Yoga Asanas to relieve migraine and headaches

migraine cure

The benefits of Yoga are not limited to improve physical fitness only. It has a great impact on the mental health. It’s been said that ‘a sound mind resides in a healthy body’.  

What is a migraine?

Migraines and headaches are quite common in today’s generation. A migraine causes severe pulsing pain on one side of the head. Sometimes it may be on both the sides. It often brings nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound with it. The attacks last for hours and sometimes even days. It causes severe pain and can even make a person oblivious. Its causes are not yet completely known but genetic and environmental factors appear to play a role. 
It is advised to get medical attention to cure it. However, as it is evident, yoga amasses a remedy to get a sound and healthy brain.  

Role of yoga in curing your migraine

2014 study published in the International Journal of Yoga also suggests that some yoga poses are handy and helpful in getting over or preventing a migraine attack.  
Specific poses are there that can be practiced to improve the blood circulation to the brain. Some of them especially target relieving the tension and stress which can be causing the migraine.  

One can start the session with shhudhi kriyas: 

Deep breathing( Kapal Bhati): You can start with this as it would improve the blood circulation which makes you calm and uplifts your mind. You should sit in a comfortable position with an erect spine. The focus must be on the exhalation and contracting the abdomen muscles. 

Kapalbhati helps you calm your mind. This will help cure migraine.
Kapalbhati pose

Bhramari Pranayama: Sit in a comfortable position with your eyes closed. Try to focus on the quietness and then put your fingers on the cartilage, which is between ear and cheek. Take deep breathes and while breathing out, try gently pressing the cartilage. Make humming sounds like a bee. 
This process is very helpful in mitigating migraines. 

Anulom Vilom Pranayama: Sit in a posture similar to mediation with your spine upright. Close your eyes and block your left nostril and inhale with the right for two seconds. Hold the breath for around 4 seconds with both the nostrils blocked. Then slowly exhale through the left nostril, which was blocked before. This time keep the right nostril blocked and repeat the process.  
This has proved helpful to relieve anxiety and stress.  

Now you can proceed to the main asanas. 

Paschimottasana (Two-legged Forward bend): Start with you sitting and your legs stretched forward. Inhale a deep breath and at the same time raise your both hands above your head. Now lean forward, your hands should go in line with the two legs. Touch your toe or try holding your feet. Repeat this process for your convenient time period. This pose helps you calm your brain and relieve mild depression. 

Paschimottasana helps cure migraine.

Matasyendrasana: Sit in Vajrasana or with your legs stretched in front of you. Fold your left leg in a way that your left foot touches your right buttock. Now, fold your right leg and bring your right foot beside your left knee. Then, twist your upper body so that you hold your right foot with your left hand and your right hand behind you and supporting your body. Hold this pose for 20-30 seconds and then release it to the initial position. Now repeat it on the opposite side (turn or twist to the other side).  
It helps to increase the oxygen supply to the lungs. 

Matasyendrasana helps cure migraine.

Shishuasana (Child’s pose): You can start your session with this asana. At first, you need to sit in the Vajrasana position, then with a deep inhale take your hands straight up, above your head. Now, with an exhalation, lean forward and lie on the floor with your hands stretched forward and your forehead touching the ground. Hold this pose for around 2-3 minutes, as per your convenience, and breathe normally with your eyes closed throughout. Slowly, come back to the initial position.  

Marjaryasana (Cat Stretch): Sit in the Vajrasana position and then stand on your knees. Lean forward with your wrists right under your shoulders and your palm facing the floor. Try to keep your hands and thighs always perpendicular to the floor. Inhale a deep breath and stretch your spine inwards with your neck in an upward direction. Hold the pose for few seconds and then hunch your spine with your neck facing downwards. Repeat this process for 1-3 minutes.  

This helps you stretch your spine.  

There are few more to practise

Adho Mukha Savasana (Downward-facing Dog): Start from the position as in Cat-cow pose. Take your legs backward and fully stretch them. Move your hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Move your knees off the floor and try to stand in the formed position. You should have your neck pointing towards the floor while your hips pointing upwards. Try keeping your feet and palms always flat on the floor. This will stretch your lower back as well as your spines. Hold this position for anywhere between 1-3 minutes. Slowly, bend your knees and keep them on the floor with an exhalation and relax in Child’s pose.  

This is one of the poses from sun-salutation and is very helpful relieving the stress in back muscles. 

Setu bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge pose): Lie supine on the floor. Bend your legs and try bringing your feet close to the sitting bone as much possible. keep your hands in line with your torso. Now, slowly lift your butts off the floor until the thighs are parallel to the floor and keep your knees right above the feet. Hold the position for 30 seconds to one minute. Release with an exhalation. 
This yoga posture calms your brain and helps alleviate mild depression and stress. 

Bridge Pose (beginners should keep their feet flat on the floor)

Bhujangasana (Cobra pose): Lie prone to the floor with your legs stretched. Keep your palms flat on the floor right under your shoulders. Now, with a deep inhalation lifts your upper body until your hands are straight. Hold the pose from 15 to 30 seconds. Then slowly release your body with an exhalation. In the next repetition keep your palms near the chest area.  
This posture helps you open your lungs and heart and relieves stress and fatigue as well. 

cobra pose

Uttanpadasana (The raised-leg pose): Lie on your back with legs stretched forward. Keep your hands on the floor. Now, slowly raise your one leg without a bend in the knee. Try to keep it at least 45 degrees to the floor. You can vary it from 45 to 90, as per your convenience. Now put it down slowly and then repeat with the other leg. In the next repetition, raise both your legs at the same time and raise them between 45 to 90 degrees to the floor, as per your convenience. 
It is very helpful in strengthening your abdominal muscles.  

Perform these asanas daily for a better and sooner result. These have proved to be very helpful in reducing mental anxiety and stress. These asanas act as a preventive measure for Migraine attacks.  
You can go through the YouTube video tutorial by Sunder Bishnoi

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