asandvos

Headache after headstand?

6 posts in this topic

Hopefully I'm posting correctly...

I have been practicing yoga for years on and off and in the last few months got serious about it, creating a daily practice at home. I have recently ventured into the inversion world and am working on my headstand throughout your tone up program. After I practice headstand, I always get a bad headache for about 20 minutes. This doesn't happen after other poses, and I don't have high blood pressure or anything like that. I'm trying to be very careful about supporting the weight in my shoulders and arms, not my head. Any advice?

YogaByCandace likes this

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That's really interesting - do you get it when you are doing other inversions? My initial thought is that sometimes when we're working super hard, the lymph is moving quite a bit and that stirs up toxins and other junk that needs to be released which can cause things like headache or general malaise. But if you're not experiencing it after, say, power yoga, or other inversions, I really don't know what to tell you. :( I'm sorry, wish I could be more helpful!

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I know this is Candace’s section but I may be able to add some helpful information. As part of our nervous system we have blood pressure sensors above the heart, the neck area. When we are standing upright this is high in the body. So the blood pressure in the upper body is relatively lower than down by our feet. Gravity pulls the blood down and increases pressure at the bottom. When we go upside down our overall blood pressure doesn’t change but shifts to our head. The blood pressure sensors and the brain have been tricked into understanding that our blood pressure had a sudden rise. Then a sudden drop when we come out of the pose. Called the baroreflex. When our overall blood pressure hasn’t changed at all. Then any of the common reactions; headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath.

Mild symptoms aren’t serious in a healthy person, it is completely natural. If they become more then it may be something to seek medical help.

The way to deal with this:

Don’t go upside down.

Reduce the intensity of the inversions, easier poses.

Reduce the time spent in inversions.

Come out your inversion in very slow stages.

Takes Child’s pose for as long as necessary after. 

Keep practicing at a gentler level and over time, weeks, months, years, the condition will become less.

 

 

Hildegard likes this

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Thanks @YogaByCandace  and @Anahata. I'm going to experiment with spending more time in child's pose after. Maybe I'm getting up to fast for my body.

 

Update: @YogaByCandace @Anahata About a week and a half later, I'm seeing a huge improvement. I started spending about 90 seconds in child's pose after instead of 30 seconds and that made a big difference, but since I'm doing the tone up program right now, I am practicing headstand every day and the more I do it, the less I'm experiencing a headache. Yesterday and today - nothing! I'm wondering if it has to do with overall strengthening and my ability to support the pose correctly. 

Edited by asandvos
update

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Good, come back when you are able and let us know if this was helpful. Also let us know if it is not working for you, maybe there are other things to look at to help. 

I fixed my post above. I didn't change any information, just made it look more tidy.

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On 2/16/2016 at 1:06 PM, asandvos said:

Thanks @YogaByCandace  and @Anahata. I'm going to experiment with spending more time in child's pose after. Maybe I'm getting up to fast for my body.

 

Update: @YogaByCandace @Anahata About a week and a half later, I'm seeing a huge improvement. I started spending about 90 seconds in child's pose after instead of 30 seconds and that made a big difference, but since I'm doing the tone up program right now, I am practicing headstand every day and the more I do it, the less I'm experiencing a headache. Yesterday and today - nothing! I'm wondering if it has to do with overall strengthening and my ability to support the pose correctly. 

Thanks for letting us know. That is great to hear. It could be a combination of several things. You are getting stronger and more comfortable in the pose, less effects. Also we aren't used to being upside down so after we do it for awhile we get more accustom to it. So you have learned well and if the problem starts to return a little you know what to try.

And a helpful forum tip: If you edit we don't see an update and miss your addition (I just found it by chance). Just reply at the bottom and we find it in updates, click the activity tab at the top of any page to find new updates. No problems at all.

yogafire and brenskip55 like this

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