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Tingling As a Side Effect of Yoga

author image Lorraine Shea
Lorraine Shea writes about yoga, fitness, nutrition, healing, philosophy, art, decorating and travel for magazines and websites including Fit Yoga, Pilates Style and Country Accents. She teaches Anusara-style yoga and specializes in breath technique, active relaxation and therapeutics. She has a B.A. in English from New York University.
Tingling As a Side Effect of Yoga
A woman is in a yoga pose. Photo Credit Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Tingling sensations are most common in your arms hands, fingers, legs and feet. According to the National Institutes of Health, tingling may be caused by holding the same position for too long, a nerve injury, too much pressure on spinal nerve such as from a herniated disk, carpal tunnel syndrome or lack of blood supply to a specific area. During yoga practice, you can make adjustments to improve blood circulation to offset any tingling side effects.


Whether you are new to yoga or have been practicing for a while, when you feel tingling while in poses, ask your teacher to help you adjust your alignment. It's always important to listen to your body and readjust when it feels right. If tingling sensations during yoga practice and at other times is common for you, consult a physician to help determine its exact cause.


One possible cause of tingling is that you are holding a pose too long. Frequently, people sitting in easy pose for meditation experience feet falling asleep. The first thing to do if you feel a tingling is to come out of the pose and readjust. When sitting with your legs crossed, for instance, stretch your legs out and switch leg position every so often. Squeeze and release your thigh muscles a few times to keep the blood flowing through your legs and focus on your breath. Sit on folded blankets to elevate your pelvis.


If your hands tingle during weight-bearing poses such as downward-facing dog, check your alignment. While sitting or standing, stretch your arms out in front of you with your palms facing, and plug the heads of your arm bones into your shoulder sockets. This takes weight off your wrists and keeps your body fully integrated.


If this discomfort is caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, ask your teacher to help you modify your poses. Do downward-facing dog with your weight on your forearms instead of your hands. Or, you can roll your yoga mat and use it under the heels of your hands so your wrist positions at a less-acute angle.


If you are get a tingling sensation while in a back bend pose such as bridge or wheel, notice your alignment in your legs and feet. For these back bends, legs and feet sometimes have a tendency to turn out when they should be parallel. This compresses your lower back, which may cause a tingly feeling in your legs. Place a yoga block between your feet or your shins to help your alignment. Keep your seat relaxed, your tailbone lifted and your spine lengthened to avoid lower-back compression.

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