By Yoga Journal
If you tipped back too many drinks last night, the last thing you feel like doing is rolling out your yoga mat. But you should. A little yoga can go a long way to minimize suffering and speed the recovery process. Promise.
Try these gentle yoga poses for a hangover from Boulder, Colorado-based yoga teacher Gina Caputo, aka the Yogini On The Loose, who is committed to folding all of life's experiences into her yoga practice. And the next time a happy hour gets too happy, be sure slow your pace a bit, alternating between an alcoholic drink and a glass of water, and eating while you drink, Caputo says.
Corpse Pose with a block variation
Savasana with a block variation
Let's face it. When you've really tied one on, you tend to sleep horribly -- either fitfully, moving around a lot, or collapsed in an awkward position, hardly move at all. Either way you may wake up with a stiff neck.
Start lying on your back with a block under your head. Close your eyes and begin to turn your head side to side as if you were slowly saying "noooooo" (as in, "I'm never drinking again, NOOOOO WAY"). The long edge of the block will be under the base of your skull as you roll your head side to side, giving a gentle massage to these muscles. Keeping your eyes closed also helps relax these sub-occipital muscles since they are connected to eye movements.
This pose not only allows you to close your eyes again but also gently compresses your abdomen to stimulate peristalsis and enhances the circulation of lymph, one of your body's main methods for removing metabolic waste products.
After you've rolled off to one side, come onto hands and knees to rest your aching head in Child's Pose. Close your eyes and relax your head on your stacked hands, the floor, a block, or a blanket.
Moving activates your cardiovascular system which effects blood flow and that change helps your body restore itself and process the alcohol and its byproducts. But when you're hungover, you just don't want to move.
So start with Cat-Cow, a simple and gentle movement with deep breaths. Each cycle feels as if you're getting a little spinal flush -- you'll activate and stretch the muscles of both your abdomen and back and start to move this hangover out.
Hangover not cured yet? Finish off the restorative practice.
About Gina Caputo
Gina Caputo is the Yogini On The Loose and is committed to folding all of life's experiences into her yoga practice. She's based in Boulder, Colorado where she directs the Colorado School of Yoga.