yoga certificationBy Jenny Park

After finishing your yoga teacher training, everybody comes out of the woodwork to ask you about pain relief. Sometimes, visiting the doctor, getting a prescription, or an over the counter pain killer is the best solution, but Yogic practices offer us many more solutions to pains and aches that have plagued humans since the beginning.

If you’ve never heard of a cluster headache chances are that you’ve still suffered from one. A cluster headache is characterized by brief, sharp pains usually only on one side of the head near the eye. They attack more than one at a time and happen throughout the course of a day, week and sometimes-even months. The pain can be described as stabbing, burning, and can last hours. The cause of cluster headaches is still unknown, but it is believed to be due to poorly functioning blood vessels, as they occur mostly at night when we lay down to sleep.

This is why yoga is a chemical free option for this type of headache. One benefit of doing regular yoga asanas is that it allows us to stretch out the blood vessels and improve blood flow throughout the body. It is also believed that stress plays a role in the attack of cluster headaches and yogic practice is definitely a stress reliever in that it releases harmful toxins from the body.

Yoga is great therapy for cluster headaches. Many sufferers of cluster headaches sing the praises of yoga training, some even say when practicing three or more times a week say they completely forgot about the headache until they realized they were no longer experiencing them. That is the power of yoga! The combination of several yoga postures, pranayama, and of course meditation can have anyone suffering from cluster headaches back to feeling right in no time.

The following are some excellent techniques, which you probably learned in your yoga certification course, but were not made aware they they are also good for relieving anxiety, stress, pressure and headaches.

• Mountain Pose – It is important to find your center in order to become grounded and focus. 

• Seated Twist – Relieves tension in the spine, up through the neck and to the head. 

• Bridge Pose – When practicing this pose, be sure to relax the muscles in the face. 

• Baddha Konasana – Couple this pose with an eye bag over the eyes and practice it at the first signs of a cluster headache. 

• Forward Fold – The best benefit of this pose is while bent forward, gently nod and turn your head left to right. 

• Downward Dog – Any pose that has you inverted improves the blood flow to the head, which in turn will relieve your headaches. 

• Corpse Pose – Always the perfect ending to practice. Come to your center and focus on breathing and relaxation.

Lastly, it’s not too hard to imagine that a workshop, which covers Yoga techniques for headache relief would be popular.  Although there are many kinds of headaches, Yoga teachers can easily come up with some relaxing ideas. 

© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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