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Yoga for Migraine

What is Yoga and Migraine?

Yoga is an ancient practice that originated in India. It helps in improving the quality of life, reduces the severity of headaches associated with migraines and overall costs of medications. Yoga for Migraine works perfectly as an adjuvant therapy while treating individuals with issues of migraines.

Migraine is experienced as throbbing pain, generally involving one side of the head. It may be associated with sensitivity to light (photophobia), sound (phonophobia), and with nausea or vomiting (1).

How Yoga helps with migraine? – Best Yoga For Migraine

Performing different pranayama for migraine and breathing exercises in Yoga helps in calming the brain (autonomic functioning) and relieve of the symptoms associated with migraines.

Yoga for migraine helps to regulate hormonal levels and decreases cortisol levels hence reduced stress levels.

It helps to maintain the right balance between a healthy mind and body.

Yoga for migraine works on the brain ( parasympathetic nervous system) by reducing the pulse rate (vagal stimulation) by reducing angiotensin II and nitric oxide levels. It helps in relaxing the muscles, relieving pain, and reducing the dose of medication required for the treatment of headaches associated with migraine.

Regular practice helps to prevent triggers and severity of migraines. It is a very effective way to achieve reasonable goals in cutting down on the cost of the medications. Yoga therapy also has good results in managing tension headaches.

Benefits of Yoga for Migraine

• Decrease stress levels

• Relieve anxiety

• Improves heart rate

• Helps in achieving an overall good quality of life

• Improves breathing, overall strength and flexibility of the body.

• Reduces the intensity of migraine

• Reduces dosage of medication

Poses to Treat Migraine


uttanasana yoga for migraine

Standing forward Bend (Uttanasana)

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cat pose yoga for migraine

Cat Pose (Bitilasana)

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Bridging (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

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Child pose pranayama for migraine

Child’s pose (Balasana)

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forward bend yoga for migraine

Seated forward bend (Pashimottana)

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Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

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lotus pose yoga

Lotus Pose (Padmasana)

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corpse pose pranayama for migraine

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

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Additional ways to prevent migraine

While practicing Yoga for Migraine regularly (4-6 months), try including a few of the tips mentioned below to help achieve better results.

• Take care of your diet: Avoid chocolates, flavor enhancers, high sugar, processed food, and fermented dairy products like sour cream, yogurt, or buttermilk.

• Limit your alcohol intake: Avoid consuming alcohol, especially wine.

• Limit your caffeine intake

• Try acupressure: Certain pressure points in the body help to relieve headaches associated with migraine.

• Using a few essential oils like peppermint and lavender oil: They help in getting relief from the headache. Apply them over the forehead and the temples.

• Drink Ginger tea: Ginger tea helps by reducing the severity of the headaches and may also decrease the feeling of vomiting, which is sometimes associated with migraine.

When to avoid performing Yoga for Migraine?

Yoga for migraine has no contraindications or any recorded adverse side effects if done under supervision or after being trained. It is advisable to avoid performing if ;

• Avoid performing during an attack of migraine as it may aggravate the condition.

• In a few individuals, it may also act as a trigger for migraine. Consult the doctor and your yoga trainer before performing Yoga.

• Individuals with lung issues (pneumothorax or pleural effusion) which may get aggravated with breathing exercises.

• History of recent abdominal surgery.

• Conditions of bone such as fracture or tumor.

Research behind this article:

3. M, Kaliappan KV: The efficacy of yoga- therapy in the treatmentof migraine and tension- headaches. J Indian AcadApplPsychol,- 1987, 13: 95–100.
4. Sharma N, Singhal S, Singh A, et al. :- Effectiveness of integrated yoga therapy in treatment- of chronic migraine: randomized controlled trial.- J Headache Pain, 2013, 14: 1.

Mrs Mahima

Mrs. Mahima Raikwar

Diploma in Yoga teacher Training (Certified Trainer)
M.A. & B.ed





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