12 Yoga Poses to Cure Your Hangover
January 15, 2014
Vrksasana (tree pose)
This yoga pose enlists the use of leg muscles to hold precise balance. A hangover can often lead to light-headedness and a sensation of vertigo, so this pose allows for steady focus and concentration, both mentally and physically. Equilibrium of the mind and development of nervous system balance is achieved.
Natarajasana (dancer pose)
The powerful pose is symbolic of Lord Shiva, the cosmic dancer: god of destruction, transformation, regeneration and cleansing. There are physical and mental benefits to this pose similar to Vrksasana, including balancing the nervous system, enhancing the digestive process, generating vitality and improving clarity & concentration.
Ardha Matsyendrasana (seated half spinal twist pose)
While alcohol wreaked havoc in the body, this yoga pose helps to relieve the after-effect and symptoms manifested by a hangover. Physically, this pose stretches and energizes the spine while cleansing the internal organs and improving the digestion process by eliminating wastes. It also stimulates the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and spleen and releases excess heat and toxins from the internal organs. Symptoms of backache and fatigue are relieved as well.
Marjaryasana (cat pose)
While it may be obvious that the cat poses relieve spinal tension which can in turn relieve a hangover headache, few people know that it has a significant role in blood purification and regulation of blood flow throughout the body.
Bitilasana (cow pose)
This pose is very beneficial in relieving stress, both mental and physical.
Ardha Uttanasana (standing half forward bend)
This pose stretches out the muscles that may feel achy during the dreaded hangover period. Additionally, it calms and quiets the mind, induces restful sleep, and regulates blood pressure — which can go haywire after a night of Bacchanalia. Ardha Uttanasana can diminish stomach pains, anxiety, depression, stress, and fatigue. It also has therapeutic effects of relieving head congestion which sometimes can be felt during a hangover.
Janu Sirsasana (head to knee pose)
This pose calms the brain as the spine and shoulders are stretched out. Hangover headaches and anxiety are relieved while the liver and kidneys are stimulated and cleansed — one more reason not to reach for the contents of your medicine cabinet.
Balasana (child's pose)
The full-body, gravitational pull of this pose imparts a sense of wonderful emotional, mental and physical relief. Stress and anxiety are once again alleviated while the mind is made to feel calm. Balasana promotes strong and steady breathing and improves blood circulation though the body.
Navasana (boat pose)
We know that a hangover messes with mental and physical aspects of the body. This pose — which tests abdominal strength — enhances balance and digestion. The intestines, thyroid, kidneys, and prostate gland are all stimulated, thus jump-starting the metabolism and speeding up the detoxification process. Balance and coordination are improved, both of which can be compromised due to inebriation.
Apanasana (knee to chest pose)
Have you ever felt nauseous and bloated while experiencing a hangover? Well, this pose improves the function of the colon and is a remedy for abdominal bloating and queasiness. Apana is the Sanskrit word for "downward flowing life force" which is the opposite of Prana, the vital life force. While Prana gives life to the body through breathing techniques, Apana in contrast emphasizes elimination and outward processes from the body. Elimination of toxins and impurities through the lungs and kidneys and liver occur with this pose.
Supta Matsyendrasana (reclining spinal twist)
A truly regenerative pose, Supta Matsyendrasana helps hydrate the spinal discs while lengthening, relaxing, and realigning the spine. Abdominal organs are massaged, promoting toxin removal. The twist in this pose encourages fresh blood flow to the digestive organs, thereby improving the health of the whole digestive system. It is therapeutic for stress as well — which seems plenty abundant these days, hungover or not.
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (upward-facing dog pose)
This pose is reinvigorating: the chest and lungs are opened, allowing critical air exchange to occur, in turn purifying the blood and internal organs. Fatigue, depression, and sciatica can be relieved. Headaches due to tension from neck and back muscles are alleviated. The overall posture of your body will be improved: after finishing up with this pose, you can stand up tall and think, "what hangover?"