I’ve never been one who thought “sweating it out” was the remedy for a hangover. My usual prescription consists of lying in bed while clutching several beverages including water, Gatorade and Pedialyte, and using one of those beverages to take the maximum daily allotment of Ibuprofen, while I doze in and out of a Netflix show.
However, after meeting Los Angeles-based yoga instructor Alexis Novak, I learned that there’s a middle ground between a grueling morning workout and being useless in bed all day. Behold, hair of the down dog. The following seven restorative poses are perfect to bring your body back to life after a long night out.
Siddhasana (perfect pose)
Also, known as perfect pose, Siddhasana is where we started our class. With our legs crossed and hands relaxed on top of our knees, we focused on our breathe. Alexis notes that deep breathing is key to this entire sequence of moves. Deep breathing has heaps of health benefits including improving digestion, increasing circulation of lymphatic fluid and calming your nervous system.
Savasana (corpse pose)
After five minutes of our deep breathing exercises, we moved into corpse pose (the pose I’m most familiar with while battling a hangover). Alexis recommends placing you palms to the sky. You’ve probably heard from instructors that Savasana can be one of the most difficult poses to master, which seems counterintuitive given its name. However, the move can bring your mind back into its present state and help you carry calmness throughout your day which can be difficult if your mind is racing from actions you may be less than proud of from the night before.
Balsana (child’s pose)
Child’s Post helps calm your body and increase blood flow to the head, legs and arms.
Marjaryasana and Bitilasana (cat-cow pose)
Cat and cow pose also improves blood flow and circulation. Moving activates your cardiovascular system which effects blood flow and that change helps your body restore itself and process the alcohol and its by-products.
Apanasana (knee to chest pose)
The benefits of Apanasana include all of the following: relief from excess digestive air, indigestion, bloating, flatulence, acidity, and constipation. It is often recommended for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. TMI?
Supta Matsyendrasana (reclining spinal twist)
Twisting poses help squeeze out the toxins within your body. Indian yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar refers to these poses as a “squeeze and soak” action. You’re squeezing the organs like a wet sponge, so that they expel old blood and allow fresh, richly oxygenated blood to take its place. Twists are also said to improve digestion and increase flexibility of the spine, shoulders and hips.
Viparita Karani (legs-up-the-wall pose)
The last pose of the sequence required us to sit with our butts against the wall and legs vertical. Legs up the wall pose alleviates headaches, boosts energy, soothes menstrual cramps and relieves lower back pain.
The best part of all is that the entire sequence can take place off the yoga mat and on your bed. So even if you’re still struggling to peel yourself out of your sheets, you can begin recovering without going anywhere.