Yoga is a practice of release, letting it all go and leaving it on the mat. So, it’s not a surprise that many yogis feel sick after yoga sessions.
Yogis come to the mat with a bundle of emotions, sometimes years and years of bottled up emotions that have not yet been released. Some yogis save all of their emotions for their practice.
Yoga can be a direct reflection of how you live your life in terms of how you handle challenging yoga poses or focusing on your breath. If how you do yoga is how you do everything else, the problem could also be the approach.
Yoga is a practice because it is never final, yogis are forever evolving and learning new things about themselves and others during each practice.
Twisting your body in heart and hip opening poses also wrings out emotions which can and will force the yogi to sit with themselves; something that most people do not do.
Sitting with your emotions is a lot, it is scary and uncomfortable but it is absolutely necessary to do so.
This article will dive more into why yoga may make you feel tired and sick along with what you may be able to do to prevent those icky feelings.
Why Do I Always Feel Sick After Yoga?
Humans are walking emotions, every second of the day we are riding the wave of our emotions. Yoga makes that wave crash onto the mat and we are faced with ourselves and everything that we have been avoiding.
A release of those bottled up emotions quickly turns into a release of toxins which then goes into your bloodstream.
When that occurs yogis may feel nauseated, dizzy and even sleepy after yoga practice because of the release of emotions and toxins.
Our bodies are always wanting to protect us and when things seem as though they are out of our control, our bodies react in different ways. Protection mode comes in the form of headaches, dizziness, and sleepiness.
Experiencing a release of emotions and toxins is extremely therapeutic for yogis because once our bodies are done with certain things, they need to be released because they are no longer serving us.
That release is absolutely necessary but on the other end of that is that when our bodies release emotions and toxins we ultimately go through withdrawal because having those inside is what we were used to.
Withdrawal can occur when we release anything out of our body, whether it is good or bad.
If you come to a yoga practice feeling not the best; sad, upset, angry, etc., you will feel those emotions trying to be released in your practice and that is okay.
Allow the release of those emotions to occur and leave it all on the mat along with the judgment that you may have for yourself.
We all have emotions, both good and bad and do not always know what to do with them. Yoga may be the answer but it will not always be pretty and that is okay.
Can Yoga Release Toxins and Make You Sick?
Those toxins are emotions that have been bottled up, for some yogis those emotions have been bottled up for years and years and are often times forgotten about until you step onto the mat.
Once you step onto your yoga mat, you begin moving through the emotions that come up.
Some yogis become upset, sad, angry, frustrated and even cry on the mat during yoga practice because that may be the only place they are actually feeling and dealing with their emotions.
We have mastered hiding our emotions and pushing it all under the rug, which by the way is not healthy for anyone. Off the yoga mat, in the world, feeling and dealing with emotions is looked down upon and not many of us do it.
Quite honestly we feel we do not have time to feel all of the emotions going through us on a daily basis, we are too busy doing things that affect those emotions, mostly in negative ways.
The yoga class may be the only space where people feel safe enough to release it all.
Some yogis may have no intentions of dealing with their emotions in class but our bodies have a funny way of making sure we deal with the things we have been avoiding.
On your mat, dealing with your emotions is welcomed and not a thing of our dreams. Depression, anxiety, and stress are the three amigos that walk with all of us on a daily basis and yoga is the remedy to dealing with them as they come.
Working on your breath in class helps but it also helps off the mat as well.
Is It Normal To Feel Nauseated After My First Yoga Class?
Imagine that you are minutes away from taking your very first yoga class.
You are nervous but you are very excited and you are dressed in head to toe with nerves and excitement along with your fresh new yoga shirt and leggings.
You head out of the door with your yoga mat, bag, water bottle and anticipation in hand. Arriving at the studio makes you more nervous because you just do not know what to expect.
Fast forward an hour and a half later and you are done your very first yoga class.
But you are not feeling yourself, you are feeling sick and nauseated and you cannot understand why (this almost makes you not want to return for another class) and it makes you extremely uncomfortable.
After you gain your composure you find a yoga instructor and ask why you may be feeling that way. The yoga instructor asks you a few questions to get to the bottom of the issue.
After realizing that you ate too much food and drank entirely too much water (all nerve induced) you know now that that is the reason why you feel nauseated and you can now remember how amazing your first yogic experience was and cannot wait to come back.
Eating too much or too little food and drinking too much or too little water before class can and will make you feel nauseated after any yoga class because our bodies need just the right amount of food and water to function properly and not feel out of balance.
This is especially true when you are participating in a physical activity. It is best to research the type of activity before moving forward and gauge how much food and water you will actually need before the activity so that you are properly nourished.
