Guest Author - Lisa Shea
Yoga brings many benefits to the human body. One is that it can help reduce the frequency of headaches and minimize their effect when they do happen. Here's how!
First, sit quietly and take in a few long, deep breaths. So often we resort to shallow breathing when we are stressed - and this then brings on headaches. It could be that just this deep breathing helps you to ward off the headache.
One breathing technique that helps to focus on this is the alternate-nostril breathing. Hold a finger against one nostril, blocking it shut. Take in a long breath through the other. Then let it out slowly. Now switch which nostril is blocked, and repeat. Do this a few times until you begin to feel relaxed.
Often headaches are caused by neck tension. Sit in a relaxed pose and imagine there is a halo floating right over your head. Slowly trace that halo with the crown of your head, a few times. Then reverse your direction and trace it in the opposite direction.
Now imagine a healthy orange is floating right in front of your nose. Trace around the edge of the orange with your nose a few times. Then reverse the circle a few times.
If you are able to do a floor pose, then kneel on the ground. Bend forward at the waist until your forehead is on the ground, and then stretch your arms out in front of you in extended child pose. Release all your worries. Whatever issues there are, they will be resolved somehow. For now you are resting and gathering your strength. Relax for thirty seconds.
Another floor pose to do is cat - cow. Get onto your hands and knees. Arch your back up high, as if you were a hissing cat. Then relax your belly down, as if you were a cow with heavy udders. Move smoothly, slowly, back and forth between these poses while you inhale and exhale. Do the sequence at least ten times.
By releasing the tension in your muscles, and the stress from your mind, you can help to reduce the occurrence of headaches and the intensity of the ones you do have. Find ways to work yoga into your daily life - and use our yoga site for more details!