Got a tension headache or pressure in the upper region of your torso that stems from the base of the skull all the way up to the temples and into the middle of your eyeballs? Headaches and migraines can be extremely debilitating and uncomfortable. If you are not the over the counter pill popper every time a symptom comes up in your body, then know that there are great holistic approaches to feeling better (and they can be low cost or free)!
The following are simple yoga poses to help get rid of unwanted pressure and aches in the head:
Before doing any pose, close your eyes and breathe deeply in and out of your nose. Sit in a comfortable seated position turn inward. Shut off any outside noises generated from electronics and listen to your breath rising and falling, in and out of your diaphragm. Just relax.
Dab a few drops of peppermint on the temples and behind the neck. Deep breathe. Add a few drops of Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Lemongrass and Blue Tansy Essential Oils. This can be done before, during or after your gentle yoga and meditation practice.
1. Child’s Pose (toes touch and knees are open wide as you melt your torso onto the floor in front of you. Arms and reaching straight in front of you. Forehead rests gently on the ground in front.)
2. Seated (modified) Eagle pose (sitting in criss cross apple sauce/ indian style with legs crossed, bring left arm under right arm and wrap left arm around right so the left fingers grasp inner bottom palm of right hand. Deep inhale and raise bound arms up toward ceiling. Repeat with the opposite arm on top.
3. Cat and Cow (in a table top position with both hands and knees on the ground, take a series of inhale and exhale movements with your spine moving to your breath. Cat–when the spine is arched and belly is hallowed and breath leaves the body in a slow exhalation and chin tucks into chest. Cow–when the belly drops down toward the ground, inhalation, gaze is soft and is up toward ceiling.
4. Seated Forward Bend (sitting on the ground with both legs extended in front of you, inhale both arms up into the air and exhale your chest melts down toward the thigh and knees. Arms reach for the shins, ankles. toes or the feet. Relax and find length with each inhale. Find more depth with each exhalation.
5. Legs Up the Wall (lay on your back with your legs extended, soles of the foot facing the ceiling, toes pointing toward your face. For additional support, rest your extended legs up the wall as your sit bones meet the bottom of the baseboard and ground. Inhale and exhale slowly.
6. Happy Baby Pose or Knees to Chest (laying on your back, bring both knees into the chest and hug your knees. Another option is to grab the outside of the feet and gently rock side to side and give your spine (central nervous system house) a nice massage.
7. Supine Twist with bent knees to right and left. After taking your knees to your chest and laying on your back on the ground, gently allow your legs to drop to the right side. Extend your arms out to a “T” and gaze over your left shoulder. Gently inhale and exhale. Repeat on the opposite side.
8. Seated Meditation (sit comfortably on your sit bones–with or without the assist of a block under your sit bones). Close your eyes and keep your spine straight and tall. Your head is neutral. Close your eyes and breath in and out gently and controlled.
9. Bridge Pose (laying on your back, bend your knees and bring the heels of your feet close to your sit bones. Inhale, press into the soles of the feet and lift the hips up toward the ceiling. Press your heart and sternum up and closer toward the front of the room. Inhale and find more extension in the spine and lift from the pelvis. Relax the head and neck. Exhale after a couple rounds of breath and lower your pelvis to the floor.
10. Corpse Pose (lay on your back with your feet extended straight in front of you and allow both feet to fall naturally out a foot apart. Your hands are palms facing up and about a foot apart from your body on each side. Surrender as your body melts into the earth. Close your eyes and breathe.