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Yoga For Headache

Yoga For Headache

Headache

Headache is a common health problem. According to surveys, headaches are among the top 14 most often reported health issues. The frequency with which children and adolescents have headaches and migraines can substantially impact the life of both the child and their parents (1).

Headache was estimated about 46% prevalent globally, with tension-type headache accounting for 42%, migraine accounting for 11%, and chronic daily headache accounting for 3%. In the case of tension headache, it is a primary headache characterized by bilateral pressure like tightening or non-pulsating pain that can persist anywhere from 30 minutes to 7 days. With increasing age, the frequency of tension headaches reduces. Stress is a significant contributor to the development of tension headaches. The tension associated with stress is concentrated in the muscles of the neck. It is possible to minimize the severity of tension headaches by relieving these muscles of their stress-induced effects (2).

Table of Contents

    Tension Headaches (or Stress Headaches)

    Pain, tightness, or pressure in the forehead, neck, and back of the head are all symptoms of tension headaches. Some people describe it as having the sensation of a clamp pressing on their skull. Adults are the most likely to suffer from tension headaches, also known as stress headaches (3, 4).

    It can be divided into two categories-

    • Episodic tension headaches occur no more than 15 days a month on average. More than 15 days a month, chronic tension headaches occur. They can last anything from 30 minutes to many days. Episodic episodes often begin slowly and in the middle of the day.
    • Chronic ones appear and disappear over a prolonged length of time. The discomfort may increase or decrease in intensity throughout the day, but it is almost always present.

    Tension headaches can hurt your head, but they usually don’t keep you from doing the things you usually do. They don’t hurt your vision, balance, or strength (3).

    Migraine Headache & Migraine Attack

    Migraine is a neurovascular illness that causes pulsating headaches that can linger for up to 72 hours if left untreated. Migraines usually strike the left side of the brain. Symptoms of migraines include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, noise, smell, and movement.

    Global Burden of Disease estimates migraine as the sixth most disabling condition globally and the most disabling of all neurological conditions. This condition affects women three times more than males. Migraines lead to poor quality of life and decreased intense academic performance.

    A migraine attack includes four phases: prodrome (hours to days before the headache), aura (just before or after the headache), and postdrome (migraine hangover) (which follows the headache). It is important to note that these periods can overlap. This complex involves many neuronal networks and brain areas.

    Migraine is thought to be caused by hereditary and environmental causes. The trigeminovascular system “triggers” a migraine by generating vasodilatation and neurogenic inflammation. These fibers carry signals to the trigeminal nucleus, where they are perceived as pain. Non-pharmacological migraine therapies exist in addition to acute (stop an attack quickly) and preventive (avoid future episodes and lessen attack duration and severity). Coenzyme Q10, magnesium, butterbur root extract, and feverfew are tested prophylactics. They could all help relieve migraines (5).

    Sinus Headaches

    The term “sinus headaches” refers to headaches that resemble an illness in the sinuses (sinusitis). Your eyes, cheeks, and/or brow may feel a little tense at first. Your head may be throbbing.  There is a lot of overlap between migraines and sinusitis headaches in terms of symptoms and signs.

    Migraine and sinusitis headaches are worse when one bends backward. Nasal congestion, face pressure, and a watery nasal discharge are all possible side effects of migraines. A migraine attack is complicated by the involvement of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Most people who visit their doctor complaining of sinus headaches are actually there because they are suffering from migraines.
    When it comes to sinusitis, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light aren’t as common as migraines.
    Swollen and discolored nasal mucus, a decreased ability to smell, and pain in one cheek or upper teeth are all symptoms of sinusitis. Migraines range anywhere from a few hours to several days, whereas sinus headaches can continue up to several days.

    How Yoga Can Help With Headache

    The most common symptom of a headache is a sharp, throbbing pain in the head, neck, and shoulders and tightness in these areas. Generally, migraine is the most common cause of pulsing headaches, characterized by intense pain on only one side of the head. Headaches can be brought on by a range of factors, including anxiety, allergies, lack of sleep, congestion in the sinuses, strain on the eyes, or hunger. Also, poor posture can affect blood flow to the brain and produce muscle tension and headaches, which may be a contributing factor. A study found that adding yoga to medical treatment for headaches is superior to medical treatment alone. An inexpensive and risk-free treatment option like yoga could be beneficial in treating headaches (6).

