Make migraines less painful with these 4 yogic practices that’ll make braving an attack easier

Updated on:29 February 2020, 19:04pm IST
If you have been relying on OTC medications to make migraines easier, then also give yoga a chance.
Swati Kain
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Deep yogic breathing, amongst other things, can help ease your migraine symptoms. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Migraines are debilitating–and you don’t need to be a sufferer to know that. With science making very little headway into what causes migraines, everything ranging from change in season and improper diet to stress and lack of sleep are supposed triggers

And since there is also no sure shot cure for it, the best any person who regularly suffers from migraines can do is go for symptomatic management. While you’re relying on OTC painkillers and sprays to get some relief, also give yoga a shot–because guess what? Yoga can strengthen your resistance against migraines

Never a replacement for medication and what your doctor suggests, yoga can relieve some of the symptoms by increasing the circulation to your head. So let’s start, shall we?

1. Pranayama or deep yogic breathing

  • Sit in a comfortable posture.
  • Inhale and exhale deeply through your nostrils.
  • While inhaling, expand your chest and then your belly. While exhaling, contract your belly and then your chest.
  • Continue this exercise for 10 rounds.
  • Now focus on taking longer exhalations than inhalations. For example, if you inhale for 3 seconds, exhale for 6 seconds. (The ratio needs to be 1:2)
  • Practice this for 6 rounds.

2. Anuloma Viloma or alternate nostril breathing

  • Sit in a comfortable posture.
  • Rest your left hand on your left knee, with the tips of your thumb and index finger resting on your left knee (jnana mudra).
  • With your middle and ring finger of the right hand, touch a point between your eyebrows. With your right thumb, close off the right nostril.
  • Start by inhaling deeply through your left nostril. Use your right ring finger to block the left nostril and exhale through the right. Switch sides and repeat. This completes one round of Anuloma Viloma.
  • Continue this for five to six rounds. Make sure that exhalations are longer than inhalations.
yoga for migraine
Practice this yoga pose consistently to see the benefits. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Bhramari or humming bee breath

  • Sit in a comfortable posture with your hands in jnana mudra gently placed on your knees.
  • Keep your back straight and eyes gently closed.
  • Inhale deeply and while exhaling try to produce a humming sound at the back of the throat–like focusing only on the ‘m’ part of ‘aum’.
  • Continue this for nine to 10 breaths.

Also, read: Yes, yoga can curb hair fall. These 4 poses will make your mane grow long and strong

4. Yoga nidra or yogic sleep

  • Lie on your back with your palms facing up and legs slightly spread apart and toes turned out.
  • Gently close your eyes and focus on your breath and the movement of your belly for a few minutes.
  • Gradually move your awareness through your body. Scan every part of your body from head to toe.
  • You can do this on your own or listen to a guided audio to follow instructions.
  • At your own pace, transition back to your waking life, reorienting your surroundings. Feel grateful for taking this time for yourself.

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Swati Kain Swati Kain

Swati Kain is a hatha yoga teacher, currently teaching in Spain. She has a post-graduate degree in yogic sciences from Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, New Delhi. Later she pursued her teachers’ training course from Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Kerala.