You are in the middle of work and are ticking off your daily to-do list at great speed when, oh damn, you are down with a migraine attack. Out of the blue. The thing with migraine is it hardly gives you a heads-up before it decides to give you a surprise. Albeit an unwelcome one. But fikar not! Not when you have the know-how of a few tricks up your sleeve in the form of yoga for migraine.
Before we start discussing yoga for migraine, let’s take a brief look at some of the most common causes of migraine and headaches.
10 Possible Causes Of Headaches & Migraine
There are innumerable causes behind a migraine attack, although the most common reason is rooted in sudden lifestyle changes, although not restricted to them. The following lifestyle could be the primary reason for headaches:
- Alcohol, particularly red wine
- Certain foods, such as processed meats that contain nitrates
- Irregular sleep cycles or sleeplessness
- Poor posture
- Skipped meals or lack of a nutritious diet
- Hormonal changes
- Seasonal weather changes
- Overuse of migraine medications
How Does Yoga Help With Migraine And Headaches?
Medication is one way to treat headache and migraine. But if you get migraine attacks or headaches frequently, yoga for headaches and yoga for migraine is the best way to treat it naturally. Yoga for migraine not only reduces stress but also helps you detox and calm your body.
6 Yoga Poses For Migraine & Headache
Now that we are aware that yoga helps in overcoming headaches and migraine, let us see the 5 most effective yoga for headache poses that you can try out for yourself.
1. Balasana (Child Pose)
Great for relaxing your mind and relieving anxiety. Let us discuss in brief this yoga asana for headaches and how you can perform this yoga for migraine:
- Sit down on your knees and relax.
- Stretch your legs hip-width apart and let your bottom rest on your feet.
- Bend down in front until your head touches the ground, right in front of your knees.
- Stretch your arms out toward your feet and hold this position for a few counts.
- Release and come back to the starting position slowly.
2. Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward-facing dog pose is a highly recommended yoga asana for beginners suffering from headaches. Let us go through how you can do this yoga pose:
- Get down on your hands and knees to the floor, so your torso is parallel to the ground.
- As you breathe out, lift the hips up, straightening the knees and elbows, this is when you form an inverted V-shape with your body.
- Press your hands into the ground.
- Hold the downward dog pose and take long deep breaths. Look towards the navel.
- Exhale. Bend the knees, and return to the table pose. Relax.
3. Marjaryasana-Bitilasana (Cat-Cow Pose)
The Marjariasana is a great yoga pose for headaches. The word Marjariasana is derived from two words – “marjari” – meaning cat and asana meaning pose. Let us now discuss how you can do this yoga for headache relief.
- Sit in the Vajrasana pose. Stand on your knees and raise your buttocks.
- Bend forward and your palms flat on the ground with the elbows straight and fingers facing forward, and the knees aligned with the hips.
- You may separate your knees slightly to get them in line with your hips. This is the starting posture.
- Now breathe in and raise your head, curving your back downwards simultaneously so it develops a concavity.
- Puff up your abdomen and fill the air in your lungs with as much air as possible and hold for 3 to 5 seconds.
- When full exhalation is done, pull in your stomach and buttocks. In this pose, your head will be between your arms.
- Hold your breath for 3 seconds and then exhale.
4. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
There are certain yoga poses for headaches that help you get rid of headaches and migraines. However, the benefits of these yoga poses are not restricted to that. For instance, the yoga position also helps in getting rid of the tummy flab and helps you in digestion as well.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent, your legs and feet hip-distance apart.
- Move your feet closer to your buttocks. Press down firmly through both of your feet and inhale to raise your hips, lifting from the pubic bone rather than the navel.
- Clasp your hands under your back on the floor. Broaden your collarbones and get on top of your shoulders. Firm the outer shins and roll your upper thighs inward.
- Press down firmly through your heels and lift the back of your thighs, and the bottom of your buttocks even higher while keeping the thighs parallel.
- To finish, exhale, release your hands, and lower to the floor. Allow your back to rest in a neutral state as you observe the spaciousness within your chest.
5. Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
A calming asana that does wonders in helping you relax your mind and alleviate headaches. This is a relaxing pose where all you need to focus on is your breathing and calm your mind.
- Sit on the floor or on a mat with your legs stretched out in front of you. Be comfortable but not too comfortable that you slouch. Keep the spine erect.
- Bend the right knee and place it on the left thigh.
- Repeat the same step with the other leg.
- Next, place your hands on your knees in the mudra position.
- Keep the head straight and the spine erect.
- Hold and continue with gentle long breaths in and out.
6. Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Seemingly one of the easiest yoga poses, but an effective yoga for headache relief nonetheless! One feels all you need to do for savasana is to lie down, but there is a catch! Well, let us see what is the correct way to perform a savasana.
- Place your mat in front of a chair or couch.
- Lie in the centre of your mat with your knees bent.
- Lift your legs, and place the back of your calves on the chair or couch.
- Rest the back of the arms on the floor with the palms facing upward.
- Relax for a few minutes, without letting your mind wander.
When To Consult A Doctor?
For anything that involves your health, you need to be sure of how critical things are getting. Migraines can be unbearable and, if it prolongs, the repercussions are excruciating. If the pain stays even after taking medications and practising the above yoga asanas, there is no other way for you but to consult a doctor immediately.
The yoga for headache and migraine listed above will help you relax and feel comforted. These poses might not give you instant relief if the migraine is the symptom of an underlying health condition, but they definitely work like magic in making you feel relaxed immediately.
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