Yoga offers benefits for relieving headaches. Many headaches are tension headaches. You can feel tightness and tension in the neck and head. These are generally related to muscle tension and poor posture. Slouching increases the tension in the neck. The muscles in the head and neck are connected and the tension and pain builds to headache.
If you are experiencing stress related headaches, consider adding meditation to your practice. Meditation is great for stress relief. Combined with the stretching benefits and awareness of Yoga, meditation calms the mind and nervous system. This can help prevent stress induced tension headaches.
Tightness in neck and shoulders is often a precursor to headaches. Practicing Yoga asanas can relieve this tension, increase blood flow to the muscles and relieve the tension before it causes a severe headache. Breathing increases the oxygenation of the body, which brings oxygen rich blood to the muscles.
There are certain asanas in Yoga that are effective for relieving the pain of a headache and the related tension. Poses that increase circulation and release tension from the head and neck can help. The seated twists are effective for both increasing circulation and relieving muscle tension in the back and neck.
Cat pose is another pose that is effective for relieving tension in the neck and back. The flow of the cat cow sequence, coordinating the movement with the breath releases tension and brings oxygen into the body.
Relaxation poses are great for stress relief and releasing tension from the muscles of the body. This can be effective for many types of headaches. Child’s pose increases circulation and releases tension from the core and back. Resting the head and breathing into the pose is good for stress relief.
Savasana, or relaxation pose, is effective for tension headaches as well as migraines. After trying a few other poses, end with relaxation pose and focus inward, releasing tension in the muscles and the mind. This restorative pose should be experienced for a few minutes to gain the maximum benefit.
Regular practice aligns the body and brings it into balance. In addition, posture is improved. If poor posture is contributing to headaches, this can help prevent future pain. If you are experiencing symptoms that worry you or frequent headaches, check with your doctor to rule out any other causes.
Source: Written by Pattie Hughes, Reprinted from Families.com