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Yoga for Migraine

Yoga for Migraine Migraine affects more than 28 million Americans, and about 75% are women. Migraine is a vascular headache caused by the inflammation and irritation of the nerve endings resulting from the expansion of the blood vessels of the surface of the brain. It is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, mood changes, sensitivity to light and/or sound, tunnel vision or seeing spots, or dizziness. Pain may be felt on one or both sides of the head, at the back of the neck, around the eyes, on the face, or in the sinuses. The pain can be severe and can debilitate you from four to 72 hours if untreated. The pain is often preceded by a sensory warning sign or an aura such as blind spots or flashes of light. A tingling in the arm or leg may also serve as warning. There is still no found cure for Migraine, however, medications can reduce the frequency of Migraine attacks and stop the pain.

Triggers for Migraine attack vary for each individual. Among the factors include stress, certain food, weather changes, light, smells or odors, change in sleeping habits, some medications, and hormonal fluctuations. Scientists also think that imbalances in brain chemicals such as serotonin and magnesium may trigger Migraine attack. Fluctuation in estrogen and progesterone also seem to cause Migraine attack in Women. Most Women Migraine patients report its occurrence before or during their periods and during menopause or pregnancy. Contraceptives and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) may also worsen Migraine headaches. Caffeinated beverages, alcoholic drinks, nuts, smoked or pickled food, aspartame, monosodium glutamate, and other food are also reported to cause Migraine headaches. Hunger can also trigger Migraine. Migraine may also be caused by some physical factors such as too much or too little sleep, sexual activity, stress or intense physical exertion. Other causes of Migraine headaches include bright light and sun glare, unusual or unpleasant smell and odor, change in weather, change in altitude level, and change of time zone.

Treatment includes pain relievers, stress reduction, exercise, and avoidance of the factors that trigger the attack such as alcohol, oral contraceptive, and smoking. Stress reducing poses can also help in preventing Migraine. Another point in Yoga Lifestyle which is getting plenty of sleep will also help decreasing your risk factors for Migraine. Yoga Therapy for Migraine generally focuses on the prevention of the occurrence which includes stress reduction and avoidance of the various causes of the attacks. Yoga can also alleviate the headache pain by providing relief to sensory overload and relaxing your mind.

The following are the Yoga Poses that can help prevent Migraine attacks. You may also practice the Yoga Session for Tension-Type Headaches at the first sign of Migraine attack or during mild attacks. Remember that you should not practice Yoga during severe attacks.

Basic Yoga Session I


Kapalabhati Kapalabhati
Kapalabhati is a Breathing Technique used specifically for cleansing. If you have a lot of mucus in the air passages or feel tension and blockages in the chest it is often helpful to breathe quickly. This article will introduce you to this breathing techniques and show you its its benefits.


Standing Poses - Mountain Pose (Tadasana) Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
The Mountain Yoga Pose promotes the experience of stillness, strength, relaxed power, and immovable stability associated with mountains. This yoga posture, and coming back to this stillness after other poses, is one of the ways of becoming acquainted with stillness.

Standing Poses - Hands to Feet (Pada Hastasana) Hands to Feet (Pada Hastasana)
The Hands to Feet Pose or Pada Hastasana gives many of the same benefits as the Forward Bend - trimming the waist, restoring elasticity to the spine, and stretching the ligaments of the legs, especially the hamstrings. Learn how to do the Hands to Feet Pose in this section.

Crescent Moon Pose Crescent Moon Pose
The Crescent Moon Pose stretches and strengthens the arms and legs, increases stamina, improves balance and concentration, and can also relieve backaches. If you are suffering from diarrhea, high blood pressure or neck problems, you should take extra caution practicing this pose.

Standing Poses - Stand Spread Leg Forward Fold Stand Spread Leg Forward Fold
Practicing the Standing Spread Leg Forward Fold can strengthen and stretch your inner and back legs and your spine. People with lower back problems should avoid doing the full forward bend. For beginners, you may use props like a folding chair to support your forearms.

