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Relax the Mind and Body with Yoga, Fight Headaches

Stress is one of the most common causes of headaches, thus, the apparent increase in the number of headache sufferers; modern life is filled with physical and mental stress the likes of which our ancestors have not experienced. Fortunately, there are many ways successfully manage stress from adopting relaxation techniques to getting at least 7 hours of restful sleep every night.

Yoga for the Body and Mind

Of all the relaxation techniques, yoga is arguably the most beneficial because it benefits both the body and mind. Keep in mind that yoga is about maintaining a wide variety of physical postures (i.e., asanas) and adopting a positive mental attitude (i.e., meditation), thus, its moniker as “meditation in motion”.

Yoga has the following physical and mental benefits that translate to a more effective management of stress and, hence, of headaches including their frequency, duration, and severity of symptoms. Of course, yoga should be complemented by other natural methods for headache relief like a healthy diet without the food triggers including alcohol, among other examples.

  • Deep breathing. Yoga involves paying mindful attention to your inhalations and exhalation, which aids in physical and mental relaxation.
  • Calmer disposition. Yoga aids in leaving the stress of the day and focusing on your breath, posture, and thoughts such that being relaxed in mind and body becomes possible. Less stress, less headache symptoms.
  • Proper posture. Yoga improves body posture because of its emphasis on the development of physical strength and flexibility as well as on spinal health.

Yoga is also a form of cardiovascular exercise with the added benefit of developing physical strength especially in the core muscles, flexibility and balance as well as in muscle toning.

Yoga Poses for Headaches

While yoga sessions are great, not all yoga asanas can quickly ward off headaches – or at least, lessen the symptoms after several minutes. Here are the yoga poses that experts say are the best in releasing the tension in your neck, shoulders, and back – these asanas gently stretch the muscles and increase blood circulation around the area including the head.

Perform just one asana or do a few or follow the entire sequence depending on your preference for the day.

  • Seated neck release. Sit in a comfortable position, place your right hand on your head’s left side, and slowly tilt your head to the right. Hold it for a few deep breaths and switch sides. Repeat once.
  • Quarter dog. Assume the push-up position similar to the downward facing dog but be sure to rest on your forearms, thus, taking the pressure off your hands and wrists. Let your head hang between your shoulders and take deep breaths.
  • Grounded tipover tuck. Sit on the floor so that your shins are parallel to each other and about hip distance apart. Place your hands behind your back in a double fist, lean forward, and lift your hips into the air. Feel the stretch in your chest, shoulders and nape while holding the pose for 5 breaths or more.

Indeed, yoga enthusiasts have good reasons to recommend the ancient practice so start now and enjoy its benefits soon!

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