I believe that we live in paradise. It is not because Costa del Sol has demonic sunsets and refined sunrises, foam waves on endless beaches, green forests and white Andalusian houses spread all over the coast. Any place on earth can be a paradise. But only if you are happy with yourself.
“Of course,” you will say, “you are sitting there on the roof of the house with carved balconies and look at the Mediterranean Sea! You are surrounded by sunshine, birds and beauty! This way it is easy to be in harmony with yourself! And remember the cold Moscow autumn with kilometres of traffic jams with angry people, smogs, waterings, cold rains and snow?!.
“Yes, I remember. And I miss it too. We all miss our dear homeland even being in this Sunny Land. And whatever the weather outside the window, we all experience the same health and well-being problems. Some of them can be expressed in different ways. But the headache is the true companion of human everywhere. Let’s talk about it.
In my practice, I have met complaints of people for headaches and having apathy, inability to work and do daily things. Both men and women are affected by this disease. Mostly there are women, due to their complicated reproductive system hormonal mechanism and sensitive nervous system.
Yet, before giving any yoga-therapeutic recommendations for dealing with this disease, it is worth analysing what kind of headache we are dealing with. Very often the constricting or bursting sensations in frontotemporal, parietal, temporal or throughout the head (the so-called “helmet”) are often symptoms of tension headache. It is the most common kind of headaches. It is important to understand whether this is chronic or episodic.
Usually, the chronic form lasts more than 15 days in a month and it is not associated with muscle pathology. For example when the trigger zones are relaxed with massage or yoga therapy, the pain does not weaken or change). The episodic form lasts less than 15 days a month and it is related to muscle pathology. With a proper yoga therapy practice with muscle relaxing techniques, it is possible to almost completely get rid of the disease). Quite often there is a migraine or its version — a migraine with an “aura”. For recommendatory practice all is more difficult and individual to deal with, than with a tension headache. So we will leave this option for a personal meeting and analyse the yoga therapy complex with occasional tension headache.
As I mentioned above it is necessary to identify and work with the causes of its occurrence. It can be stress, anxiety, depression, inherited characteristics, pathological muscular phenomena, pressure or weather changes, etc.
The yoga therapy practise in this case unload the nervous system and works out to relax muscles trigger zones. It makes blood flow to increase and improves nerve conduction. The main work area are muscles of the neck, shoulders and upper back.
We will practise some exercises. Remember that a safe practice requires doctor’s and experienced yoga therapist’s advice, as the exercises presented below have some contraindications.
So, take a comfortable sitting position, try to keep your back as straight as possible. Twist your fingers in the lock, placing it on the back of your head with your thumbs down. Stretching your back and crown up, start to point your head up and forwards into the diagonal, continuing to stretch. Lock the position for a few breaths, track your sensations.
Move the lock from the fingers to the forehead. Continuing to keep the elongated spine, slightly press on the forehead, as if shifting the head back parallel to the floor. For a few breaths, note your sensations.
Place your right hand on your head so that your palm slightly touches your ear. Slowly start to point your head up and to the right, into the diagonal, lengthening your neck. Help the left hand to complete the correct tension, slightly guiding the skin and muscles of the left shoulder down-left-in the diagonal. Track your sensations and smoothly return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
Dynamic vyayama for shoulder joints – also a great practice in this case. Stay in initial position, placing your fingers on your shoulders. Then “draw” two circular trajectories from the centre to the sides, trying to make movement as slowly and smoothly as possible.
Repeat this practice for several times, observing the mobility in the shoulder joints.
Experienced practitioners can add Ushtrasana (the Camel’s pose), which opens the chest, unfolds the shoulders and helps to stretch the cervical spine in correct way. It forms a good muscular framework around the vertebrae.
Do not forget to keep calm even breathing and do not throw your head back. This can lead to increased intracranial pressure and a sharp deterioration in well-being.
At the end of practice, always relax the muscles of the neck and shoulders. Stretch out in Balasana (Child’s pose). In this case, it will be logical to adjust the height of the head taking into account your sensations. The key to the success of any practice is its regularity, proper performance and enjoying it!
Many of you have already moved from the readers category to “doers” which makes you feel great. So before we get too far in our practice join our live band! Watching happy smiles of your mat neighbours is the best motivation and reward!