Standing Poses - Triangle Pose (Trikonasana) Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
In Hindu art, the triangle is a potent symbol for the divine principle, and it is frequently found in the yantras and mandalas used for meditation. The Trikonasana or Triangle Pose concludes the Yoga Postures in our basic session.

Standing Poses - Standing Side Stretch Pose Standing Side Stretch Pose
The Standing Side Stretch is another Yoga Pose with two lines of energy radiating outward from your center. This is a simple Yoga Posture with a wonderful stretch in which one line of energy reaches upward from your belly and outward through the arm, and one line travels downward through the legs.

Standing Poses - Tree Pose (Tadasana) Tree Pose (Tadasana)
The Tree Pose helps strengthen your thighs, calves, ankles and back. It can also increase the flexibility of your hips and groin. Your balance and concentration can also be improved with constant practice. This Yoga Pose is recommended for people who have sciatica and flat feet.

Seated Poses - Lotus Yoga Pose (Padmasana) Lotus Yoga Pose (Padmasana)
The Lotus Yoga Pose is usually done in Meditation. It is a classic seated posture which strengthens your ankles and knees, enhances concentration, and improves flexibility of your legs. Know how to perform the Lotus Pose in this section.

Supine Poses - Single Leg Raises Single Leg Raises
This Yoga Pose is performed in order to prepare the body for other exercises. It benefits the legs, lower back muscles, and abdominal area. In practicing the Single Leg Raise, one leg is raised while the other one stays on the floor.

Supine Poses - Double Leg Raise Double Leg Raises
A Double Leg Raise is similar to a Single Leg Raise, only this time, you will raise both legs. In doing this Yoga Pose, make sure that the full length of your back is resting on the floor and your shoulders and neck are relaxed. This section covers the steps and guidelines on how to do this pose properly.

Backbends - Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
This Yoga Pose improves spinal flexibility and strengthens the muscles in the arms and back. In addition, it is effective in relieving menstrual irregularities and constipation. Learn how to perform the Cobra Pose in this section.

Seated Poses - Child Pose Child Pose
The Child Pose is a gentle way of stretching your shoulders, hips, thighs, ankles, and back muscles. It is a relaxation posture which is done to normalize the ciruclation after performing the Headstand and to serve as counterpose after Backbends.

Supine Poses - Leg Reclining Lunge (Single and Double) Leg Reclining Lunge (Single and Double)
The Leg Reclining Lunge is part of the series of Yoga Exercises which target the leg muscles. When done properly, this Yoga Pose can strengthen and tone all muscles in your legs. Learn how to perform the Single and Double Leg Reclining Lunge.

Seated Poses - Seated Forward Bend (Paschimothanasana) Seated Forward Bend (Paschimothanasana)
Relax your body and mind, stretch your hamstrings, shoulders, and spine, relieve stress, and improve your posture and concentration by practicing the Seated Forward Bend. Learn how to do this properly and achieve maximum results.

Twist Yoga Poses - Sage Twist Yoga Pose (Marichyasana) Sage Twist Yoga Pose (Marichyasana)
Also called Marichi's Yoga Pose, the Sage Twist Pose benefits the abdominal organs and spine. Avoid doing this pose if you have chronic spine or back injury. Also, perform this only under the supervision of a Yoga instructor. Learn how to do the Sage Twist in this section.

Supine Poses - Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanamuktasana) Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanamuktasana)
The term Pavanamuktasana comes from the Sanskrit word 'pavana' which means air or wind and 'mukta' which means freedom or release. The Wind Relieving Pose works mainly on the digestive system. specifically, it helps in eliminating excess gas in the stomach.

Yoga Exercise - Final Corpse Yoga Exercise - Final Corpse
For you to appreciate the benefits of relaxation, you should first be familiar on how it is to be tense. This is what happens when you do the Final Corpse. Everything related to that position including suggestions on how to do it is discussed in further detail in this article.

Relaxation Yoga Pose Relaxation Pose
There are three parts to proper relaxation - physical, mental and spiritual relaxation. Relaxation Yoga Pose relaxes your body and mind, and makes you feel refreshed after doing the asanas and the pranayamas.This is why it is an essential part of Yoga practice.

