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Yoga: A Holiday Hangover Cure
This time of year even the most fit and health-minded of us can find ourselves with a raging, throbbing, post-celebration hangover.
Though most yogis are loathe to admit it (heavy drinking is not exactly part of Patanjali’s eight-fold path to enlightenment) some say a round of asanas that gets the body moving, breathing, and sweating can release poisons created by the alcohol and help cure your hangover. This may ease the head and calm the tummy like nothing else –– especially once you’ve found that water, sleep, food and other natural hangover remedies aren’t getting the job done.
One yoga studio (in Las Vegas, of course) isn’t shy about this discovery: It offers Hangover Yoga, a vigorous-sounding hatha/Ashtanga class that promises to “bring you back into balance, release toxins, and re-energize your spirit.” Others may want to start more gently, else they end up like this blogger: “I was SO hungover today. Lisa, my yoga guru, insisted that yoga would cure my hangover. Well, let’s just say yoga kicked my hungover butt.”
Living Your Light, a website for “Promoting Creative, Conscious Living,” offers sensible “yoga tips for surviving the holidays.” Below, I quote and paraphrase its advice:
- Avoid or minimize inversions, especially if you are experiencing nausea, heartburn or indigestion.
- Spinal twists have a calming effect on the digestive system as they allow excess toxins, known as ama, which are produced and stored in the abdominal organs, to be released.
- Forward bends also have a soothing and healing effect on digestive organs. These yoga poses might help: Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend), Janu Sirsasana (Head to Knee pose), Upavistha Konasana (Seated Wide Angle pose), Parsvottanasana (Stretched Over Side Torso pose) and Balasana (Child's pose).
- Abdominal strengthening poses can be great poses to help alleviate excess cramping, bloating and gas in the colon. Try these: Pavanamuktasana (Wind Releasing pose) or Navasana (Boat pose).
The icing here may be some calming, brain-balancing breathwork. Try anuloma viloma a.k.a. alternate nostril breathing. And, if that all fails, you can always take one doctor’s advice on WebMD: “Two aspirin, a glass of water, sleep, and a multivitamin in the morning — if you can stomach it — are probably the best things to do.”