    Yoga Can Help With Chronic Headaches In Adolescents

    This research aimed to collect preliminary data on the feasibility, acceptability, and safety of alignment-based yoga for adolescents with chronic headaches. Yoga was also tested for its potential to reduce stress and anxiety in young people with persistent headaches as a secondary objective. According to this research, alignment-based yoga appears to be a feasible, acceptable, and safe treatment option for children with chronic headaches. It was one of the secondary objectives of this study to provide preliminary estimates of the potential benefits of yoga for children and adolescents with chronic headaches. Further research into the effectiveness of alignment-based yoga for chronic headaches in children and adolescents is needed. Research on the effects of yoga on children who suffer from headaches indicated both the difficulty of the practice and the potential advantages (7).  

    Yoga Is Beneficial For Tension Headaches Sufferers

    Tension headaches can be alleviated if these muscles are not under the influence of stress. A person’s physical and metabolic well-being is improved due to the calming effects of yoga on stress-related disorders.  Yoga breathing has been repeatedly demonstrated to be an extremely beneficial tool for individuals experiencing stress-related issues. Numerous factors, such as anxiety about one’s job, money problems or personal relationships, might contribute to tension headaches. The research was conducted to find out how yoga helps people with tension headaches. The research concluded that the seven-week yoga module lowered students’ stress levels and improved academic performance. According to previous research studies, chronic pain moves beyond the nociceptive part & also many other parts of one’s life. Yoga has shown promising results in treating tension headache patients (8).

    The efficacy of yoga therapy for Chronic Tension-Type Headache was studied. 68 persons with chronic tension headaches participated in a 12-week yoga treatment programme. After completing yoga treatment, all patients had baseline examinations before and after the intervention. The frequency, duration, intensity, and analgesics used to manage the disease were recorded in a headache diary. On average, following a four-week intervention, the average number of headache days was halved, and after a 12-week treatment period, it was decreased by 78%. The duration and intensity of each headache attack decreased considerably during the 12-week study compared to the baseline. The number of days spent on medication each four-week period was lower at the end of the intervention than at the beginning. According to the study’s findings, yoga therapy could be effective in treating chronic tension-type headaches (9).

    Yoga Is Beneficial For Migraine Sufferers

    A migraine or headache sufferer can relate to the anxiety of a migraine. A migraine is one of the most debilitating medical conditions a person can experience. Seeing a loved one in agony, fear of light and heightened sensitivity to sound because of a Migraine attack. Yoga’s ability to alleviate Migraine symptoms may be due to an increase in nitric oxide levels, which enhance blood flow. Yoga is a milder exercise that can help reduce a rise in calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), which causes inflammation and discomfort during a Migraine episode, including breathing and relaxation techniques (10).

    Yoga is an excellent exercise for persons who suffer from Migraine symptoms. One peer-reviewed study examined the effectiveness of exercise, relaxation techniques, and topiramate in preventing migraines. The study’s findings revealed no statistically significant difference between the groups, indicating that exercise and relaxation techniques may be viable possibilities for avoiding attacks. Among the most moderate workouts for headaches, yoga is one of the most popular choices. Another appealing aspect of yoga is that it is relatively inexpensive: all you need is a mat and a little training to get started. Yoga can also be practised in the privacy of one’s residence (11).

    Yoga Therapy Beneficial For Patients With Sinusitis Headaches

    Headaches are common symptoms of sinusitis, an inflammation of the sinuses. Reduced inflammation and increased ability to fight infection are two ways yoga can help prevent and treat a wide range of illnesses. To see if yoga could help alleviate the symptoms of sinusitis, researchers conducted a study on 20 sinusitis patients between the ages of 19 and 53 and a control group. A total of six months of yoga therapy, including follow-up sessions, was given to patients. Because IRTIS data can follow changes in ambient temperatures, it was chosen as the primary parameter for this investigation. ESR, Total WBC count, and Differential count were also included in the list of additional parameters that were measured. A significant difference was found between the IRTIS values of experimental and control groups. The results of blood tests also play a role. No such alterations were observed in the control group. Research shows that yoga treatment can help alleviate the symptoms of Frontal Sinusitis headaches by reducing inflammation and increasing the body’s ability to fight infection (14).

    Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises for Headache

    Many studies have shown that adding yoga to other medical therapies will help lower headache & migraine pain and their frequency. Best for the neck, head, and shoulder area are poses that promote gentle relaxation and gentle stretching (11, 12).

