Suppressing pain can mean that its cause goes unheeded and, therefore, can become worse. The most common causes of headaches are tension, poor elimination, and poor diet. Tension can be reduced through proper breathing, and elimination can be improved with the Elimination posture. Diet can also affect headaches by causing obesity, which results in extra stress on your spinal column. Alcohol expands the blood vessels in the body and brain. We are all familiar with the effects of caffeine.
Headaches can also be caused by overexposure to the sun, poor ventilation, overly tight clothing, dehydration, smoking, and vision problems. What can you do to eliminate these problems? You should begin by regulation your exercise, your food, and your breathing.
Once you’ve identified the cause of your headaches, many natural therapies and remedies are available. These include: pressure point therapy, chiropractic treatment, homeopathic remedies, hot foot baths and body detoxification. You can also try to improve your diet by eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking pure water, taking food supplements particularly vitamins A, C, E and calcium – and drinking herbal teas. Conventional headache products only promise relief. They do not address and cure the cause. When you relieve pain, you suppress it; you don’t cure the cause. The problem may become worse and develop into something more serious. So listen to your body when it talks to you about pain!
If you truly follow the yoga way – move your body, breathe properly, eat properly, practice relaxation/meditation-you probably won’t get a headache. If you do get a headache, try practicing the Neck Roll, the Shoulder Lift and Roll, or simply sit and breathe. You should try to help your body naturally. Try not to harm it with drugs. You can be your own best healer, if you listen to your body.
Snake. The posture is an uninterrupted Swan. Instead of stopping or resting between each separate movement of the Swan posture, Simply keep moving into each part of the posture in one continuous, flowing movement. Keep moving through the positions for as long as you are comfortable. Lie on your stomach with your hands on the floor under your shoulders. Inhaling, lift your body straight up. Bend your knees and raise your buttocks up. Moving backward, side your hands along the floor and relax back onto your heels. Your forehead should be close to the floor. To come out of this position, push your hands forward along the floor. Your nose also moves along the floor. Your buttocks rise up into the air, and your body follows your hands forward. At the full extension, inhale and lift your body up to the Cobra position. Exhale and move backward again. Your arms are outstretched and your forehead is close to the floor.
Stretching Dog. Kneel down with your hands flat on the floor in front of you, but do not sit on your buttocks. Inhale and raise your body so that you are supported by your hands and toes. Your head should be between your arms. Your body will look like an inverted V. Exhale and lower yourself down to your knees.
Head of the Cow. Kneel down on the floor, but do not sit on your buttocks. Inhale and raise your right arm up and over your right shoulder. Your fingers are behind your shoulder. At the same time, bring your left arm behind your back. The back of your hand is against your back. Interlock the fingers of both hands behind your back. Exhale and bend forward to place your head on the floor. Inhale to bring your body up and release your arms. Inhale and repeat for the opposite side of your body.
Relaxation/Meditation: Active and Passive Concentration
Begin with the active form of concentration. In this form, you are concentrating on your breath and excluding all else. You’ll allow no other thoughts. Count one as you inhale and exhale; then count two as you inhale and exhale, and so on. Try to reach the number ten without any outside thoughts. If a thought occurs, start over again at one. Simply keep breathing from one to ten. You may begin now. (Pause for three two five minutes.)
In the passive form of concentration, you sit and breathe calmly and relax thoroughly. You can let your mind drift wherever it wants to go. In this form, thoughts will occur. The trick is not to hold on to them. As quickly as they form, let them fade away. Do not become involved or attached to your thoughts. If you try to hold on to them, become involved or attached, more and more thoughts will arrive. Thoughts never seem to travel alone! This best way to practice this is to see each thought as a bubble. Watch it rise up, drift away, or just burst. Do whatever works for you. Give it a try. (Pause again for three to five minutes.)
Keeping your eyes closed, gently and slowly lie down, centering yourself comfortably on the floor. Allow a relaxing breath as you let your body go loose and limp, released and relaxed. (pause.)
Continue with the continuing system of relaxation. This time establish in your mind that the number ten is very special. It is a relaxing number. (pause.)
Hold this thought in the positive section of your mind. Inhale, exhale, count one and think relax. Again, inhale, exhale, count two and think relax. Keep doing this exercise until you reach the number ten. Knowing with absolute certainty within yourself that when you reach ten, you will be totally relaxed. Begin now. (pause for three to five minutes.)
