Migraine is a neurological condition with intense neurological symptoms. Migraine causes pulsating, throbbing pain in one side of the brain and sometimes in both sides. Migraine is generally hereditary and can be triggered by stress, hormones and sometimes the environment. Some of the main symptoms of migraine are nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, dizziness and severe headache.
As there is no prevalent treatment for migraine, there are a few ways to minimize the severity of the pain for instance, proper medication from a neurologist, resting in a dark room, meditation, exercise and yoga. Practicing Yoga daily helps reduce the effects of migraine from prodromal phase (phase 1 of migraine). Yoga helps decrease the amount of cortisol (stress hormone) that is produced by the adrenal gland in our body.
Another reason for migraine is hormonal changes particularly in women. From a very young age women go through multiple hormonal changes, imbalanced hormones and hormonal anxiety. Specific yoga poses can help balance the entire endocrine system. Yoga poses with rightful breathing relaxes the mind and helps attain happier healthier hormones.
Here are 7 poses that you should try to relax your muscles, reduce stress and mitigate symptoms of migraine headaches.
Yoga poses to help migraine headache
1. Adhomukha Svanasana: Also known as Downward Facing Dog Pose
How to do it: To perform this asana, first make a full plank position with your arms and legs stretched out and then from that position raise your pelvic area above to form a mountain shape. Slowly, stretch your back and suck it towards your core area. This will make a gentle curve in your back. Your hands should be placed parallel to each other over your head and your ears should be between your biceps. Proper breathing is to be followed while doing this. Also it is recommended to do this asana on an empty stomach as it involves your core area.
2. Padma Asana and Pranayama: also known as Anulom- Vilom
How to do it: To perform this asana, stretch out both your legs, apart from each other such that heels don’t touch. Make sure your spine is erect and your hands are placed on either side of the ground. Then take your right leg, fold your knee and place it on your left thigh. You can use your hands for this and make sure your foot is close to your lower abdomen. Repeat the same with your other leg. The sole of your feet should face upwards. Now lift your hands from the ground and place them on the knees of your criss crossed legs.
Now to start with Pranayama, inhale a deep long air from your nostrils till your lungs are full, hold your breath for a few seconds, constrict some breath at the back of your throat and then exhale slowly from your nostrils.
3. Prasarita Padottanasana: Also known as Wide Legged Forward Bend Pose
How to do it: Stand straight on your mat and stretch your legs apart at a comfortable distance avoiding any stretch/pain around the groin area. Engage your core, relax shoulders and move and place your hands on either side of your hip. With the foundation firm on the floor, flex slowly and gently from the hip joint in a forward direction and bend towards the ground. While bending down you can keep your palms on the ground, feet or around your ankles. Stretch your torso a little more and bend your elbows such that your head rests on the ground/mat. Hold this pose for 15-20 breaths. To exit the pose, flatten your back, lift your torso, place your hands on your hip, and slowly come up.
4. Shishuasana: Also known as Child Pose
How to do it: Sit on your knees such that your heels are apart from each other and toes joined together. With a deep breath, raise your arms above your head and exhaling out slowly bring your hands towards the mat in a stretched out manner. Place your palms on the mat and slowly bend your body towards it. Now place your head on the mat and relax. Make sure your hips are on your ankles and arms are stretched out. Slowly curl your vertebra by pressing your chest against the knees. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and slowly come up and sit on your heels.
5. Paschimottanasana: Also known as Seated Forward Bend Pose
How to do it: Sit on the mat with your back straight and shoulders relaxed with legs spread out and feet close to each other flexed towards you. Inhale and stretch your arms above your head. Exhale and bend forward from the hips with chin moving towards the toes. Place your hands around your feet, elbows touching the ground and place your head on your knees or shin. Hold this pose for 10 breaths. To come out of the pose, inhale and move your arms back above your head relaxing your hips and spine.
6. Shavasana: Also known as Corpse Pose
How to do it: Lie on your mat with your legs apart from each other and arms apart from the body. Relax your hands and feet. Turn your palms towards the ceiling and feet facing opposite directions. Follow long breath in and out and relax your mind and body.
7. Setu bandhasana : Also known as Bridge Pose
How to do it: Lie on your back. Inhale and draw your feet close towards your knees, exhale and slowly lift your pelvic area high. Make sure your shoulders touch the floor and your knees are not facing outwards. Lift yourself such that your stomach, hips and thighs go towards the ceiling and your shoulders, neck, head and feet rest on the floor. If you are a beginner then you can use your hands to support you back else place them on either side of the floor. To return, inhale and slowly place your pelvic area on the ground.