One in every few of us experience explosions in their heads on regular basis and most of them deal with this experience through over-the-counter medications. These are called migraines, a neurological disorder, which can leave one in pain for up to two days at a stretch. The pain can be experienced on one side of the head, the forehead and the eyes.
Chronic migraine sufferers usually get a migraine attack due to sound, light and pain, heat or stress too.
Yoga may not be a complete cure for migraines. But, on regular practice, there will be free flow of vital energy in the head. Hence, dealing with pain and associated nausea symptoms will get easier, and it reduces the stress of living with it.
Some specific yoga poses for migraine relief are:
Nasikagra Drishti (nose-tip gazing):
- Sit cross legged on the floor. Make a fist with your right hand, such that the thumb sticks upward, while extending your arm in front of you.
- Focus both eyes on the tip of the thumb. Bend the arm slowly and bring the thumb to the tip of your nose, while keeping your eyes fixed on it.
- Stay on this pose for a few seconds and slowly straighten your arm completely, with your gaze still locked on the finger tip.
- Continue this five times.
Bramhari Pranayama (Buzzing bee breath):
- Sit comfortably with your back supported against a wall or a chair. Close your ear flaps using your thumbs and spread the rest of your fingers over your skull.
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath. As you exhale, create a sound like the buzzing of a bee (a sound like ‘E’ or ‘Hung’).
This can be repeated up to 10 times. Hastapadasana (Forward bend)
- This pose invigorates the nervous system, increases blood supply and calms the mind.
- Stand straight with feet together, balance weight equally on both feet, and breathe in and extend arms overhead. Breathe out, bend forward and down towards the feet.
- Remain in this posture for 20 to 30 seconds and continue to breathe deeply. Keep the legs and spine erect, and rest hands either on the floor, or beside the feet or on the legs.
- When breathing out, move the chest towards the knees, lift hips and tailbone higher and press the heels down. Relax your head and move it gently towards the feet. Continue to breathe deeply.
- Breathe in, stretch your arm forward and up and gently come up to standing position. Breathe out and bring the arms on the side.
Shishuasana (Child pose)
- The child pose calms down the nervous system and effectively reduces the pain.
- Sit on your heels, and keeping your hips on the heels, bend forward and lower your forehead to the floor
- Keep arms alongside your body, with hands on the floor, and palms facing up. Gently press your chest on the thighs and hold.
- Slowly come up and sit on the heels and relax as in the original postion.
Few other yoga poses that helps in dealing with migraine are:
Marjarasana (cat pose) – improves blood flow and relaxes the mind, thereby relieving headache.
Paschimottasana (two-legged forward bend) – Relieves stress, calms brain and relieves headache.
Adho Mukhasvanasana (dog pose) – increases blood flow to the brain and relieves headache.
Padmasana (lotus pose) – relaxes the mind and alleviates headache.
Yoga improves your resistance against migraine in a better manner, but, should not be used as an alternative to medication. However, practice of these simple yoga postures can lessen the impact of migraine, and may eventually stop them.