You are now totally relaxed physically and mentally. Accept this present moment as a precious gift and fill yourself with it. Stillness and pause, calm and serenity, utter peacefulness now envelop your body and mind. It is what you have longed for, what you needed the most. It is a form of salvation to your inner and outer being. There is no safer, more placid plateau of existence, and it is yours now! Realize it and fill yourself with it and bring it back with you. In a moment, you will start to count backward from ten to one, knowing that when you reach one you will awaken fully and feel totally rested and revived. Begin your count back. Inhale, exhale and count ten. Inhale and exhale count nine. Continue number one. (pause three to five minutes.)
You are back, rested, and revived. Enjoy this for a few moments and dwell within it, storing this feeling to take with you when it’s time to go.
A mindful, working, and successful practice takes positive thinking. It takes trusting yourself. It takes faith and a quiet knowing inside of you. These qualities take time to acquire and you may not feel quite as rewarded this time as you will in future practice. However, you should still feel rested and more peaceful. No practice es ever wasted. Each time you try, you are that much closer to success and to your state of bliss, the bliss that you so deserve.
You should not so much focus on the quantity of time you spend practicing, but on the quality of your practice. Those who try the hardest will generally get the most out of their practice. If the practice seems a little difficult for you right now, be of good cheer, because you will probably reap the greatest reward. Reward yourself now with a gentle stretch and your positive thought: “My body is relaxed and my mind is peaceful. This moment is perfect.” Enjoy a full stretch, a joyous yawn, and a wonderful smile.
Curing the Common Cold
Toxins in the bloodstreams can be discharged in three ways: through the kidneys and urinary tract, through the pores and sweat glands, and through the mucous membranes.
You can sweat out toxins with physical labor or exercise, performed every day. Working up a good sweat every day increases your longevity.
It is most important to encourage mucous discharge. Try not to suppress it with antihistamines that stop to runny nose. When you stop your nose from running, your cold will last longer because your retain the mucous in your system. Why would you want to hold this in your body? Let it run, and get it out of your body.
Fever is another friend of the cold. It sweats it out of your system. When you have a cold, try to stay away from pastry, starches, and animals fats. These foods slow down the digestive and elimination process, thus keeping toxins in the body longer. You’ll notice that most colds occur right after a holiday, when we eat excessively. In fact, fasting can be one of the best treatments for a cold. Your fast doesn’t have to be long or overly strict. Begin by consuming only liquids, soups, juices, and water. It will flush out your system quickly, and you will feel lighter and healthier.
Our bloodstream becomes overloaded when mucous producing foods – such as milk, cheese, cream, butter, eggs, red meat, white bread, and starchy foods – are consumed in excess. Try to eliminate or at least cut down on these types of food, and you will have less mucous in your system, and, therefore, fewer colds.
Another effective remedy for a cold is to take some extra vitamin C and garlic when you feel a cold coming on. Try not to wait until you have a full-blown cold before taking these remedies.
Many herbs can also treat colds. Always read the recommended dosages on the label, and remember that more is not necessarily better. Certain acupressure points can relieve the discomforts that comes with having a cold. You can learn the acupressure points that apply to your particular discomfort and become your own healer.
Modified Cobra. Lie face down on the floor as in the beginning of Cobra posture. Inhale and raise the upper part of your body as in Cobra. At the same time, bend your knees and try to touch the back of your head with your toes. Exhale to lower your body down. This posture is quite difficult for most people. Only move as far as it is comfortable for you, and don’t try to force your body.
Extended Toe Squat. Take a standing position with your heels together and your toes comfortably facing out and to the sides. Turn out from your hips, but do not twist your knees or ankles to turn your toes further to the side. Inhale and raise your arms straight out in front of you. As the same time, rise up on your toes. Exhale and lower your body down into a squatting position, balancing yourself on your toes. Stay in this position for as long as it is comfortable. Inhale to raise your body, while staying on your toes. Exhale and lower your arms, and drop down onto the flat of your feet. This posture strengthens your legs.
Tension Twist. Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent and the flat of your feet on the floor. Raise your arms up and onto the floor behind your head. Twist the upper part of your body from side to side. Keep your buttocks on the floor and twist only from the waist up.
Relaxation/Meditation: Shift Breathing
We practice shift breathing when we become aware of the shift from inhalation to exhalation and from exhalation to inhalation. Adjust your body comfortably with your back straight, but not stiff, your ears over your shoulders, and your nose above your navel. Rest your hands on your lap or along your thighs, and close your eyes. You will not participate actively in the shift from one breath to the other, rather, you will simply witness the subtleness of it, or the unevenness of it. Remember that you should not try to control it. Simply be aware of your breath. Follow the rhythm of it, allowing it its own course. This practice is to teach you concentrate and to stay in the moment, to be with what is happening. If you are open to it without any restraints, the following of the breath will calm and relax you.