Like many people who often suffer from migraines, or a migraine “attack”, I know first-hand how debilitating they can be. A migraine can be defined as a recurrent throbbing headache that typically affects one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea and disturbed vision. The excruciating pain that migraines bring can last for hours or even days. Migraine is a common problem affecting about 36 million Americans, or roughly 12% of the population. Migraines rank in the top 20 of the world's most disabling medical illnesses.
Migraine attacks can sometimes be so severe that some people may have to abandon their regular routine for three or four days at a time. The attack can last a couple of hours to several days and has a tendency to recur. Other symptoms such as nausea, blurred vision, loss of appetite, and fatigue may also be present. According to Ayurveda, migraine headaches are due to a disorder in tridosha, disorders in vata, pitta, or kapha, migraines frequently occur when systemic pitta moves into the cardiovascular system, circulates, and affects the blood vessels around the brain. Yoga is an activity that focuses on postures and breathing exercises. It is an excellent way to get rid of stress and also a great way to help you feel more relaxed and keep you flexible. Out of those three advantages the one you want to focus on is stress, a common migraine trigger.
Here are 4 yoga poses that may help to alleviate migraine pain:
Tadasana or Mountain Pose: Tadasana is the beginning pose for most of the standing asanas.
Benefits: Tadasana stretches the body and lengthens the spine and enhances its flexible; it also increases overall body balance and improves focus.
Virabhadrasana I or Warrior I Pose: Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), with hands beside the body. Now place the left foot a good distance from the body. Bend the left leg from the knee so that the thigh becomes parallel to the ground. Now take both hands joined at the palm and raise them straight above the head. Now bend the entire body above waist and the head towards the back. Look up or backwards. Stay in this position for 1 minute. Now inhale and while exhaling bring down both the hands. Then straighten the knee and stand in Tadasana. Rest for 1 minute and repeat the otherside.
Benefits: In Virabhadrasana, the body is stretched in the opposite direction and various muscles and joints of the spine, legs and waist are stretched which increases the mobility of the body parts; thus improving blood circulation. Additionally the stomach and abdominal organs get extended and hence their functioning improves.
Trikonasana or Triangle Pose: Stand in Tadasana. Place the left leg at a good distance from the right towards the left. Inhale and while exhaling bring down the left hand touch the left toe with the left palm. Now raise the right hand straight above the head. Keep the head steady and look at the right hand. Hold in this position for 1 minute. Inhale and while exhaling bring down the right hand and raise the left hand and stand in Tadasana. Rest for 1 minute and repeat on the right side.
Benefits: In Trikonasana one side is stretched and other side is contracted. This helps in overall blood circulation, stretching key body organs, joints and muscles thus improving their mobility.
Vrikshasana or Tree Pose: Begin in Tadasana. Now raise the left leg and press the palm of the leg to the right thigh. Exhale and while inhaling take both hands and raise them above the head touching the ears and join the palms above the head. Stay in this position for 1 minute. Inhale and while exhaling bring both hands and the leg down and stand in Tadasana. Repeat on the other side.
Benefits: Vrikshasana improves overall body balance and helps in toning and relaxing the muscles and the joints thus improving their mobility.
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