea. Practicing these poses regularly can alleviate discomfort and facilitate healing from within.
Pranayama, or deep breathing, is a calming practice that turns your focus inward, relieving nausea triggered by a turbulent journey or sudden panic.
- Assume a comfortable seated position, sitting tall.
- You may opt for a cushion to support or sit against a wall to keep your spine straight.
- Keep one hand on your belly and the other on your chest.
- Now, lower your chin a little and keep your eyes closed.
- Take a deep breath, filling your belly, ribs, and chest.
- Pause briefly.
- Exhale fully, allowing all these areas to relax. Repeat the process.
8. Child's Pose
The Child's Pose is a grounding posture that can relieve nausea and stomach discomfort.
- Start on your hands and knees, then move your hips back towards your heels. Your knees can either touch or be as wide as your mat.
- Rest your forehead on the mat and close your eyes.
- Relax your upper body and choose your arm position: either form a diamond shape with index fingers touching and elbows wide or lay your arms down with hands next to your feet.
- To exit, inhale and rise back to all fours.
9. Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
The Legs Up the Wall Pose calms the nervous system, boosts mood, and is a comforting remedy for stomach-related issues, including flu, gallbladder stones, or anxiety.
- Sit on the ground and position your seat base close to a wall.
- Gently recline your body onto your yoga mat and extend your legs up against the wall. Take deep breaths.
- To exit, gradually lower your legs, roll to the side, and gently rise to a seated position.
The serenity that yoga brings can transform your experience with nausea and turn the moments of discomfort into opportunities for healing and mindfulness. Adding yoga for nausea into your routine is not just about finding relief but also about nurturing your overall well-being. You can gently ease your symptoms and cultivate a sense of inner peace through the calming Child's Pose, the Butterfly Pose, and soothing breathing exercises. By focusing on these asanas and breathing techniques, you can help your body alleviate the unsettling sensations that accompany nausea.