Yoga for Stress & Migraines

migraine

The throbbing pain of an intense headache, sometimes accompanied by nausea, chills, fatigue, loss of appetite, numbness, vomiting and sensitivity to light -no one wants to suffer through a migraine.

Triggered by stress, certain foods, or some personal trigger, the attack begins in the various nerve pathways and affects blood flow to the brain and surrounding tissue.  A regular yoga practice can help reduce the number of migraine episodes you experience, and help prevent them as well.  When they do strike, try this sequence to ease the pressure and tension in your head and make you more comfortable.  This is also great for stress relief.  This sequence comes from “YOGA CURES” by Tara Stiles.  I do find for myself however that bringing my head lower than my heart can cause more pressure in the head -if that is the case for you, skip #2 and #3 and do only #1 and #4.  As with any yoga practice, do what feels best in your body!  Namaste xo

 

1.  Take a comfortable seat.   Close your eyes.  Breathe fully and deeply.  Your ujayi breath -inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the nose.  Inhale and think of the word “relax”, exhale and think of the word “release”.  Let go of tension in the face, in the body, in the mind.  Bring an awareness to any areas of tension in the body -locate them and find their center.  Breathe into the center of the pain or tension.  Feel how it feels -and then let it go with your exhale breath.  Gently come onto all fours into a table top position.

 

2.  From table come into Downward Dog -release your head, neck and shoulders towards the earth.  Breathe here for 5 deep, long breaths.

 

 

3.  Child’s Pose -Gently come onto all fours and relax your hips back to sit on your heels.  Rest your forehead on the ground and breathe deeply into your back.  Inhale Relax, Exhale Release.  Stay here for 5 deep breaths.

 

 

4. Temple Massage:  Sit up onto your heels.  Press your index fingers into the center of your eyebrows, then trace an arch up your forehead and out to the sides of your temples, pressing evenly as you go.  Repeat 3 x

 

 

5. Palming:  Rub your hands together to create heat.  Bring palms to cover eyes with fingers pointing upwards to forehead.  Do not press into eyes but breathe into space between palm and eyes.  Breathe deeply and then repeat.

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