Anuloma Viloma Anuloma Viloma
Anuloma Viloma is also called the Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique. In this Breathing Technique, you inhale through one nostril, retain the breath, and exhale through the other nostril. Learn how to do this technique for beginners by following the steps found in this article.

Simple Meditation Technique Simple Meditation Technique
This Meditation process is good to induce relaxation response and promotes a peaceful and relaxed mind. Meditation has also been scientifically proven to have health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and aiding the asthmatics in their breathing.



Basic Yoga Session II


Kapalabhati Kapalabhati
Kapalabhati is a Breathing Technique used specifically for cleansing. If you have a lot of mucus in the air passages or feel tension and blockages in the chest it is often helpful to breathe quickly. This article will introduce you to this breathing techniques and show you its its benefits.


Standing Poses - Mountain Pose (Tadasana) Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
The Mountain Yoga Pose promotes the experience of stillness, strength, relaxed power, and immovable stability associated with mountains. This yoga posture, and coming back to this stillness after other poses, is one of the ways of becoming acquainted with stillness.

Standing Poses - Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar)
The Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar is a Yoga Pose which limbers up the whole body in preparation for the Yoga Asanas. It is a graceful sequence of twelve Yoga positions performed as one continuous exercise. Learn how to practice Sun Salutation in this section.

Standing Poses - Triangle Pose (Trikonasana) Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
In Hindu art, the triangle is a potent symbol for the divine principle, and it is frequently found in the yantras and mandalas used for meditation. The Trikonasana or Triangle Pose concludes the Yoga Postures in our basic session.

Standing Poses - Stand Spread Leg Forward Fold Stand Spread Leg Forward Fold
Practicing the Standing Spread Leg Forward Fold can strengthen and stretch your inner and back legs and your spine. People with lower back problems should avoid doing the full forward bend. For beginners, you may use props like a folding chair to support your forearms.

Crescent Moon Pose Crescent Moon Pose
The Crescent Moon Pose stretches and strengthens the arms and legs, increases stamina, improves balance and concentration, and can also relieve backaches. If you are suffering from diarrhea, high blood pressure or neck problems, you should take extra caution practicing this pose.

Seated Poses - Lotus Yoga Pose (Padmasana) Lotus Yoga Pose (Padmasana)
The Lotus Yoga Pose is usually done in Meditation. It is a classic seated posture which strengthens your ankles and knees, enhances concentration, and improves flexibility of your legs. Know how to perform the Lotus Pose in this section.

Seated Poses - Boat Posture Boat Posture
Perform the Boat Pose to strengthen your abdominal area and hip flexor, tone muscles in the midsection, improve digestion, and relieve stress. You can use a Yoga Strap to aid you in holding the pose longer or if you cannot keep your legs straight.

Backbends - Fish Pose (Matsyasana) Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
Doing the Fish Pose relieves stiffness of the neck and shoulder muscles and improves flexibility of your spine. It is the counter-pose of the Shoulderstand. Hold the Fish Pose for at least half the amount of time you spent in the Shoulderstand in order to balance the stretch.

Backbends - Locust Pose (Salabhasana) Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
If the Cobra Pose works mainly on the upper back, the Locust Pose targets the lower part. This posture also strengthens the abdominal area, arms, and legs. Another thing that makes it different from many poses is that it entails rapid movement. Check out how it is done in this section.

Inverted Postures and Balance Poses - Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana) Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)
In the Shoulder Stand, your body is resting on your shoulders. This Yoga Pose improves circulation, strengthens the abdominal area, and stimulates the thyroid gland. In this section, learn how the Shoulder Stand is performed.

Bow Yoga Pose The Bow
The Bow maintains elasticity of spine, improves posture, increase vitality, reduces abdominal fats, and keeps the digestive and reproductive system healthy. This posture combines the movements of the Cobra and Locust, and counters the Plough and the Forward Bend once you raise both halves of the body.

Warm-Up Poses - Cat Pose (Bidalasana) Cat Pose (Bidalasana)
The Cat Yoga Pose teaches you to initiate movement from your center and to coordinate your movement and breath. These are two of the most important themes in Yoga practice. Keep in mind that the Cat Pose may not be advisable if you have any chronic or recent back pain or injury.

