Yoga for Hangover Relief

Originally published to Wanderlust Journal March 30, 2016

We’ve all been there — unable to get up, head is pounding, mouth is fuzzy, and our stomachs feel permanently broken. As yogis, we don’t typically brag about hangovers, but hey, they happen to the best of us.

In this series, we are compiling an entirely non-scientific, yet helpful series of poses to get you through those killer days (both physically and emotionally). Try the below sequence out and let us know if it works for you.

 1. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Sit on your heels with your knees separated slightly wider than your shoulders. Bow forward and gently place your chest on your thighs. Rest your forehead on the floor, or if it doesn’t reach, place a soft blanket underneath it so your head’s weight is completely dropped.

Take slow, even breaths to create a sense of calm. Let the solid ground beneath your head release any headache or spinning.

2. Kneeling Pose (Bhujrasana)

From Child’s Pose, roll your spine upright so that you are sitting back on your heels.  If this bothers your knees or feet, place a thick book or folded blanket between your ankles and sit on that instead. The added support will relieve any pressure build-up in the lower legs. Lengthen upright through your spine. Gently move the shoulders back and down to create length along your upper back and neck. Rest your hand on your thighs.

Continue to breathe slowly. Breathe in fully through the nose, and exhale through the mouth like you’re blowing on hot soup. Remain here for a couple of minutes, soothing your nervous system.

3. Gentle Spinal Twist (Bharadvajasana I)

Sit on the floor with your shins crossed, feet close to your groins. Place your left hand on your right knee. Place your right hand behind your back on the floor. Press down into your seat and lift through your spine to create length along the mid-line of your body. Take a full inhale maintaining this lift. As you exhale, turn your upper body, neck and head to the right.

Be here up to five rounds of breath, inhaling to lift taller, exhaling to twist further. Imagine the organ body being wrung out like a wet dishcloth.

Before twisting to the left, change the cross of your shins.

[Related: 8 Yoga Poses to Cure Your Hangover]

4. Watered Down Savasana

Chase this grounding, detoxifying practice with a large glass of room temperature water to aid in re-hydration. Then lay down on the floor. Rest your arms by your sides with your palms turned down, in a gesture of grounding.  Then release all of your physical effort (shouldn’t be too hard!).

Put on a mellow song, or do a few minutes of the “hot soup” breath described in step two, and rest here for a few minutes. Let the natural healing response kick in and recuperate all of your vital energy.

Cheers to hangover relief!