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Old 10-12-2007, 04:15 PM   #1
Leela
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Smile Headaches after yoga

Hello...I am a "newer" yoga teacher, and one of my students who is prone to migraines, told me she sometimes experiences headaches after little while after finishing a yoga class, and sometimes during. The class was a yin class, mostly seated/floor poses, longer holds and not vigorous, and my advice to her was to try to keep her head up above her heart, and keep breathing. I plan to research good poses for headaches but I'm wondering if there is anything else I can suggest to her?

Best regards....L
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Old 10-12-2007, 04:50 PM   #2
Brother Neil
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how does she eat?
does she drink or smoke?
to fix the headache one must get to the source of it
so what is the cause if the asanas are easy ones,
maybe she is releasing something and the headache is good for her

some people tend to think, headache=bad
some people may think diarrhea=bad, well having it may flush out toxins
just some thoughts,
good luck on the journey
seeker
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:14 PM   #3
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Hello Leela,

Obviously seeing the student in the poses in question would help greatly in assessing. Since that is not possible there are two reasons for headaches that immediately jump to mind, no pun intended.

The first is when the student is not used to breath. In that case the shallow breathing of their daily life is carried over into their asana practice. In order to discover such a thing with this student, inquire how long she has been practicing yoga and examine in what ways her breath of the day is the same or different than the breath of her practice. Also look at how you are instructing breath in the poses for this student particularly. Let her answers be revealing rather than your questions.

The second issue is tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back. This can come from improper action in asana or negligence in sequencing. I personally do not find the Yin practice to have an alignment focus and therefore the student, by their very position, may be impinging their Chi, prana, blood, energy by remaining in an unaligned position for five minutes at a time.

The student who does not have an awareness of the serratus anterior and it's action will have a difficult time releasing the muscles of the neck on their own. These two muscles are reciprocol inhibitors. It is the engagement of the serratus that frees the muscles of the upper back and neck.

Look at the student in Gomukhasana (in Virasana so you can focus on the arms) and Garudasana (in the same Virasana position). You can also assess or instruct serratus action in Adho Mukha Svanasana, Phalankasana (plank), Chaturanga Dandasana, Ardha Uttanasana (hands at the wall) Ardha Adho Mukha Vrksasana, Adho Mukha Vrksasana, Virabhadrasana III (hands at wall) and Sirsasana.
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Old 10-13-2007, 06:19 AM   #4
Lars Rimböck
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Hello Leela

For students with migraine problems additional to the postures, Yoga Nidra is a very powerfull relaxation.
I have a couple of those students and it helps them all.

All the best
Lars
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:16 AM   #5
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Serratus anterior, huh ?
This again a new thing.
If I stick to this forum long enough, all your base will belong to us, InnerAthlete.

To not be totally off topic: migrenes also can be the effect of toxic byproducts of digestion, exposure to bright light (screens of al kinds). Sometimes the ill effects lurk beneath the surface of perceptible, and become apparent when awarness increases, or by slightly increasaed physical activity. In this case I recommend doing nothing:

I sometimes just lie down on my back, and I am not doing anything. Not even relaxing, or savasana, or breathing, but this is also not consciuous. And in this situation, I just do some movements, and I am just letting the body rearranging itself. Sometimees I feel like I am doing setu bandhasana, sometimes I do reclined bound angle. Sometimes I do modyfied poses I never heard of, and later I see them on some yoga site. No mental focus, nothing forced, the mind let to follow it's course. It is not important. It is important to develop a certain awarness, what is not the mundane clear focus, but a ceirtan detachment, even from asana practice, physical exercise, breathing, anything. It is hard to describe it, but it is very refreshing. I am calling it doing nothing, but it is not on purpose, if you know what I mean, because in fact I do things, but not with premeditation or aim in them. It is not yoga in the sense that is no aim in it, or any rule, or succestion. I am not doing to do this as yoga, I am doing it after I did my set, and before the final savasana.

Last edited by Hubert; 10-13-2007 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 10-14-2007, 01:15 PM   #6
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Yoga is not owned. It belongs to no one. <wink>
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Old 10-14-2007, 01:29 PM   #7
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Smile

Right Inner Athlete
Yoga belongs to no one, but still it allways a great pleasure, to see you sharing your profound knowledge of Yoga.

Best greetings
Lars
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Old 10-15-2007, 05:30 AM   #8
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Red face Think Basic

Hi Leela

As usual the people of yoga tend to angage more in the ownership of yoga that actually apply it to help others.

I have been teaching for some time and when i have students in class suffering, the first thing you should do is ask then to see a doctor - we are yoga teachers not medical proffesionals.

She may well have an underlying problem and the practice is aggravating it.

Remember your first port of call for something that is a continues problem is the doctor.

Hope this helps

Peter

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Old 10-15-2007, 11:11 AM   #9
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I'm going to respectfully disagree with Peter on this - to a degree.

From the properly trained yoga teacher a student is likely to get well-rounded and comrehensive health information that does not involve medicating the nervous system or cutting into the flesh. There are certainly times to see an M.D. and that will vary slightly from person to person. For example if you've broken a bone and need it set, cast, or x-rayed this is a good time to get to an M.D.

I often recommend students see their health care practitioner. However when I use that term is encompasses a range of providers well beyond allopathic medicine. The allopathic medical model is simply not that effective for healing.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:30 AM   #10
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headaches

Hello Everyone,

I just started taking yoga classes regularly and I definitely noticed an increase in headaches. I realized they would start if I rested the back of my head on my mat for an extended period of time. Sounds silly but I have to sometimes shift my head to the side to take that direct contact off the back of my head and from the floor. Also, I agree that poses might be putting strain on certain areas of the neck/shoulders. Def. a headache trigger! I'm still looking for solutions for myself :] But I appreciate reading this discussion- makes me feel like their are "reasons" for it instead of me just having a sensitive head.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:09 PM   #11
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One of the reasons I go to yoga is to rid my daily headaches yoga works better than any medication my doctor proscribed ,I am new to Hatha but not to yoga three things I do to still my mind listen to my breath think of my navel and crown .
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:44 AM   #12
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I'm surprised no-one has mentioned hypertension as a possible cause. There are lots of people walking around with undiagnosed hypertension .

Yoga can be helpful for both HBP and migraine but it can also make them worse if the practises are inappropriate.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:30 PM   #13
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Does your studio has flourescent lighting? As a lifetime suffere of migraines I know the high frequency flashing (not visible to the eye) causes me migraines. Also be aware of strain around the neck and sholder.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:43 PM   #14
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There are two reason of headache one is already described by all of the above post.

second is that when you do any yoga there will be increase of prana energy and it will go to crown chakra for cleansing but during that time one have to observe a pain. it means you must have some problem related to head in past or current situation.

let kudnalini power do all you just observe and total surrender
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siddhyogi View Post
There are two reason of headache one is already described by all of the above post.

second is that when you do any yoga there will be increase of prana energy and it will go to crown chakra for cleansing but during that time one have to observe a pain. it means you must have some problem related to head in past or current situation.

let kudnalini power do all you just observe and total surrender
Beautiful post
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:43 PM   #16
Andelson
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Yoga is a powerful tool to control headache. It provides relaxation to our mind. These two reasons are true about headache. Everyone should keep these reasons in your mind to get rid of this headache.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:11 PM   #17
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It seems that the headaches have more to do with other factors that are beyond your control. Your advice here is sound.
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