yoga teacher trainingBy Jenny Park

During the course of yoga instructor training each of learns that yogic methodology has many remedies for most of the common ailments.  There are many reasons for headaches and there different types, which make a realize that one medicine or yogic technique won’t be a perfect remedy for every person.  As each of learns during a yoga teacher training, every student is different in many ways.  If this point isn’t emphasized during a yoga instructor training course, graduates are handicapped.  The yoga teacher should adapt the practice to the health of the student.  There is no other way to safely teach yoga. 

More and more people turn to yogic practice to relieve headaches every day. Yoga has a proven track record of being an all-natural way to relieve headaches as opposed to over-the-counter methods for relief. Not being dependent on medicines is a completely freeing feeling for those who are affected regularly. There are many different types of headaches and different asanas that relieve each type. Tension and migraine are the most commonly suffered types of headaches and some asanas will help relieve the symptoms from other types of headache as well. The following asanas will calm the mind and body, and relieve whatever headache the student is currently suffering from.

A tension headache is felt as a tight band around the top of the head. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache suffered by adults and are a result of stress. Untreated, a tension headache can last for just hours, or even days. Usually they appear right in the middle of the day, ironically when most experience the highest level of stress. Migraines physically make your head pound. They can also bring on nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light. Many doctors are quick to prescribe medication for migraines as it is impossible to maintain any type of day to day activity while suffering. The good news is that many have found relief in yoga.

• Slow Sun Salutations – Not only is the sun salutation a perfect asana sequence to warm the body up, but it relaxes the mind and is a great way to get into a mental place where you are ready to focus and have a calm mind.  If you give it a chance, the sun salutation takes your mind off the headache.

• Cat and Cow Poses – The Cat and Cow poses will also help calm the mind through incorporation of breathing techniques. It also stretches the spine which is directly connected to the neck, and head.

• Seated Forward Bend – Stretch and release tension in the back, and place a pillow on the thighs or knees to rest the head upon.

• Cobra – Arch the back gently and lay head as far back as possible in this pose while focusing on the breath.

• Corpse – Always a perfect asana to close with. Lying still on the floor relax the mind and release all the stress and tension of the day. You can also rub the heels of your hands together to create heat through friction and gently place them over your eyes.

Side Notes for Yoga Instructors

The above-mentioned techniques are just a handful of the many asanas for headaches.  I will discuss this further and introduce other techniques, such as: mild pranayama and relaxation techniques.  My point being: Asana is a nice start, but many of you have learned so many techniques during yoga teacher training for a reason.  Mantra, mudra, pranayama, and relaxation can be practiced separately or together for the purpose of purging pain out of the body.  As Paul once mentioned at a yoga instructor training lecture, “A pain free day is a taste of heaven, which most people in good health often take for granted.”

© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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