A certain kind of vertigo, or a “spinning dizziness”, could be triggered by certain yoga positions. Benign paroxysmal position vertigo (“BPPV“) is a condition of the inner ear where tiny crystals become dislodged and incorrectly stimulate the wrong balance nerves in one ear. This classically causes spells of dizziness lasting 30 seconds or so when certain head movements are made.
Some 50% of BPPV sufferers claim a preceding mild head trauma or whiplash that seemed to be the trigger. In addition to trauma dislodging the tiny crystals, many yoga poses may act on the inner system in the same way. The yoga poses of highest risk are the inverted and upward-facing positions.
The good news is BPPV is usually easily treated with simple maneuvers in the office so it’s no reason to avoid yoga altogether. If you have recently been treated for BPPV though, I recommend waiting about a week before going back to unrestricted yoga.