CureUntil and unless you don’t get into someone’s shoes you don’t understand their plight and the same goes for migraine too! Yes, only a person who is suffering from a migraine can tell how a clouded sky poses stress and when even a little outburst of emotion triggers a striking pain.
You would be stunned to know that one in every seven people suffers from a migraine every year and that makes it roughly 39 million people in the US(1) alone! But, yoga for migraines can be the ultimate rescuer from the throbbing pain.
Even amidst all the hustle bustle and fast-paced life, you can resort to slowing the time around you by indulging in the most effective treatment that you can ever find, and that is Yoga. Yes! If you are still in doubt about its efficacy, read ahead as we tell you all about yoga and its different asanas that can help you treat your migraine naturally.
Is Yoga Beneficial for Migraines?
Migraine is a recurring headache which is a result of a few changes in the brain. The excessive stress, irregular sleeping patterns are some of the reasons for migraines. The problem can be pulsating, and you will feel the pain on one side of your head. Some people may also experience other symptoms such as weakness and nausea.
Various yoga asanas and poses can target the stress and tension which are the main reasons for the migraine. Yoga for migraine(2) increases the blood circulation in your body and supplies enough oxygen and blood to your brain. It keeps your mind healthy in all aspects and lessens the pains which you are experiencing.
Does Yoga Treat Migraine Effectively?
Yoga is not only helpful in maintaining great physical health but also ensures that migraine and keeps away severe headaches from you. Yoga helps in keeping your mind calm and peaceful which gives you the strength to fight migraine.
According to the study by researchers, Yoga for migraine works like a charm. According to observation, the relaxation methods like yoga are a great preventive strategy, for the people who have stress-related migraines. Yoga for migraine will not only help you to fight the pain but will also work as a proactive approach that will cut your pain away.
The 2014 studies show that the people who practiced yoga for migraine for 30 minutes for about five times a week for six weeks at a stretch were having lower migraine symptoms and had lower scores for headaches.
Yoga can Worsen a Migraine: Myth or Truth?
There are various myths related to yoga for migraine. Some people say that migraine can be worse when you do yoga or exercise as it would increase heat in your body. But, according to the facts, it is just a myth rather than a reality. Practicing yoga regularly, the intensity, as well as frequency of the migraines and headaches, get reduced. While exercising, the release of endorphins works as a natural painkiller.
Yoga not only improves the flexibility and immunity of your body but it also enhances various factors which affect migraine. Excessive stress causes migraine and yoga can relax your mind and body and even helps you get a sound sleep.
Top 10 Yoga Poses for Migraine Relief
To cure migraine naturally without any side effects, you must perform some yoga asanas. Here is a list of top 10 asanas for migraine:
1. Forward Virasana
Forward Virasana helps in the treatment of severe headaches and body pains. To perform this asana:
- Sit back and relax.
- Kneel with the knees wide apart making a V-shape.
- Raise your shoulders forward past your ears.
- Lower yourself and align your heart towards the ground.
- Get your tailbone lengthening down and back.
- Put your chin down gently towards your chest stretching the back of your neck. Rest your forehead towards the ground.
2. Adho Mukha Svanasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana is popularly known as the downward dog which helps in rejuvenating your upper body due to the gravitational pull. To perform the following asana:
- Stand straight on the ground. Make your feet firm on the ground.
- Get yourself into an inverted V-Shape. Align your spine and thighs at about 90-degree angle.
- Spread your fingers and point your index finger forward.
- Lay your palms flat on the ground while pressing the ground firmly by index finger and thumb.
- Roll your armpits in the direction of the inward with straight elbows.
- Direct your chin towards your chest.
- Lengthen the whole spine and especially the lower back.
3. Prasarita Padottanasana
This asana will treat your lower back pains along with your headache. To perform Prasarita Padottanasana:
- Widen your legs while standing firmly on the ground.
- Tuck your tailbone under while grounding the sitting bones.
- Get your hands and ankles on the ground while bending your elbows.
- Try to touch the ground with your hand while pushing your hands towards the ground and look at your navel.
