Yoga for migraines: Steps, health benefits of 4 exercises for mind-body therapy
Experience migraine or throbbing headaches often accompanied by vomiting and nausea? Yoga expert reveals that relief can be surely sought with the help of Yogic practises. Check out these 4 Yoga asanas with their steps and health benefits for significant relief in migraine
From reducing stress, anxiety and depression with its asanas that involve poses, meditation and breathing exercises to helping provide relief in burnouts, thyroid disorders, bridal glow and even traumas, researches and Yogic experts belief that the ancient Indian practice of Yoga can also help with migraines. Known to be one of the most common causes of headaches that aren’t completely understood, migraine affects one in seven people worldwide, as per the website of World Federation of Neurology and it is the most common brain disease.
Given the present lifestyle choices, migraines are becoming a common condition nowadays that include symptoms like throbbing headaches which are often accompanied by vomiting and nausea and also causes sensitivity to light or a partial loss of vision. According to Spiritual Yoga Guru and Sacred Sciences Teacher Rajesh Singh Maan or Acharya Advait Yogbhushan as he is popularly known, migraine is a sign of lack of oxygen in the brain.
Why does migraine occur?
Acharya Advait Yogbhushan explains, “Your brain uses the most of oxygen consumed, to regulate the functioning of the nervous system. The oxygen flows to the brain with blood. Longer working hours and a kyphotic back causes compression on the lungs blocking the proper flow of oxygen in the body.”
He adds, “Relief can be surely sought in this condition with the help of Yogic practises as an aligned practice will open all blockages in the body and will ensure the proper flow of blood and oxygen.”
Causes of migraines:
Listing various factors that contribute to the condition, Acharya Advait Yogbhushan highlighted some common causes of migraines such as family health history, emotional triggers such as stress, anxiety, depression, dietary choices such as alcohol, tobacco, etc. He offered, “One must take precautionary measures and practice yoga regularly to see significant relief in the migraine.”
Experience migraine or throbbing headaches often accompanied by vomiting and nausea? Acharya Advait Yogbhushan reveals 4 Yoga asanas to relieve people from the discomfort of chronic disorders that can benefit them in the condition of migraine.
1. Prasarita Padottanasana or Wide-Legged Forward Bend
Method: Keep a parallel distance of about 3 to 4 feet between your legs and place your hands on your hips. With your legs and spine intensely stretched, inhale, lift your chest up tall through your whole torso and fold slowly over your legs.
Begin to stretch your torso forward by placing your hands flat on the floor and keeping them shoulder-width apart. Fold deeper, bringing your head toward the floor.
Benefits: This wide-legged standing forward bend is a good warm-up for other wide-stance standing poses as it stretches the backs of the legs and the inner groins. It calms the brain and eases fatigue while improving circulation of blood and toning the abdominal organs.
Acharya Advait Yogbhushan shares, “This asana works on opening the hip muscles and stretches the hamstring and the lower back. This asana works like a semi-inversion. It is great to be practised to avoid migraine as it channelizes the blood flow in the lower body.”
2. Halasana or Plough Pose
Method: Lie on your back with your palms facing the ground. Take a deep breath in and with that exhale, press your palms into the floor and raise your legs towards the ceiling. For added support you can place your hands on your lower back.
You can also bend your knees if you’re losing balance. Slowly and gradually, try touching your feet to the ground behind. Breathe slowly. To come out of the post, slowly release your hands from your back and bring your feet flat on the ground.
Benefits: It helps to reduce stress, calm the mind and improves your digestive process, all of which has an amazing effect on your skin. “This asana strengthens and lengthens the spine. It is great for migraine as the blood flows through the spine to the brain,” says Acharya Advait Yogbhushan.
3. Setubhandhasana/Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or the Bridge Pose
Method: Lie down on your back with legs straight on the floor, palms beside your thighs. Bend both your knees while keeping the legs and hips apart and bring the heels closer to the hips.
Inhale and lift your stomach and chest up by taking your hips off the floor. Give support to your lower back with your hands. Now straighten your legs with your toes pointing in the front. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds and release.
Benefits: This variation also known as the Bridge pose stretches the chest, neck and spine. It not only strengthens the back, buttock and hamstrings but also increases blood circulation, alleviates stress and calms the brain.
According to Acharya Advait Yogbhushan, “It is great for migraine as the asana causes a stretch in the intercostal muscles and helps in the expansion of the lungs bringing a great amount of oxygen flowing to the brain.”
4. Viparita Karani or Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose
Method: Lie straight on your back. Join both the legs and lift them up. Take the legs slightly behind to lift your lower back. Support the back by placing the palms on the lower back with elbows on the ground. Keep the legs perpendicular to the floor and your back inclined at an angle of 45-60 degrees with the floor. Breathe normally. Begin with 1-minute and then slowly increase the duration of practice to 10 minutes.
Benefits: This asana enables quicker movement of water from the small intestine to the larger intestine, which cleanses the stomach. It is also a great practice to stimulate the hormone system and strengthen the core. It allows you to completely relax your mind and body and helps to cool it down while refreshing the circulatory system.
“This asana is great in the condition of migraine as it stretches the legs muscles and relaxes the spine,” asserts Acharya Advait Yogbhushan.