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Question: Does anyone else experience a dulling headache an hour or so after yoga?

Asked by NatashaTP 3 years ago

3 answers

I practice Sivananda yoga (advanced) and find I develop a dulling, all-over headache around an hour or so after my class. I don't think it's dehydration. Any ideas?

Yoga, Sivananda Yoga

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808-888 3 years ago

I am an experienced yoga teacher myself. If you are practicing advanced Sivananda yoga I assume it may include shoulderstand and headstand. Some people should not practice shoulderstand without raising the shoulders on blocks or equivalent and resting the head lower, on the floor, because depending on the length of your neck, you could be overstretching your neck muscles basically causing a whip lash effect. A similar strain can occur if you are putting too much weight on your head in headstand and if you are not completely balanced. The other reason for headaches is overdoing it in strong back bends and creating tension in the neck by overarching the neck by lifting the head back too far. Particularly postures like fish, bow and camel. Sivananda is a traditional form of yoga and in my experience, modifications and props that are essential for some students are not always encouraged, depending on the training and experience of the teacher. You really should not have repetitive headaches after practice so need to sort this out otherwise it might put you off practicing as well as perhaps doing yourself more harm than good. Can you discuss this with your own teacher? Is it worth having a one to one for someone to look very closely at your practice? If you feel your own teacher is not addressing this for you I would explore other teachers / styles of yoga.

Other answers (2)

ChantelRMT 3 years ago

Hello Natasha. I don't know if Sivananda yoga as a style would specifically be the cause of your headaches. However, if you are practicing the Headstand, Shoulderstand and Plough poses, there might be a possibility that you are practicing them incorrectly. If you are practicing this in a large class or on your own, an experienced teacher might not be able to watch you go into the asana and move out of the asana (where the greatest potential for injury can occur). If you have any neck issues, they might be exacerbated with improper practicing. I would recommend that you seek out your health care practitioner to ensure that you haven't compressed or possibly aggravated any previous injury in the neck (whether known or unknown to you). Another possibility is with your progressive practice, you are uncovering deeply held samsakras that may be producing an emotional component manifesting as a headache. If you're feeling that neither ideas are not the case, then I'd encourage you to seek out your teacher; maybe exploring your practice in a private session may reveal why you're experiencing the headaches.
Feel free to consider reading "The Science of Yoga" by William Broad for some perspectives ad ideas. Here is a great interview on npr below.

Sources: http://www.npr.org/2012/02/10/146697650/the-science-of-yoga-the-risks-and-the-rewards

Nikkinoo 3 years ago

Does it happen after you practice certain postures?
take care of your breathing. if you´re practicing challenging postures as you say, it could be that you hold the breath, which can cause headaches, could also be tension in neck, so take great care with inversions and postures like shoulderstand, headstand and bridge.

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