Can Yoga Make You Feel Sick?

Can Yoga Make You Feel Sick?

Yoga is one of the most impactful life-changing habits, but there can be a flip side to it. But does that flip side go as far as putting you at risk of feeling sick after the session? Yes, but it’s not supposed to. Yoga is supposed to energize you and give you more dopamine. 

It’s also meant to make you feel relaxed during the session and any sickness that comes from yoga could be due to various reasons outside of yoga. 

If you are feeling sick during a yoga session, the first thing you should do is stop the session and consult with your physician to determine whether doing yoga is safe for you. 

Assuming you aren’t over-pushing yourself and treating yoga like an intense workout, which many do, you should generally be fine doing yoga.

If you’ve got the green light from a physician to practice yoga, there are other reasons outside of yoga that could make you feel sick during the practice, such as poor sleep, diet, hydration, or some emotional trigger that can be triggered by yoga. 

I’ll expand into these reasons but there can be many other causes beyond what I mention here that can make you feel sick. 

Eating Before The Session

Eating right before the session is not a good idea, just like it’s not a good idea to eat before exercise or meditation

You might consider drinking something since that can give you the energy you need for the session but I don’t recommend combining food with yoga, and it’s a good idea to have a 2 to 3-hour gap between the two. 

Yoga, after all, requires a sizable portion of your energy and if that energy is on working on your metabolism and yoga at the same time, it’s a recipe for disaster. 

When doing yoga, it’s always best to devote all your energy to the practice and do it as mindful as you can, with the exception being yoga and meditation since both go well together. And even yoga before a run is a good combination. 

Lack of Hydration

Hydration is key before any yoga practice, as yoga can easily wear your energy out if you are not prepared or doing it wrong, even if yoga has the purpose of increasing your energy. 

But staying hydrated gives you this extra boost that’s crucial when you are starting out, not that people are generally dehydrated when doing yoga but it’s good to have hydration in order to prevent sickness. Combining yoga while being severely dehydrated risks making the yoga practitioner feel sick. 

The flip side can also happen in the sense that you get excess energy and as a result, feel more anxious, even if it’s relatively harmless but preferable to feeling nauseous. 

Yoga Can Be Intense For Newbies

For someone that hasn’t practiced yoga before, they’re in for a surprise. Yoga can feel like it’s too much for a new practitioner and doing certain poses you’ve never done before can make you feel nauseous. 

You might not be used to stretching your abdomen in a certain way or keeping a certain pose. If this happens to you, consider doing a yoga style that’s slower as opposed to an intense style of yoga.

The style of yoga you do can influence how you feel throughout the session. If the yoga session becomes too intense, I recommend talking with your instructor to adjust in a way that works for you and that allows you to gradually take steps towards doing the yoga you wanted to do initially. 

Overall, with yoga, you’ll encounter roadblocks if you’ve never done the practice before but those roadblocks are part of the journey towards ultimately repeating the rewards yoga has to offer, it’s the price of becoming more flexible and by extension, having an increased life span. 

If you engage with your muscles a certain way that you aren’t used to, it can yield a variety of different outcomes, and while most are generally harmless assuming you do yoga under the right guidance, it’s always worth reevaluating the yoga you are doing, since no one is in it to make their lives worse or to feel worse with yoga. 

There can be drawbacks to yoga but generally, yoga isn’t meant to make you feel sick, even if it can happen during the session and if you experience some sort of sickness during yoga, despite having the green light to do yoga from a PCP, the sickness you might experience could be temporal once you push past the beginning stages of yoga. 

In the end, you might never experience such sickness again, as a result of yoga. 

Emotional Triggers

Yoga is both mentally and physically engaging, with the mental part being able to bring out certain emotional triggers or traumas

Especially if someone were to suffer from PTSD, as feeling the sickness could be the body’s fight-or-flight response to the practice and getting us to stop. 

Meditation in itself can be a great way to face these traumas since it goes deeper into the mental process but even yoga alone can help with the recovery. 

Even if yoga can be a very beneficial practice, don’t ignore your own well-being in the process, because you don’t want your perception of yoga skewed by traumas or negative experiences that might make you associate yoga with something negative. 

Many times, it’s a matter of overcoming internal demons and it could be the difference between having a blissful experience that moves you forward or a negative experience that doesn’t let you make progress. 

Yoga Is Not For Everyone

Most, if not everyone, should give yoga a fair attempt before deciding it’s for them. If yoga consistently makes you feel sick no matter what, either yoga isn’t for you or the style of yoga you are doing doesn’t align with you, or you are doing the poses incorrectly. 

This is why it helps to have an instructor that can give you direct feedback on your yoga practice to ensure you are on track. 

But even then, there’s a small portion of people where, no matter what, yoga could make it worse for them. 

Hopefully, you aren’t part of that minority and ideally, you find what works for you when it comes to yoga, given that there are so many yoga styles to choose from, probably more than there are ice cream flavors. 

It’s also worth noting that sickness can conveniently happen during yoga, making you attribute it to yoga when it’s something else causing it, and yoga is just helping you relieve that sickness, but sometimes, the remedy can feel worse than the sickness itself, so it’s worth being mindful about where it’s stemming from, to begin with. 

Only then can you make a fair assessment over the long run on whether yoga serves you a purpose or not. It can also be worth it to reduce the time you do yoga, alongside the intensity. When you are starting out, ideally you should choose a yoga that’s calming. 

There are of course exceptions but this applies primarily if you are one of those affected by the ‘sickness’ of yoga. 

Over-Pushing Yourself

Many want to overcome their limits, which is admirable. But It’s common for men to want to push themselves, and when it comes to yoga, it’s no exception. 

This is more commonly seen in a physical strength exercise, but many treat yoga as a physical strength exercise because it can provide the same benefits as strength exercise or at least very similar results. 

But with that also comes the drawback that you can feel sick if you are overdoing the yoga, rather than flowing naturally with the yoga. 

Over-pushing yourself can have its pros in the sense of raising your pain threshold, but it can also make you more vulnerable to feeling nauseous or fatigued by the end of the yoga session. 

Never sacrifice your own well-being to accomplish something with yoga, you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’ve done irreparable damage and achieve the opposite effects. 

Yoga Can Make You Feel Better From  Sickness

Yoga is generally very safe and feeling sick with the practice is extremely rare, assuming you are doing yoga correctly. 

Sickness can happen for a number of different reasons and in many cases, yoga can make you feel better because it manages to bring peace between the mind and body, and the poses you keep throughout the session are meant to make your organs feel as optimal as possible. 

But a good rule of thumb to prevent any form of sickness with it is simply getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and avoiding eating before a yoga practice, and for the most part, you should be there in making yoga work for you. 

At this point, it’s all about consistency and discipline. You can’t control what will happen during the yoga practice and you can always stop the yoga practice if it’s too much for you and it’s achieving the opposite of what’s intended. 

Yoga helps us to find this balance between feeling energized by the end of the session and peace during the session. If those are absent during and post yoga, it’s worth looking at the type of yoga you are doing.