Vertigo and tinnitus: How to heal with yoga therapy

Yoga therapy: A look inside vertigo and tinnitus

Yoga therapy for vertigo and tinnitus

Vertigo (the sensation of movement when we are still) and tinnitus (sounds coming from within the ears or head) are commonly perceived sensations within the general population. Can they be healed with yoga therapy? Many yoga students will report passing dizziness when coming out of advanced postures and some students will notice ringing noises or static sounds after inversions. None of this is life threatening or problematic. In fact, the best fix for these intermittent sensory distortions is simply to be with the breath. Holding our breath inadvertently is surprisingly common when performing ‘difficult’ or challenging poses.

For example, doing a deep Marichiasana twist, a dhanurasana backbend or pincha-mayurasana forearm balance. Even the most advanced yoga students will find themselves ‘forgetting to breathe’ within these poses.

Why we experience vertigo and tinnitus

We can become so focused on a task that we forget to be with the ease of allowing the breath to move through us. Changes in our oxygen and carbon dioxide blood levels can lead to sensations of both vertigo and tinnitus. This means the brain is delivering error signals and running on empty.

However what do we do when we experience spontaneous dizziness or tinnitus that is unrelated to our practice? What happens when these sensations are now diagnosed as persistent symptoms that the medical world cannot eliminate? How can we seek solutions and return to our yoga mat?

Common conditions associated with vertigo and tinnitus include: Vestibular migraine, Meniere’s, Mal de Barquement, Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness, Labyrinthitis/Neuronitis, Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss and Anxiety.

How yoga can help

As a vestibular audiologist and senior yoga teacher, over the last 10-years I have been working with thousands of people with these debilitating conditions. They notice loss of confidence, feeling ‘out of body’, loss of strength/muscle tone, significant daily worry, anxiety, panic and overwhelm.

It is not uncommon for these clients to ask me: “Am I going crazy? Why do I feel this way? Why can’t the doctors explain it better?” The simple answer is this: The human body, mind and spirit are infinitely complex.

If doctors could predict our future outcomes or eliminate our symptoms they would. Many of my clients discover deep insights and inner wisdoms once they learn to listen and reset their symptoms. They heal naturally.

Yoga offers us a path toward better listening to our body. We can connect with our mind, honour our deepest desires and practice it daily.  Many of my clients who are learning to reset their sensory system are beginning to engage with a personalised home practice, to help them build confidence, reset their symptom filters and stop perpetuating avoidance behaviours that limit their recovery. They are learning to feel into their body and rewire their brain so that they can ‘feel more normal’.

The path to healing

Step 1. Education.

Learn about neuroplasticity (changing the brain), the importance of a daily practice and how to develop new brain pathways that reset the sensory system.

Step 2. Resources.

Persistent symptoms are unlikely to recover overnight. Videos, audios, written notes and self-awareness tools will help to gradually build strength, confidence and new habits. Daily postures that can help to reset the inner ears are: Tadasana, Utkutasana, Dandasana, Viparita Karani and Savasana.

 Step 3. Encouragement.

Vertigo and tinnitus can lead to feelings of hopelessness, exhaustion and confusion. People with these chronic conditions will need support. Nobody needs to be told to ‘deal with it’. Instead seek understanding, skills and tools. Don’t make comparisons, as this is a personal journey.  Learn how the body can reset its neural pathways and seek professional guidance.

About the author: Joey Remenyi

Joey Remenyi is the founder and director of Seeking Balance Australia.  She is a vestibular audiologist and senior yoga teacher offering training and support programs worldwide for vertigo and tinnitus.

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