Janusirsasana will help to relax both your jaws and eyes. It is known as head to knee pose. It is one of the most common yet tough asanas in yoga. To perform the following:
- Sit with straight legs in front.
- Place the right heel inwards to the groin while uncurl the toes from the left thigh.
- Pressure the pelvic bones into the ground and try to pull your spine upwards.
- Wrap your hands around the left toe.
- Try to touch your nose and chin to your knee without bending your leg.
- Repeat the following within 10 seconds.
Uttanasana is mainly a standing forward bend which heals your minor headaches and relaxes your mind. You can perform Uttanasana by following steps:
- Stand by observing the even weight on your feet.
- Put slight pressure toward your toes.
- Let the big toes touch each other while heels stay apart.
- Keep your tailbone inwards and bend the spine down in a forward direction, and touch the toes
Many people are familiar with this asana as seating forward asana. It will rejuvenate your headache and relax your lower back. To do this:
- Sit with the legs stretched outwards aligned to your body.
- Direct your toes towards yourself.
- Let the bigger toes touch and make sure the heels are apart.
- Exhale when you bend towards your knees.
- Make sure you touch the knees with your nose without lifting your knees from the ground.
7. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
This asana is performed to treat headaches, back injury, and carpal tunnel syndrome. To perform this asana:
- Lay on the ground on the side of your stomach.
- Place your hands on the matt, with spread fingers and index finger pointing forward.
- Lift yourself in this position in the upward direction by the pressure of your hands.
- Let your feet facing the ground and tips of the toes aligned on the ground.
- Keep the forward of your abdomen firm keeping the sides relaxed.
- Tilt the chin upwards and throat forward and look upwards.
[Read: Yoga for Hip Pain Relief]
Matsyendrasana is one of the effective asanas for migraine treatments. It is advised to perform the asana in the supervision of a trainer. To complete the asana:
- Sit with both of your knees upwards.
- Sweep your right leg from the left leg.
- Turn your stomach on the left side as well along with your chest.
- Now turn your head and eyes backward.
- Lift your left ear firmly upwards and chin inwards.
It will provide you with intense relaxation and the sensation of a calm mind. To perform this asana:
- Lay down on your back with legs and feet close to each other.
- Let the feel fall out freely to the sides.
- Keep your arms about 30 degrees away from the sides with palms facing in the upward direction.
- Close your eyes and try to concentrate on calming your mind and entire body.
10. Setu Bandha
Setu Bandha is also popularly known as the Bridge Pose. It treats your headache and severe upper back aches. To perform the asana:
- Lay down on your back.
- Get your feet inwards and bend your knees forming a small bridge.
- Get your heels close to your hips narrowly.
- Keep pushing shoulders away from the ears and your hands towards your heels.
- Keep your chin inwards to your chest.
- Try to raise your torso high while keeping your head aligned to the ground.
Is Pranayama Useful for the Cure of Migraine?
Yoga for migraine is now a known remedy that helps in curing severe headaches. Pranayama is a branch of yoga which helps you to have control over your breathing patterns on subtle levels. You can control the patterns and rhythms of your breath to attain the much-needed healthy mind and body.
Bhastrika pranayama is one of the most effective forms of pranayama which can help in relieving the pain caused by migraine. It is the combination of Ujjai and Kapalbhati systems. It is one of the most trusted ways of curing migraine as suggested by the yogis and ayurvedic doctors.
Tips for Beginners to Practice Yoga for Migraines
If you are planning to perform yoga to cure migraine, then keep the below-mentioned tips in mind:
- You should not do difficult yoga poses for migraine which may increase the heat of your body. You must do Yoga under the supervision of experts.
- Make sure that you do not follow the yoga poses that may strain your neck.
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and supply enough oxygen to your brain.
By practicing yoga for migraine, you can easily overcome the throbbing headache. The best part of yoga for migraine is that the treatment has long term effects. You don’t need to consume any medicines or syrups to cure your migraine.
Yoga has come to your rescue. Other than just treating migraine, yoga will help you to enhance your healthy lifestyle as well. Say hello to the happy days when you feel free from migraine headaches. It will just take a few minutes or half an hour of your day to treat your migraine issues.