Those uninitiated to the world of yoga and similar posture and stretch-based exercises may think the only benefit gained from yoga positions is increased flexibility. While flexibility is a definite advantage of regular practice of yoga, it’s far from the only value of the activity. Inner ear health and improved hearing can also be potential upsides of yoga.
Several simple and gentle yoga positions stretch muscles in the vicinity of your ears or place the head below the heart. These exercises can increase blood flow and nerve stimulation to your ears so they can better receive and send auditory information.
When it comes to yoga, you don’t have to be a contortionist to see the benefits. There are plenty of gentle yoga positions that produce positive results, and that includes results for your hearing. Below are some of the gentle yoga exercises that you can use to promote better hearing.
Breathing technique is important for yoga in general, these poses in particular. Breathe deeply, in and out, through the nose, while you hold these yoga positions.
Note: Your results will depend largely on your body and practice, and you should consult with your doctor to assess your best options when practicing yoga.
Legs on the Wall
Find a wall or a vertical surface that can bear your weight when you lean on it. Sit on the ground where the wall meets the floor. Now pretend the room has been tipped on its side, and the wall has now become your new “floor.” “Sit” on the wall and lean against the real floor. You’ll be lying on the floor with your legs going up the wall at a 90-degree angle. Keep your body relaxed in this pose for 15 minutes.
This pose promotes blood circulation to the upper body, including the head. It’s also a great move if you’re hoping to alleviate swelling or tension in your legs and feet, as it uses gravity to drain excess blood from the lower extremities.
Neck Flexion and Neck Extension
Look down until your chin meets your upper chest. Hold for a moment to feel the stretch, and then slowly tilt your head straight backward, until you’re looking straight upward.
This exercise promotes blood circulation in the neck and head, which can improve hearing in some cases. It’s also a good method of increasing your neck’s flexibility and reducing neck pain and stiffness.
Slowly turn your head to the right, as far as it will naturally go. Don’t jerk or force it; just turn your head freely until it painlessly stops turning. Then turn your head to the left in the same manner. It will look like you’re shaking your head “no” in slow motion. Repeat the motions a few times in a row.
This exercise stretches the neck and shoulder muscles and promotes healthy blood flow to the head, which can be beneficial to the health of your ears.
Lie down on your stomach. Put your hands on the ground below your shoulders and push yourself off the ground, similar to how you do a pushup. Unlike a pushup, however, you will leave most of your body slack. Stretch your head and torso upward while supporting yourself by straightening your arms. Your legs will be trailing behind you, relaxed, on the ground. When done correctly, you should look like a cobra, lifting its head and front section, while the rest of its body is still touching the ground.
This pose stretches many of your upper body muscles. Cobra pose is also an easy and gentle way to promote circulation, which can benefit your hearing.
Get down on all fours. From this position, lift your knees off the ground, so you are supported by your hands and the balls of your feet. Create an upside-down v-shape with your body: straighten your legs (without locking at the knees) and create a straight line with your torso and head while lifting your rear into the air.
This pose can be helpful to address the symptoms of tinnitus. Directing circulation toward the head, the nerves of the inner ear can benefit from oxygenation.
Standing straight up, put both arms above your head and bring your palms together. Your arms will create a circle surrounding your head. Alternatively, you can make this easier by putting your palms together and resting them on your chest.
At the same time, you will raise one of your legs off the ground, resting the raised foot on your opposite leg. Based on your preferred difficulty, you can rest the raised foot higher up on the other leg (on the thigh), lower down (on the ankle), or any point in between. Higher up on the leg will be more difficult to balance, and lower down will be easier.
This pose, paired with good breathing, is an excellent way to increase blood circulation throughout the body, which can be beneficial for nerve health.
Remember: you don’t have to be a world-class gymnast to gain benefits, such as improved hearing, from yoga. These simple and gentle poses can be an effective and relatively easy way to improve your circulation, balance, muscle tone, and a host of other benefits.
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