BENGALURU: According to a study published in the International Journal of Yoga, people who practised yoga for 30 minutes and five times a week reported fewer migraine episodes with less intensity. They also scored lower on the Headache Impact Test, often used by doctors to help diagnose migraine patients. Yoga helps the parasympathetic nervous system lower your blood pressure and slow down your heart rate. This helps the body recover from stressful events like migraines. Unlike migraine medication that works to alleviate symptoms, a naturopathy-based approach involving lifestyle changes, stress management, and yoga offers a more holistic approach to reduce the number of migraine episodes as well as their intensity.
The best yoga poses for migraine relief
There are many yoga poses that are designed to target tension and stress, two major contributing factors to migraine. These poses are designed to improve the blood flow to your brain and relax your nervous system.
Three poses you can try to relieve your migraine headaches
This pose helps calm down the nervous system. Kneel down on the floor with your toes together. Spread your knees wide and make sure that your hips are resting on your heels. Once your body has adjusted to this position, exhale deeply, lean forward, and let your chest rest on top of your thighs while your forehead touches the floor. Keep your arms extended with your palms facing down. Stay in this position for a little over a minute and allow your shoulders and neck to release all tension. Once you are done, use the palm of your hands to push yourself back up.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
This pose helps open up the chest and shoulders, and works wonders to reduce anxiety. Lie on your back and ensure that your knees are bent, and feet are flat on the floor. Extend your arms, and place your palms on the floor. Lift up your pelvic region, followed by the torso. Make sure your head and shoulders are on the floor, and your feet and thighs remain parallel. Be in this position for a minute. Lower your pelvic region and torso back on to the floor, and allow your knees to slowly sink downward till you are lying completely flat
Adho Mukha Svanasana
‘Downward Facing Dog’ helps increase blood circulation to the brain. Sit down on your knees and align them under your hips. Your wrists should be aligned with your shoulders. Make sure your elbows are completely stretched and your back is relaxed. Spread your fingers down, and press down slowly. Ensure that the weight remains equally distributed between both your hands. Slowly lift the knees off the floor till your legs are completely straight. Lift up your pelvis and lengthen the spine as much as you can without straining your back. Be in this position for two minutes. Once you are done, bend your knees gently and return to the original position
It is recommended to perform these poses under the supervision of a trained yoga instructor until you master them. You will start to experience relief from migraine symptoms in a matter of weeks if you pursue your yoga routine regularly, embedding the above poses.
The author is Dy CMO, Jindal Naturecure Institut