Yoga is supposed to strengthen and rejuvenate your body, not become a nauseating experience. Nausea and dizziness are more common than you’d think in the world of yoga, and there are a few reasons they can happen. Although it is common, it shouldn’t happen all the time.
If it does, you might be doing something you shouldn’t, so once you change that, you might notice the feeling doesn’t arise in your yoga flow. We’re here to discuss the nauseating feeling that can creep over you in your once-relaxing yoga class (and how to fix it), so stick around to learn more!
Why Do I Feel Worse After Yoga?
Perhaps you attended a yoga session hoping to get in a quick, refreshing yoga flow, only to end up with an unpleasant, nauseating feeling. Unfortunately, this can be a common occurrence, especially if you eat a heavy meal before the class, are dealing with intense emotional trauma, or are experiencing hormone fluctuations due to your menstrual cycle.
Of course, everybody is different, so the reason behind the unsettling feeling can vary.
Why Does Yoga Make Me Feel Nauseous?
Nausea is a familiar feeling of sickness across the board, aside from yoga. However, in some cases, you may notice you feel nauseous during or after your yoga session. The most common reasons for this include:
Hot Yoga Participant
Hot yoga is an excellent option, but it isn’t for everyone. Not everybody can handle the heat, so some folks may notice feelings of dizziness or become nauseated. If you notice this during or after your session, you might be overheating or may have pushed yourself close to a heatstroke. Many hot yoga studios keep rooms between 80 and 105+ degrees Fahrenheit, along with a hefty dose of humidity.
If you feel nauseous or dizzy after your hot yoga class, find a cooler area and sit down. If you feel this way during class, quietly excuse yourself from the room and immediately find a cooler place to sit down.
Never overexert your body to the point of heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
Incredibly intense yoga sessions can result in nausea as well. You might push yourself too hard and overheat during your yoga practice, forcing your body past the brink.
In some scenarios, you might be able to relieve the feeling by taking a breather. This is a solid option if you feel well enough to remain in the classroom. Switch to a calmer pose, such as a hero’s or child’s pose. Take a few deep breaths in the pose, allowing yourself to calm down. If you feel okay, continue the class when you feel ready.
However, if you feel unwell and cannot remain in the classroom, politely excuse yourself and leave the room. If you feel like you’re going to throw up, your body is trying to communicate with you. Don’t ignore the feeling – take a step back and listen to your body.
Excusing yourself from class is nothing to be embarrassed about – your yoga teacher wants you to go at your own pace. Every person is different, and self-awareness is essential.
Overeating Before Class
Eating too much or too soon before class can cause feelings of nausea, especially with large meals. When you exercise, the blood in your body is working to oxygenate the muscles that need it instead of prioritizing other things, like digestion. So, you may notice feelings of discomfort.
Alternatively, certain poses can put pressure on your abdomen, creating feelings of discomfort due to the pressure on a full stomach.
Eating before class is essential for peak performance, but avoid consuming large meals immediately before taking the course. Instead, eat a snack, like an apple, nuts, or a protein bar. Try to eat larger meals at least a few hours before class.
Undereating Before Class
Overeating before class is a problem, but undereating can be another issue. If you haven’t eaten in too long, your body may experience the increased impact of the movements. In some cases, your blood sugar may dip too low, causing you to feel shaky, nervous, dizzy, or faint. You might even notice an elevated heart rate or blood pressure.
To correct this issue, eat a healthy protein snack roughly an hour before class. Try to steer clear of meats and dairy, which tend to digest slower and can cause stomach pain as you stretch. If you’d prefer to eat a full meal, try to consume it two to three hours before class.
Dehydration can be extremely dangerous, but in mild to moderate cases, it can result in feelings of dizziness or nausea. As you move through your yoga session, you might sweat, which may result in dehydration.
Remember to stay hydrated throughout the day, before, during, and after your yoga session. This is especially important in hot yoga, where you lose more body moisture via sweat. Add a hydration mix to your water to get an additional hydration boost.
Release Of Toxins
In some scenarios, your gallbladder or liver might be chock full of toxins, which can result in nausea during yoga. This might be the case if you drink alcohol regularly and are new to yoga. If you experience body pain, this could indicate that your liver has toxins to release.
If you experience mild discomfort that dissipates quickly, the toxins likely need to pass through. However, if the feeling persists, seek medical attention.
Emotion is intricately tied into every aspect of our lives, including our physical health. In some scenarios, your body may release emotional trauma, causing discomfort.
This can happen when you’re placed in a scenario where you feel emotionally triggered or challenged, such as when the instructor is too rough with you or creates tension to be absolutely ‘perfect,’ triggering feelings of inadequacy.
Consider a gentler approach to the class if you believe this is the case. You might need to seek the guidance of a calmer yoga instructor that works with individuals who have experienced trauma or live with PTSD.
Alternatively, you can face it head-on, providing you feel you’re in a place to do so. It’s usually a painful process, but you’ll need to allow the hormones to bring things to the surface that you were unaware of. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so, you can always seek the assistance of a licensed therapist.