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Buzzing in head with backbends

yogamomma2010-07-04 22:49:38 +0000 #1
Hi there,

I have started noticing that in some backbends I get a strange buzzing noise between my ears and I totally zone out. This has alarmed me somewhat and I have mentioned it to my yoga teacher who has told me to just be careful.

Is this something to worry about, I don't feel like I am going to fall over really but I can't say I feel normal in any way at all?

Does anyone have any experience of this? I am 27 years old and 147lbs. I do not suffer with any health conditions and doing yoga for 7 years. I have been doing it almost daily now for 2 1/2 years as I teach children's yoga.

Thanks for your advice in advance

Om Shanti

Willem2010-07-04 22:59:00 +0000 #2
Dear Yogamoma,

It's always difficult to answer these questions long-distance. First of all, "yoga pose is a steady and comfortable position" (sutra II-46). Since you are clearly not comfortable in your backbends, why not avoid them altogether or at least decrease their duration and/or intensity? You do not want to be experiencing discomfort in asana practice, especially not "buzzing in your head" which causes you to "zone out". This is not yoga.

Secondly, if your symptoms persist you should consider visiting a health care professional. From your brief description, there is a possibility that you are experiencing tinnitus (look it up with Google). There are any number of causes for this, some quite harmless (wax in your ears, ear infection) and some less innocuous. Tinnitus itself (as a symptom) can be mildly annoying to very distressing. You do not want to "train yourself" to experience it- yet another reason to go easy on the backbends at this moment.

yogamomma2010-07-04 23:06:53 +0000 #3
Thank you for your expertise. I thought that there wasn't really anyone to answer my question.

I spoke with my GP who explained that there are arteries in your neck at the back and it sounded characteristic of putting pressure on said artery.

I have since backed off the backbends until I am ready to push them further.

Thank you again
InnerAthlete2010-07-05 00:07:53 +0000 #4
The benefits of backbends should not simply be cast off as they are integrated with the rest of asana practice. It is not an ala carte menu option. However, it must be balanced with what is safe for the student. As a teacher I am charged to be mindful of the continuum between effect and safety.

Which backbends specifically are problematic here?

Do you experience the same issue in Bhujangasana that you do in Ustrasana?

If you fully develop the question by outlining ALL the backbends you are doing, which do and do not have the issue, and how you are practicing (hot, vinyasa, hatha, power, bikram, aashtanga, iyengar, idon'tknow) then from there we might be able to guide you.

If you are satisfied with "there are arteries there" and the discontinuation of backbends in your practice then disregard my post.



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