It's the rare individual indeed who can say he or she has never suffered from a headache. Unfortunately, it's often difficult to find the source of a headache. Headaches can be caused by a negative reaction to a certain food, air pollution, allergies, sinus problems, eyestrain, stress, and any number of other factors. Try eliminating suspected sources of regular headaches, such as caffeine, poor posture, or a particular food. If your headache is severe or your headache patterns change, see a doctor. For occasional, irregular headaches, however, your best bet may be to step up your yoga practice to put your body in the best possible condition for curing itself.
For headache relief, try the following:
> Try the breathing techniques in Chapter 7, "Can You Breathe?"
> Gently rotate and flex your neck and toes.
> Practice inverted postures where your head is lowered briefly. These may help a headache, because inverted postures increase the flow of oxygen to the brain.
> Make sure you maintain a balanced diet. Decrease or eliminate your intake of nuts, aged cheeses, chocolate, caffeine, and food containing nitrates (like luncheon meats and hot dogs). These foods produce allergy-like reactions in many people.
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