Our lifestyles and circumstances have made migraines a common occurrence nowadays. Migraine is a neurological disorder characterized by agonizing pain in either a part or one half of the head and aversion to light and sound. Migraine pain can range from moderate to intense and an attack can last an hour, a day or even a week. Other symptoms of migraine include vomiting, nausea, lightheadedness, dull ache behind the eyes, distorted vision, seeing flashes of light and increased pain during any physical activity.
Though migraine can be managed with the help of medications, therapies and lifestyle changes such as stress management, improved sleep patterns, and diet modification, practicing yoga every day can also provide relief from migraine. Here are some yoga asanas that work wonders in keeping migraine at bay.
A simple asana, practicing padmasana or the lotus pose regularly clears and relaxes the mind. The meditation in this asana woks to ease frequent headaches.
Balasana or the child’s pose is a great stress-buster and truly relaxes the body and the nervous system, alleviating the pain a migraine attack can cause. The pose helps stretch the hips, ankles and thighs thus reducing fatigue and migraine attacks.
Uttanasana, also known as pada hastasana, is essentially a standing forward bend. It strengthens the core, stimulates the nervous system and improves blood circulation, thereby calming the mind and reducing the possibility of a migraine onset. It also helps alleviate the pain in case of a migraine.
The downward facing dog pose, known as the adho mukha svanasana in English, also helps increase the blood flow to the brain thereby calming the mind and reducing pain in the case of a migraine. Regular practice of this pose can also help treat the disorder permanently.
Done in conjunction with the bitilasana or the cow stretch, marjariasana or the cat stretch works as a great muscle and nerve relaxant. It also works as a stress-buster as it helps improve breathing, which in turn, relieves stress and alleviates pain. Practicing this pose helps diminish the frequency of a migraine onset.
Setu Bandhasana or the bridge pose helps divert blood flow to the brain, which helps control blood pressure and relieve anxiety. The sudden increase of blood in the brain also helps reduce migraine pain and diminish the frequency of attacks.
Prasarita padottanasana, also known as the feet wide forward bend, helps strengthen the body and muscles. It improves balance while increasing blood circulation to the brain. Again, the flow of blood to the brain relaxes and calms the mind, relieving the pain.
End the yoga session with the shavasana or the corpse pose to bring the body in a state of deep rest. The meditative nature of the pose, which encourages one to let go and relax, truly calms the mind, rejuvenating it completely. Letting go helps relieve stress thereby alleviating pain.
Yoga is an effective remedy to manage migraines, however a word of caution needs to be mentioned here. Talk to your doctor before you discontinue any assigned medicines. Remember yoga aids the medicines but is not an alternative.