Ten Yoga Poses for Tension Relief, Continued
4) Viparita Karani: Inverting the bloodflow and calming the mind3) Adho Mukha Svanasana (Down-ward Dog): Deeply stretching the back,shoulders, and legs:
Begin on hands andknees; as you exhale, turn the toes under andlift the sit bones, straightening the legs andarms. Press your hands into the ground as thebase of the spine moves diagonally up. Theweight of the head will create a stretch in theneck. Watch that the ribs do not sink down; liftthem to create a space between the shoulderblades and to avoid jamming the spine. Comedown on an exhalation.
Since this pose increases blood flow to thehead, it is excellent in the beginning stage of a headache. But if you are having migrainesymptoms, indicating that the blood vesselsare dilated, and if the pain increases, skip thispose and rest in savasana. Do not do this poseif you have hiatal hernia, eye pressure, retinalproblems, heart problems, or disc problems inthe neck, or during menstruation or pregnancy.Lying on the floor with a blanket or bolsterunder your lower back, place your legs upagainst the wall. Remember to drop the chindown, creating length in the neck. Cover youreyes with an eye bag or wrap. Some peoplefind headache relief in this pose when theyplace a weight, such as a sand bag, on thehead, with one end on the forehead and theother draped over the top of the head onto thefloor. This additional pressure helps to dropthe head further into the ground, releasing thestrain in the neck muscles.