Yoga's combination of meditation, postures and breathing techniques offers balance and stress relief, two key benefits that may help alleviate ear ailments. The Cleveland Clinic emphasizes that stress reduction lightens the impact of Meniere's disease and its symptoms, which include recurring vertigo, hearing loss, tinnitus and pressure in the ear. Be sure to see your doctor or an ear, nose and throat specialist if you have any of these symptoms or ear pain.
Yoga breathing techniques, called Pranayama, can help relieve stress and ease ear pain. One balancing exercise to try is Alternate Nostril Breathing. Sit comfortably and breathe normally. Gently close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale through your left. Close your left nostril with your ring finger, and release your thumb as you exhale through your right. Inhale through your right nostril, close with your thumb and exhale through your left. Repeat the entire sequence four times.
Neck rolls can help keep your spine in alignment and enhance hearing. Sit comfortably with your spine lifting upward and your shoulders relaxed. With your eyes closed, gently drop your head forward and back a few times. Then, look to the right and to the left a few times. Finally, bend your head to the right and then slowly to the left a few times.
Mountain pose develops your sense of balance as you're both grounding and lifting. Stand firmly on the floor with your feet hip-width apart and your arms relaxed at your sides. Gently pull your navel in toward your spine and lift upward, keeping your shoulders relaxed. Notice the space between your shoulders and your ears. Rest in this position for a few breaths.
B.K.S. Iyengar, author of "Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health," recommends the restorative Legs Up the Wall Pose to de-stress your body and mind and help relieve ear ailments. Lie on your back with your legs stretched up with wall and your arms out to your sides. Place a folded blanket just under your seat and a rolled towel or blanket under the curve in your neck. Hold for at least 5 minutes.
Inversions, poses that require turning the head upside down, such as Headstand, Handstand or Wheel pose, may disturb the inner ear and cause dizziness, nausea or vertigo. These poses are not recommended if you are suffering from any kind of ear ailment. See your physician before practicing any poses specifically for ear problems.
- HolisticOnline: Neck Rolls
- Cleveland Clinic: Ménière’s Syndrome
- Ayushveda: Home Remedies for Ear Infection and Ache
- Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health; B.K.S. Iyengar