Twist Yoga Poses - Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana) Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
If done properly, the Half Spinal Twist lengthens and strengthens the spine. It is also beneficial for your liver, kidneys, as well as adrenal glands. Practice this Yoga Pose under the supervision of a Yoga instructor. In this section, learn how to perform the Half Spinal Twist.

Supine Poses - Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanamuktasana) Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanamuktasana)
The term Pavanamuktasana comes from the Sanskrit word 'pavana' which means air or wind and 'mukta' which means freedom or release. The Wind Relieving Pose works mainly on the digestive system. specifically, it helps in eliminating excess gas in the stomach.

Relaxation Yoga Pose Relaxation Pose
This is an essential part of Yoga Practice. It relaxes your body and mind, and makes you feel refreshed after doing the asanas and the pranayamas. In this section, learn how to relax your body and mind through this Yoga Pose.

Yoga Exercise - Final Corpse Yoga Exercise - Final Corpse
For you to appreciate the benefits of relaxation, you should first be familiar on how it is to be tense. This is what happens when you do the Final Corpse. Everything related to that position including suggestions on how to do it is discussed in further detail in this article.

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Article Comments
Rosimar Burke
Friday 24th July 2009 at 10:37:58 PM  

This is one of the most complete Yoga for migraines articles I''ve seen on-line. Thank you for this beautiful job.
Namaste,
Rose

Nanditha
Thursday 6th August 2009 at 3:59:38 AM  

Great article! I got a lot from it. Thanks

Subramani
Wednesday 16th September 2009 at 8:55:48 AM  

Nice and useful article

subramani

Ethan
Friday 11th December 2009 at 4:36:57 PM  

Thank you very much.Very usefull article indeed. Are there poses you should not do to avoid, prevent getting migraines?

heather
Thursday 28th January 2010 at 8:19:18 AM  

Some people find putting their head below their heart worsens migraines as the headache is already an increase in blood flow to the brain. Be careful

Pradeep Singhal
Sunday 21st February 2010 at 11:50:19 PM  

Thanks a lot for providing such good contents. Its very useful for all of us, who are sufring from Migrain. Keep it up.

Shalini
Sunday 21st March 2010 at 8:50:33 AM  

I love yoga and yoga has helped me concentrate a lot in my studies and yoga has also helped me lose 20kgs of weight. Therefore i love yoga.

ashwani
Monday 5th April 2010 at 9:57:41 PM  

Very useful article........

Aashish Sharma
Friday 3rd September 2010 at 3:44:22 AM  

Very useful article to all of us who are suffering Migrain Problem.

Vegan Diet
Thursday 28th October 2010 at 8:50:56 AM  

Thank you for this article. But which ones are the most effective? Here we can se a lot of yoga poses.

ankita
Wednesday 10th November 2010 at 5:04:36 AM  

i just suffered from severe headache along with voimitigs....someone suggested me that i might suffering from migraine...i came to know that there is no cure for migraine...only yoga and meditation can reduce this severe problem...

money
Monday 3rd January 2011 at 10:16:13 PM  

Really superb job
keep it up!

Cara
Wednesday 12th January 2011 at 7:59:38 AM  

Thank you for posting this. I am a public school teacher and have learned over the years to just adapt to the pain and disabilities that occur during a migraine and keep on teaching. These poses have helped me to focus on isolating some stress holding areas that often lead to repeat migraines. Thank you!

Pedna
Friday 28th January 2011 at 5:33:38 AM  

Very useful article those who suffering from migrane.

Julie
Wednesday 16th February 2011 at 7:48:18 AM  

I am a relatively fit 50-year-old woman who has suffered from occaisional hormone-related migraines for about 20 years. Over the years, I have learned to notice the warning signs and deal with the migraines without medicine. One of the things that I do to reverse the onset of a migraine is a yoga pose-;the shoulder stand. I have practiced yoga on and off for years, but have recently been practicing regularly (3-4 days a week) for about a year.

