Hangovers happen to the best of us – even yogis! Tis the season, after all. We know that making it to the mat the morning after a few Christmas drinks can be a bit of a challenge. So here it is – Yoga for hangovers! Our top 5 yoga poses for helping soothe your hungover head, tummy, and soul!
If a headache is what ails you, this baby is for you. Bring your knees out to around the width of your mat, and let your chest fold forward between your thighs, bringing your forehead to the mat. Arms can either come out in front of you or back alongside your legs. Relax and breathe. Bonus: Rock your forehead a little bit side to side over the point between your eyebrows for some extra release. Extra bonus: Come to lay down on a pillow or a bolster and turn your head to one side. Child’s pose gently compresses your tummy which stimulates digestion, and that forehead action can help to stimulate the pineal gland, which secretes melatonin in the body, helping to regulate your sleep cycle.
Legs up the wall
Let’s skip the headstands today – our balance mightn’t be all it usually is after a few drinks the night before. For a more restorative inversion, legs up the wall is your friend. And it couldn’t be easier – you literally just stick your legs up the wall. Boom. Scoot your bum as close to the wall as you can, ideally to touch it, then walk feet up the wall until your body is in an L-shape. Let your arms fall by your side and breathe. Get cosy here – you can even do it in bed, using your headboard as the wall. You can prop your hips up on a pillow, or rest your head on a blanket if you like. Legs up the wall helps to stimulate digestion, relieve headaches, increase circulation, and is amazing for soothing swollen or cramped legs or feet. If you were in your heels last night, this is the one for you.
I know, I know, you’d probably like as little movement as possible please and thank you. But getting moving is super important for beating a hangover, and Cat/Cow is probably the nicest way there is to ease yourself into the idea of no longer being horizontal. Come to your hands and knees, wrists under shoulders, knees under hips. Inhale to drop the belly, arch the spine and gaze up, exhale to start at the tailbone and round the spine, letting the head go. Move slowly and mindfully here, especially if the head is feeling extra delicate. As well as getting you moving, Cat/Cow also provides a massage that stimulates your abdominal organs, which – if you’re not feeling too nauseous! – is great for the body after a few drinks.
Twists are a great way to detox the body. They can leave you feeling totally rejuvenated and refreshed, which is just what you want when hangovers hit. I feel like twists are like a shower for your internal organs – something that should happen daily, and feels extra good the morning after a night out. Come to lie on your back (YAY!) and draw your knees into your chest. Bring your arms out to a T shape, and let your knees fall to one side. If it’s okay in the neck, gaze out over the opposite shoulder. Inhale to centre, and exhale to let your knees fall to the other side
And something extra-beautiful about Savasana? You don’t even have to get out of bed. Get all your pillows. Get all your blankets. Grab an eye pillow. Lie down, legs wider than hips, arms beside the body with palms facing up. Let your whole body relax. Falling asleep is more than okay here – in fact, it’s probably a very good idea.
There you have it – 5 yoga poses that we think are the best of the best for soothing hangovers. Alongside all the partying that this season brings, remember – drink lots of water, eat lots of greens and do lots of yoga. The rest will take care of itself 😊