03 August 2012

Yoga for Tension Headache


While on vacation, just after putting the kids to bed, I could feel a tension headache tightening up.  A line of pain strained up from my right shoulder blade, along the back of my neck to behind my right eye.  These headaches can last 4 hours and sometimes cause “eye spots” in my vision.  

I was sharing a double bed with a child in a one-room lodge in the middle of Yellowstone National Park.  To relieve the pain as quietly as I could, I found some space on the floor and ran through a few repeats of the Sun Salutation asana, which includes a few poses recommended to help release tension headaches:
  • ·         Upward & Downward Dog
  • ·         Forward Bend
  • ·         Mountain Pose
When I got home and had internet access again, I found six more favorite poses that help relieve tension in the neck, upper back and chest:
  1. Child’s Pose (with arms extended)
  2. Bridge (arms clasped underneath)
  3. Seated Twist http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/485 
  4. Upward Plank (opens chest)
  5. Eagle Arms (stretches shoulder blades) http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/785            
  6. Gomukhasana Arms (relaxes shoulders) http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/689         
I finally rested in Savasana (Corpse Pose) and fell asleep ... relief.