Yesterday I did a headstand in class, and about an hour later noticed warning signs of a migraine. I am at a point in my cycle during which I would not expect hormonal fluctuations, so a migraine at this point in the month is quite strange for me. (Although it could be noteworthy that I had a mammogram that morning.) I was able to reverse the migraine with a cup of coffee and some time with my head between my legs. But it made me think. Should I avoid headstands and handstands in my practice from now on? It''s exciting to progress, but I don''t want to evolve my practice in a way that might not be right for me.

Thanks for your guidance.

Dhan
Tuesday 1st March 2011 at 2:04:22 PM  

I had the same experience as Julie. I am a 30 year old male and I get migraines twice 3 to 4 times a year. I used to do yoga. I haven''t done Yoga in 4 months and never had migraine this past 4 months. I resumed practice yesterday and did the shoulder stand and ended up with a migraine (just 40 mins after I did yoga). Starting to think it was one of the poses.

deanne
Tuesday 1st March 2011 at 3:57:57 PM  

I have experienced the benefits of yoga in many areas of my life. I too, suffer from frequent migraine. However, since adopting yoga into my daily practice I have significantly fewer migraines, sleep better and when one does sneek into my head I no longer get vomitting with it. I am so very pleased with the positive results. I now have my two daughters joining me in the evening as an end of the day relaxation.
thank you!

deanne
Tuesday 1st March 2011 at 3:58:04 PM  

I have experienced the benefits of yoga in many areas of my life. I too, suffer from frequent migraine. However, since adopting yoga into my daily practice I have significantly fewer migraines, sleep better and when one does sneek into my head I no longer get vomitting with it. I am so very pleased with the positive results. I now have my two daughters joining me in the evening as an end of the day relaxation.
thank you!

Savitha
Friday 4th March 2011 at 4:44:33 AM  

Hi,

Thank you for providing Asanas for Migrane, even though i was suffering from Migrane its very helpful..............

kate
Sunday 6th March 2011 at 5:49:56 PM  

Is there an actual DVD anywhere that walks you through these? I am very new to yoga and need help out here. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hurree SANHYE
Tuesday 16th August 2011 at 1:46:04 AM  

Hi,
I have a nine years old daughter who suffers from persistent severe headache since 2.5years.Nothing abnormal has been found after scan and MRI.Plesas advise for some exercises.
Regards,
Hurree.

Mariam
Monday 26th September 2011 at 8:40:44 AM  

Thank you very much for the useful article.

As a Yoga teacher I advised one of my students to practice yoga in full; (Asanas,Paranayama,Dhyana) to help her release tension, headache, and Migraine attack. Yoga helps strengthen the immune system, clam the nervous system, and decrease the stress hormones in the blood, hence, your body and mind will be tranquillized, less headache, and you will have a better sleep. Bear in mind that our bodies are different thus we benefit from Yoga differently. If there''s a pose that''s good for you, it might be bad for another student. So if the Shoulder stand makes your case worse, avoid it, and practice another pose that helps you relax your head.

Advice: Consult a Migraine specialist, and Practice yoga rationally. Notice how does it affect you and how does it help you with your Migraine problem.

I wish you a good health.

Mariam Alansari
Twitter: @MariamYoga

Parteek sharma
Sunday 20th November 2011 at 4:40:31 AM  

I agree yoga is helpful in many diseases but in case of migrain we r doing yoga that increase conc. That means increase electrical impulses that r already increased in case of migrain,leading to swelling of blood vessels due to increase blood flow and chemical mediators can increase migrain condition. I think only breathing excersises and relaxing techniques r sufficient.

bella
Saturday 10th December 2011 at 1:10:19 PM  

Does anyone have advice for bikram and migraine? I have been practicing yoga about 6 months, usually vinyasa flow, raja, even some hot yoga. But I tried my first bikram class last night and had a horrible migraine begin during class. I could not stop it so I left the class and was in pain several hours.
Is bikram in general just bad for migraine sufferers? Or can someone post some tips on doing bikram without migraine? thanks

Rao
Monday 12th December 2011 at 6:31:33 AM  

please suggest any one , good yoga center in pune


 
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