Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Melt Away Your Backbending Headaches

Just two days ago I wrote about the many benefits of backbending.

If you go back and look at the postscript, you'll see I mention some things that people don't like about backbendings.

One of those is headaches.

When I was new to yoga, it was not uncommon for me to get a blinding headache when I practiced challenging backward bending poses.

A backbending headache feels just like that brain feeze headache you get when you eat ice cream too fast. The big difference is that the ice cream headache goes away quickly.

Today's tip is a remedy for those agonizing backbending headaches.

If you can do full arm balance (handstands, adho mukha vrksasana), I recommend that you hold the pose as long as you can, allowing your head to dangle freely. If you can get a friend to assist you, you can hold the pose even longer. This almost always gets rid of the headache for me.

But not for all of my students. So if that doesn't work, you'll need to find a room with a pillar in it. Using a long belt wrapped around the pillar, cinch your legs firmly but comfortably to the pillar in viparita karani mudra. Most people know this as legs-up-the-wall pose.

Here's viparita karani mudra with legs on a pillar. Now just add a strap around the thighs. Posted by Picasa

Position the belt half-way between your knees and hips.

The tug of the strap seats the heads of the femur bones into the hip sockets. When this pose is set up properly, you feel a gentle tug on the lining that surrounds your central nervous system.

Close your eyes and relax. Relish in the sheer enjoyment of the feeling. Your headache will melt away like ice cream on a hot summer day.

Don't just read about it. Get up. Experience it. Experience yoga!

Kevin Perry

p.s., When you don't have a pillar or a strap, take your feet wide apart in viparita karani mudra and ask a friend to press your thighs toward the wall using his lower legs, as pictured here. It's fabulous.

viparita karani mudra variation with a partner pressing your thighs toward the wall. No belt and no pillar required. Posted by Picasa

p.p.s., I don't get headaches very often. So I honestly don't know if these two viparita karani mudra variations will work to relieve other headaches. Please try it out and let me know. Thanks!

Copyright 2005. All rights reserved, Mo Yoga LLC.


Blogger said...

still check your site often. thank u for the valuable tips!

8:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home