It’s not unusual for people to experience a spot of dizziness or lightheadedness during their yoga practice at some point in their lives. It could be for obvious reasons such as dehydration, heat or hunger. Some people find that even just coming up too quickly from a standing forward fold can make them feel a little wobbly.
There are certain types of yoga that can make people more prone to dizziness such as a fast-paced vinyasa class in a heated room. Slowing down transitions in vinyasa can help. The experience of lightheadedness itself differs depending on the person. For some, it can just be feeling a little woozy or unbalanced and for others, it can be the whole room spinning and the need to sit down for a moment.
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If dizziness is interfering with your yoga practice then it may just be a simple case of adjusting how you practice. Afterall yoga is about cultivating awareness and listening to your body’s needs in each passing moment so the lightheadedness could be a message that you need to do things slightly differently.
6 tips to prevent dizziness and lightheadedness during yoga
- Snack 1 hour before. Most people agree that yoga is best practiced on an empty stomach but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a light snack about an hour before practice if you need something to keep you going. This can especially help people with low blood sugar.
- Drink plenty of water and herbal teas. We all know how important keeping hydrated is but it can be easy to forget! Dehydration can be a cause for dizziness so drinking plenty of fluids can help prevent it. Blood pressure can drop with dehydration which often leads to dizziness.
- Slow Down. Slowing down transitions and movements is a key element in preventing dizziness during yoga practice. This also goes for how you breathe, breathing more slowly can help. This is a good opportunity to become even more mindful of the way that you move and breathe.
- Avoid too many inversions. Inversions in yoga describe postures where the head is below the heart but inversions can be one of the biggest culprits of lightheadedness for those prone to dizziness. So, it might be best to avoid including a lot of inversions in your practice. They can be easily modified for example choosing halfway lift over standing forward fold or fold in seated straddle instead of standing wide-legged pose.
- Breathe, don’t hold the breath in asanas! This one seems obvious but even the most seasoned yogi can forget to breathe during some of the more challenging yoga postures! The less you breathe, the less oxygen you intake and the more likely you are to get dizzy as a result.
- Take a break. Yoga is not a competitive sport. Rather than being goal-orientated, it’s about the process and an important part of that process can be knowing when to take a break. If you get really dizzy and the room starts spinning then it’s a sure sign from your body to pause for a moment.
Dizziness and lightheadedness can be normal during yoga but if it’s a recurrent problem or you’re worried that there may be an underlying health condition then it’s important to check in with your doctor. If you’re otherwise fit and healthy, these tips should hopefully help to prevent any dizzy spells during your yoga practice.