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April 27, 2015
When perfoming forward bends during yoga classes many students arch the cervical spine back. This can be observed when a student is reaching forward with the chin to the lowest possible point. Some students aren't aware of it, while others are quite competitive about it.
Over time a student would create tension in the neck and shoulders. The result would be a headache due to stiffening the high stress joints. Instead, it's suggested that students keep their ears lined up with the shoulders and tuck the chin slightly to keep the neck in the straightest possible alignment.
Although this is very poor alignment - If you hold your hands up stiffly and lock the elbows or shoulders in warrior one. That should create enough tension in the shoulders to create a headache. And if you tilt the head back to look up at the hands you may even get a migraine.
This isn't recommended, but if a yoga teacher isn't paying attention to your alignment these bad habits can become a bad yoga practice. When I travel I'm often amazed at how many teachers there are that won't get off the mat to make adjustments.
I hope this is useful.
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