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Headache after meditating for several weeks - Related?

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by siva, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. siva

    siva Member

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    Hello all,
    I've been meditating (with LF10 ) for about a month now. I'm relatively new to meditation and did a week without LF10 before I bought LF series. I meditate for anytime between 20-30 mins in the morning (want to do the prescribed 40 min, but the mind wants to stop in 20-30 min)
    I've been having a headache in the top portion of my head several minutes after I finish my meditation. This started about 3 weeks into meditation.
    I had been following 'Sudarshan Kriya' from 'Art of Living' for a while last year around October and had a similar kind of pain at the same region several weeks into it. I discontinued it at that time and got a MRI scan of the brain and the doctor found nothing. He said that these types of headaches are known as 'Vertex Headaches' and sometimes comes and goes without reason.
    Since 'Sudarshan Kriya' is a form of meditation too, I'd like to hear opinions on whether the headache and meditation could be related.
    I'd also like to hear opinions on why I'm not able to continue past 30 min in a session.

    Thanks,
    Siva
     
  2. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    First of all, I think it was very wise to attend a doctor.
    One never knows !

    The headaches might have 2 totally oppisite reasons, opposite to each other that is.

    Usually headaches have to do with straining.
    If you put too much effort in something, even a relaxation technique like meditation, you are working against yourself.
    In more than one way, meditation is the "art of letting go".
    If you feel your meditation is going effortless, and you don't have a specific goal in mind during meditation, this is probably not the case.

    Another option might be that your meditation is going very well, but that you have quite some emotional baggage that is coming out all at once.
    The process of release when starting to meditate is different for every person. If it doesn't go away in 2 weeks, it probably won't be this option.

    about the 20 minutes tops: don't worry, I have had that for about 7 months before I could endure longer sessions.
    If you can, try 2 sessions of 20 minutes a day, for instance one in hte morning, one in the evening :)
     
  3. Shivaya

    Shivaya Member

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    Siva,

    Sudarshan Kriya is actually the preparatory breathing practice to AOL's formal meditation technique called Sahaj Samadhi Meditation taught in their advanced classes. Sudarshan Kriya uses a cyclical 20 count 40 count 40 count breathing pattern at varying intensity and speed with the mantra of So-Hum. It produces mild hyperventilation in many people which is what triggers the headaches. Your instructor would have (or should have) explained that to you on your first night of instruction as it's a standard part of the course's scripted lesson. Headaches generally lessen with practice but if they're too bothersome try reducing the breathing counts to 5/10/10 and/or decrease breath intensity. You can always build yourself up to the required amounts over time as your body adapts. You might also contact your original instructor. The AOL folks are very good at follow up assistance.
     
  4. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Wow I would never have guessed a reason like that !

    Thank you for sharing this, I had no idea and might have given the wrong "help" here. Could you tell me what this kind of meditation is, or maybe you have link ( might be a bit less work for you ) ?
     
  5. Shivaya

    Shivaya Member

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    AOL stands for Art Of Living and is the official group founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Their official site is Art of Living Foundation. Sudarshan Kriya is a breathing technique that shares some common roots with the yoga bellows breath. It includes the use of arm movements synchronized with the ingoing and outgoing breaths both of which are quite vigorous. That's what is responsible for the hyperventilation. Anyone new to sudarshan kriya who doesn't get a little dizzy while practicing is probably not performing the technique with as much vigor as they should. You won't find books or websites giving specifics of the technique so I can't in good conscience be any more specific about how it is practiced. You'll want to learn from the source if you're interested in specifics. The exercises to learn the technique are taught in classes via a recording in the voice of SSRS himself. Sudarshan Kriya is a required prerequisite for learning SSRS's sahaj samadhi meditation technique. Even though the term "kriya" is used this is not the same technique as the kriya yoga taught by Paramahansa Yogananda or any of his later followers.
     
  6. siva

    siva Member

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    Thanks for your reply and explanation, Shivaya and Edwin
    I'm familiar with Sahaj Samadhi too. I took it as part of the advanced course. I lost the whole notes from the course and didn't want to practise it wrongly. This was about an year ago. I hadn't meditated or practised Sudharsan Kriya since then until I came across this community. I guess I'm more attracted to Michael's practical way compared to AOL. :)
    Now, I practise using Michael's method and use my mantra from Sahaj Samadhi once in a while.
    BTW, is Sahaj Samadhi similar to TM?

    Siva
     
  7. filly33

    filly33 Member

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    Siva,

    The help you have gotten already covers everything that I would say about your headaches, and even some things I would not have said. I do have some advice about getting past the 20 minute mark in your meditations. When I started out, the 10 minute meditation provided in the project-meditation course was a long time for me. I remember trying to move to the 20 minute mark and finding that I wasn't even meditating by the end of it. My eyes would sometimes open by accident and thoughts would corrupt my awareness. I was very confused and tried catching myself having thoughts, then saying to myself "there, now stop thinking that and meditate" but of course I kept thinking. Even worse after trying to stop. The best advice I got was to allow the meditation to take its course, like Edwin said, without expecting anything and at the same time accepting everything that happens. Sooner than later the things that were keeping you from going the distance will dissolve and you will be enjoying the meditation fully before re-awakening at the end of the prescribed time length thinking "wow, that went fast".

    One thing to watch out for is having an argument with yourself when you start to feel you need to come out of a meditation early. Saying to yourself "no, this is good for me, I have to do the entire meditation" will only provoke stopping. Accept what ever happens, remember that. A great analogy I got from the meditation course is to think of your thoughts and feelings and clouds passing by. Notice that they are there, accept them, and let them float on by. I wish you well. Cheers.

    Mitch
     

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