Can Hot Yoga Make You Sick?
Hot yoga is one of the biggest phenomena in the world of yoga today. It is important to know all that there is to know about hot yoga before going to a hot yoga class.
Yes, while it may be the yoga class that you are used to such as Vinyasa or Ashtanga but the added factor is the heat that the practice is done in.
Heat that sometimes is not the best for some yogis to practice in, it takes a ton of practices to feel comfortable.
Hot yoga comes with its own heat in the room, which is heated to 100 degrees but let’s not forget that we as living, breathing creatures also produce our own internal heat and sometimes that can cause issues and/or frustration.
At the end of the day, some people just become extremely overheated and need to either leave the class and take a break or leave the class altogether.
The best advice is to listen to your body and listen to what it is telling you and do whatever it is that you need to do to make yourself feel comfortable.
If you are ever in a situation where you feel overheated you might feel uncomfortable and sick after yoga.
Even though you are sweating, your body is desperately trying to keep you safe but you may feel dehydrated because of the actual room heat but also the body heat from other yogis in the room.
Some yoga instructors look down upon leaving the room or stopping to take a break but it is extremely important to remove yourself from the room and get yourself to a cooler environment, even if it is in the hallway.
Your body will begin to go into overdrive and you will most likely have a heat stroke or experience heat exhaustion, which may lead to you taking a trip to the hospital. It all goes back to you doing what is best for you and your body.
Yoga is meant to be a judgment-free zone but the funny thing is that yoga is a human thing and humans are far from perfect. If you need to step out, do not allow your mind to go to judgment, you are more than enough.
How Can You Prevent Sickness and Nausea During and After Yoga?
Sometimes nausea disrupts our day without warning and can cause extreme discomfort. Often times there are legitimate reasons for nausea occurring and other times there is not a reason whatsoever, which makes it even more frustrating.
There are some yogis that have a feeling of sickness during yoga class, it can be caused from releasing toxins and/or emotions from our bodies or there may be a pre-existing issue such as an unrelated illness that is causing the feeling.
But do not fret, you can do certain poses that you can add to your practice to soothe the icky feeling.
The poses that can be done to prevent nausea during practice and even after practice are Supta Virasana, Viparita Karani, Baddha Konasana and Deep Breathing.
Instant relief is felt during this pose because you are lying flat on your back allowing your diaphragm and liver a chance to relax and rejuvenate.
This also gives your body time to relax which in turn decreases stress and anxiety. Add deep breathing into this pose and you will feel a mountain of pressure lifted off of your shoulders.
Legs up the wall pose is a pose that instantly leaves you feeling downright better. This pose provides instant relief of nausea, stress,
and anxiety. The position of your body and legs allows the body to regulate imbalances which in turn helps to instantly decrease nausea and make you feel relaxed.
Sitting upright with crossed legs and deep breathing has historically been one of the cures for nausea.
This pose relaxes your organs and slows every single sensation in the body down providing you a feeling of instant relief. When nausea is met with this pose, it is bound to dissipate.
This technique seems to be the ultimate cure for relieving nausea and other symptoms of sickness. When nausea hits, take a deep breath in (making sure to fill your lungs and stomach) and then release.
Once you release the breath, you can feel all of the toxins being flushed out and leaving your body.
It is also a good idea to limit the intake of heavy meals and water right before and after practice begins because it takes at least three hours for the body to fully digest contents.
Some yogis bring their water bottles into class with them and if you do need it, take a sip and do not gulp the water. Take a few deep breaths in between each sip and most importantly listen to what your body needs.
Yoga meets you exactly where you are, bottled up emotions and all. We all come to practice with baggage that needs to be unloaded.
The sickness and tiredness feeling comes from releasing toxins, which at the end of the day is a release of bottled up emotions.
Those feelings will pass soon after practice is done and once emotions are dealt with off the mat, you will come to classless weighted down with less to release.
But yoga is always there for you, no matter what you do or how you come to practice. Show compassion for yourself during the never-ending journey of the practice of yoga.
You must be patient and kind with yourself, which will always spill over into showing the same grace to others.
You must not forget that there are certain poses that you can do during your yoga practice that can help with nausea during and after practice.
Nausea will often disrupt our days without warning and can cause extreme discomfort for some but not to fret because that feeling can be remedied.
Aside from doing certain poses and refraining from eating heavy meals and drinking water right before class, we must also learn to deal with our emotions off of the mat as well.
Emotions that are left to their own devices and not felt or dealt with show up in different forms of our lives, sometimes in the form of sickness and pain during yoga practice.
Learning to deal with emotions has more of a positive impact than one may even realize, it makes a world of difference.