Vertigo – Yoga therapy can be used to treat vertigo

School of Yoga explains Yoga Therapy for Vertigo:

Yoga therapy for Vertigo – Vertigo is a condition where people feel that objects around them are moving even when they are static. Often, it is experienced as a spinning or swaying movement, a feeling of being off-balance.

Yoga Therapy for Vertigo – symptoms

Vertigo is often triggered by a change in the position of the head. Here, people with vertigo typically describe the experience as one of spinning, tilting, swaying, feeling unbalance, feeling a pull in one direction etc.

Accompanying symptoms can include:

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Abnormal or jerking eye movements
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • A ringing in the ear or hearing loss

These symptoms can last a few minutes or last for a few hours. Also, they can also come and go.

Yoga Therapy for vertigo – Root causes;

Most common root causes of vertigo are;

  • Deposition of small calcium particles in the canals of the inner ear. This is called BPPV and the calcium deposits interfere with the sense of balance, which is controlled by the inner ear. BPPV can be associated with age.
  • Meniere’s disease – this is a condition where there is a build up of inner ear pressure resulting in imbalance and hearing loss.
  • Vestibular neuritis – this is an infection of the inner ear.

Vertigo can also occur on account of brain injury, tumour, sciatica, stroke etc to a lesser extent. Finally, exposure to toxins, alcohol and some drugs and poisons can trigger vertigo.

Generally, vertigo is known to have receded naturally as the brain learns to compensate but often, some assistance is required.

Yoga Therapy for vertigo – physiology:

Vertigo is an illness that is most associated with the vestibular system, a sensory system most associated with sense of balance and space, for the purpose of co-ordinating movement with balance. Additionally, it which consists of the following components;

  • Vestibulospinal tract – is a part of the Vestibular system and Central Nervous System which influences head-eye, posture-balance and spatial-motion co-ordination. Here, stimulus comes from change in movement or balance which in turn acts as an input to the spinal column for compensating the neck and other relevant muscles – or righting reflex.
  • Migraine associated Vertigo – is most commonly associated with BPPV associated with dislocation of calcium carbonate crystals which are sensitive to head movements.

Yoga Therapy for vertigo – solutions:

Solution to vertigo depends a lot on lifestyle, and age. Alcohol also impacts vertigo due to the variable viscosity of the blood and the endolymph during the consumption of alcohol;

  • Asana cannot replace medication; they can help in restoration and recovery. In fact, they cannot be used as an independent tool for therapy.
  • Asanas are an excellent tool to build resistance such that over time, a near normalcy state is reached.
  • Being in the weight range for one’s specified height is mandatory for any asana to be effective.
  • The Asana plan will start with asanas and pranayama to stabilise nasal pressure. Subsequently, more complex asanas can be added

Yoga Therapy for vertigo – an asana plan:

  • Starters – 3 months – all asanas to be performed slowly. Pranayama should not be missed.
  • Intermediate – 3 months – all asanas to be performed only after improvement is detected and after OK from doctor. Pranayama should not be missed. Estimated time – 30 mins
  • Final – all asanas to be performed only after substantial improvement is detected and after OK from doctor. Estimated time – 45 mins


Beginner Intermediate Final
SN   3 months 3 months

3 months

1 Padmasana 3 mins 3 mins 3 mins
2 Tadasana 2 2 2
3 Utkatasana 1 x 5 counts 1 x 5 counts 1 x 10 counts
4 Bhujangasana 1 2 3
5 Shalabasana 1 2 3
6 Dhanurasana 1 2 3
7 Pavanamuktasana 2 (one leg) 2 2
8 Arda-halasana 2 (one leg) 2 2
9 Naukasana 1 2 2
10 Sundara Vipareeta karani 5 mins 5 x 2 mins 15 mins
11 Matsyasana 1 x 5 counts 1 x 5 counts 1 x 10 counts
12 Sethubandasana 1 x 10 counts 1 x 20 counts 1 x 50 counts
13 Mahamudra 1 x 5 counts 1 x 10 counts
14 Nadishuddhi pranayama 5 x 1 cycles 5 x 2 cycles 10 x 2 cycles
15 Bhastrika 1 x 10 cycles 1 x 15 cycles 1 x 20 cycles
16 Kapalabhati 1 x 10 cycles 1 x 25 cycles 1 x 50 cycles
17 Shavasana 5 mins 5 mins 5 mins
18 Meditation (sit in silence and focus on the breath) 10 mins 15 mins 20 mins

Editor at School Of Yoga
School Of Yoga is a single point resource for all aspects of Classical Yoga practise. We try to achieve this by placing Yoga's traditional methodology in front of the reader and eliciting his or her experience. We value everyone's Yoga experience and would like you to share and enrich other practitioners so that everyone benefits.
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