Saturday, August 2, 2014

3 Yoga Poses to Relieve Headaches

Who all carries the weight of the world on their shoulders? I do... LITERALLY! 

I am one of those types of people who tend to carry my stress in my neck and shoulders, which leads to tightness which leads to PAIN. Naturally, the pain then leads to the ultimate: headaches!
I went to my massage therapist a few days ago and she recommended doing yoga to relieve the pain by stretching those muscles. As far as yoga goes, I was mainly used to the hip stretches that open your pelvis-the butterfly stretch was my favorite!

I figured, "Why not try some new poses?" After all, ANYTHING could help at this point!
So I went to a yoga class and here is what the teacher recommended! Lo and behold-I feel a world's difference!

3 Yoga Poses to Relieve Headaches

1. Seated Neck Stretch
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  1. Sit cross-legged on the floor with your spine lengthened and straight.
  2. Maintaining that sense of length, reach overhead with your left hand and hold under your right ear at the notch just behind your jaw; as your head tilts slightly to the left, make sure you don't tip it back and jut your chin toward the ceiling.
  3. Rest your right hand on your right shoulder, fingers pointing toward your neck.
  4. Take full, deep, but unforced breaths for a minute, letting your muscles relax and expand into that gentle rise and fall.
  5. Then deepen the stretch by gently pulling your head to the left and your right shoulder down, away from the ear.
  6. Pull right up to the edge of discomfort, then pause and relax into the stretch for another minute before repeating on the other side.
2. Wide Legged Standing Forward Fold
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  1. Step your feet about 3 to 4 feet apart, with your hands on your hips. 
  2.  Lift up tall through your whole torso and fold slowly over your legs.  
  3. Place your hands flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart; begin to stretch your torso forward. 
  4. Fold deeper, bringing your head toward the floor.
  5. Bend your elbows, stacking them over your wrists. 
  6. As you fold, make sure you are folding from your hip joints instead of rounding your lower back. If your hamstrings feel tight, you can choose not to fold all the way down. No matter how far you go, keep your legs active. As your hamstrings lengthen, think about contracting the muscles to control just how far to stretch. Find your edge and remember that yoga is about making skillful choices, not about getting to the deepest stretch
3. Cow Face Pose
photo 2 (5) 
  1. Sit with your legs criss-crossed.
  2. Lengthen the base of your spine with your pelvis well grounded, lengthening the back of your neck by bringing your chin gently towards your chest.
  3. Stretch your right arm up, bend the elbow and bring your right hand as far down the back of your neck as possible.
  4. Reach up behind your back with your left arm towards your right hand.Use a belt in your right hand if need be, clasping the belt with your left hand and working your hands as close together as possible.
  5. Be aware of the gentle lengthening of the space between your rib cage and your pelvis, making more room for your baby.
  6. Release your arms and repeat on the other side.
Photo Source: Yoga Outlet

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