It’s so unfortunate getting to your mid-20s or 30s and finding that you still get travel sick.
Those of us who live with motion sickness feel ill when our bodies cannot process information sent from our eyes, ears and body, making us feel queasy, clammy and sick to the stomach.
But now an expert has revealed a number of different methods, including yoga exercises and breathing techniques which adults can ‘rebalance’ when feeling unwell in the car.
Jennifer Harvey, who is co-owner of Oceanflow Yoga Studio in Newquay, Cornwall told FEMAIL yoga can offer long and short-term techniques for those who suffer from travel sickness both as a preparation for the journey and also in the moment once a wave of dizziness or nausea takes over.
Travel sickness can be as real for adults as it is for children, with many affected. This happens with our bodies cannot process information sent from our senses
She said: ‘We lose our view on the horizon and start to feel uncentered and unbalanced even as we sit or stand still in the vehicle.’
‘When we are centred and know where we are in space, even when in motion, the body no longer feels the need to protect ourselves from danger, becoming more relaxed and calmer.’
Here, she reveals the four techniques which can help control, and cure, travel sickness…
BREATHE THROUGH ALTERNATE NOSTRILS
Speaking to FEMAIL, Jen explained: ‘Five minutes alternative nostril breath can help align the left and right side of the brain to centre you in the moment.
‘To do this you should sit in a comfortable position and place your left hand on the left knee.
‘Then bring your right hand up towards your nose and exhale completely then use the right thumb to close the right nostril.’
She continued: ‘Inhale through the left nostril then close the left nostril with your fingers.
‘Next open the right nostril and exhale through this side. Then inhale through the right nostril and close it before opening the left nostril and exhaling through the left side.’
‘This is one cycle, which you should continue for up to five minutes, and always complete the practice by finishing with an exhale on the left side.
‘This can be useful during travel as it doesn’t require a huge amount of space.’
ADOPT A YOGA POSE
Jen advised choosing a routine of poses that keep you low to the ground in order to treat your travel sickness.
She pointed to exercises including low wide lizard lunges, squats, childs pose and cat cows.
She said to practice these poses for around five to 10 minutes before opting for balance poses like tree, eagle and standing pigeon.
The yoga expert suggested: ‘Try each pose for five deep breaths on each side and see how they can get you up on your feet and ready to go whilst maintaining the feeling of staying grounded.
‘Other flows that could be helpful to follow would be Earth Salutations and Moon Salutations, both of which are calming and grounding.
‘These flows are great as they connect you to your breath as you move, another way to help you stay centred.’
FOCUS ON A SPECIFIC OBJECT
Jen revealed that visualisation techniques are ‘brilliant at keeping you centred and grounded.’
She explained that could include focusing on one object whilst taking slow breaths in for a four count and out for a six count.
Jen added: ‘They can be very helpful if you suddenly heat up, as breathing through the mouth over the tongue can be very soothing because it cools the system like a peppermint tea.’
She advised listening to guided relaxations, in particular ones that focus on the body because this can help to ease symptoms of motion sickness as you resettle the body.
STRETCH OUT AFTER THE JOURNEY
Unfortunately once the journey is over the nauseous sensations linger on.
Jen explained that poses that stretch out the hips, legs and spine can feel wonderful for the body after a long journey and can help you feel much more connected to your body again.
She said that a combination of pigeon, camel, seated forward folds and finishing with a couple of minutes on your back or legs up the wall pose should alleviate the sickness.
The yoga expert suggested this would work because the stretches enhance blood circulation meaning that more oxygen is circulated through your body, which in turn refreshes and rejuvenates the body.
FIVE POWERFUL YOGA POSES FOR TRAVEL SICKNESS
Hero Pose can calm nausea and re-centre the body. The kneeling posture helps you become more grounded and steady
Hero Pose is a kneeling pose in modern yoga and an exercise to calm nausea and re-centre.
It requires you to sit in a kneeling position with your feet alongside your hips and your hands resting on your thighs.
Props such as cushions or blocks can be used under hips to protect knees and the pose can also be taken on your back to feel more grounded.
Jen explained that this is one pose you should have an empty stomach for due to the strong downward affect on the digestive system.
Seated Spinal Twist
Seated spinal twist helps more energy to flow and balance the body buy sending more oxygenated blood towards the lower half of the body
This pose gently compresses the lower abdominals whilst opening up the lungs in the upper torso.
To get into this pose you should begin in a seated position and cross your right knee on top of your left, bringing your feet alongside your hips.
Then lift your right knee up to place the soul if your right foot on the mat outside of your left knee and place your right hand to the floor outside of your right up for support.
Rise your left hand to the ceiling and bring your left elbow down to the outside of your right knee and turn your head to the right, to look past your right shoulder.
She said: ‘It leads to a diagonal shift of the stomach energy line which can help to allow energy to flow more in balance once released as well as helping to send more oxygenated blood towards to the lower half of the body.’
Essential for good digestion too, the release of this twist can help everything realign.
Eagle is a criss-crossing movement that aids the brain to re-centre itself and focuses the eyes
This popular criss-crossing yoga move requires the person to stand on one leg whilst wrapping the other around it and doing the same with the arms in front of the body.
Jen explained: ‘This crossing works with the brain to help re-centre and standing on one leg will challenge your balance so your eye gaze focusing is crucial to stay upright.
‘If you can learn to hold the balance and the gaze for longer periods of time, you may find that when you are in the midst of motion sickness symptoms, that you can focus better and breathe slowly through the waves until they pass.’
Lizard lunge can be used pre or post travel as a way to stretch out the multiple aspects of the hip joint as well as providing grounded qualities
Lizard lunge requires you to move your body into a plank pose, then bring one foot up to the same hand placing your shin behind your upper arm, and focusing your gaze forward.
The wider lunge allows you to take this pose as close to the ground as you wish. It can be very helpful to use blocks under each hand or forearm to feel more supported as you stay in the pose and breathe.
The pose can be use pre or post travel as a great way to stretch out the multiple aspects of the hip joint which can feel tight after long seated journeys as well as it’s amazing grounding qualities.
Legs up Wall
Legs up the wall is the ultimate relaxation pose because it reverses the blood flow in the legs to help you feel more refreshed
The ultimate pose for relaxation.
This old favourite, which is what it says on the tin, totally calms the nervous system to either prepare or settle us down during a day of travel.
Jen explained: ‘It gently reverses blood flow in the legs to help you feel more refreshed and with the spine supported on the floor or a bolster cushion, your back and neck muscles can start to dissolve out of any travel tension.
‘If you have some time to play with, why not pop an eye pillow on with your favourite essential oils and listen to a guided relaxation to totally switch off.’