    A starting prayer

    A famous peace mantra is chanted at the beginning of every yoga class or lecture. Its goal is to remove any barriers that might stand in the way of the students and their teachers working together (11).

    Om Sahanā Vavatu Sahanau Bhunaktu

    Saha Vīryam Karavā Vahai

    Tejasvi nā Vadhī Tamastu Mā Vidviṣhā Vahai

    Om Shānti Shānti Shāntihi

    Breathing Exercise

    One of the most effective ways to balance the brain’s two hemispheres is to practise yoga breathing exercises, which are safe and straightforward. It is also an effective way to improve mobility and strength through breathing practice (11, 13).

    Hand In And Out Breathing

    1. Stand in tadasana, or mountain posture (a standing pose).
    2. Draw your palms together in a fist-like formation.
    3. Spread your arms horizontally as you inhale.
    4. Take a deep breath out and extend your arms out in front of you so that the palms of your hands touch.

    Hand stretches

    1. Flexion and extension of the wrists
    2. Rest your forearm on a rolled-up towel on a table, palm down.
    3. When you feel a slight stretch in your hand, move it higher.
    4. Make your way back to the starting point.
    5. Repeat the same actions with your elbow bent at your side and your palm facing upon.

    Supination and pronation of the wrists

    1. To have a good grip on the handle, keep your elbow bent at 90 degrees, with your palm facing down.
    2. The forearm should be rotated such that the palm is facing upwards and then downwards.

    Swing-arm deviation (ulnar/radial)

    1. Place your thumb up and rest your forearm on either a table or knee with a towel rolled up for cushioning.
    2. Perform a full range of motion for the wrist by raising and lowering it.

    Flexion and extension of the thumbs

    1. Place your thumb in an outward position to begin.
    2. The thumb should be moved across the palm and returned to its original position.

    Tendon gliding in hand and fingers

    1. Begin by extending the fingers straight out.
    2. Make a hook fist, then straighten your hand.
    3. When you’re done, your hand should be completely straight.
    4. A straight fit and a straight hand are both correct ways of doing this

    Stretching The Ankles

    1. You should begin by slowly twisting your ankle to the left and then to the right in a circular motion.
    2. You could also try sketching the letters with your foot instead of a pen in the air. Start with your big toe.
    3. Avoid using your entire leg and limit your movements to only your foot and ankle.

    Exercising one’s straight legs

    1. With your hips square and legs pleasantly spread out on the floor, lie on your back.
    2. To begin a rehabilitation program, you should bend your knee at a 90-degree angle while keeping your foot firmly planted to the ground.
    3. A straight leg can be supported by engaging your quadriceps muscles (the group of muscles on the front of your thigh).
    4. Lift the straight leg six inches off the ground while taking a slow, deep breath.
    5. For three seconds, hold the position.
    6. Slowly lower the leg to the floor, maintaining control as you exhale.
    7. Take a few deep breaths and repeat the process 10 more times.

    Tiger Breathing (Vyaghra Shwasa) 

    Stress and back pain can be alleviated by practising this yoga pose. This pose will also aid in the improvement of your breathing abilities.

    How To Practice

    1. Lie on your back in Vajrasana (thunderbolt).
    2. Separate the knees by a space of one arm between them.
    3. Your knees should be at one arm’s distance from your elbows when you bend forward.
    4. Check to see if your toes, knee, and hand are all in a straight line before you begin.
    5. Take a deep breath and lift your chin toward the ceiling as you exhale.
    6. Keep your gaze fixed on the ceiling.
    7. Take a few moments to arch your back (concave).
    8. Take a deep breath and bend your head down while exhaling (chin to the chest).

    Rabbit Pose (Shashankasana)

    This pose has a calming impact on the brain and aids in eliminating rage.

    How To Practice

    1. The palms of the hands are placed on the thighs just above the knees in Vajrasana. Relax your body and mind by closing your eyes.
    2. Breathe in, then exhale and raise your arms. Keep your elbows straight and your arms shoulder-width apart.
    3. Slowly move the torso forward after exhaling. Bend from the pelvis, not the spine.
    4. Slightly arch your back while keeping your arms bent at a 90-degree angle to the floor. Position your arms in front of your legs. The final position is here.
    5. Maintain your stance for as long as convenient for you. From a minute to five minutes of practice is all that’s required.
    6. After exhaling, slowly raise the forehead and arms to the vertical position before lowering them to rest on the thighs.
    7. Take a few slow, deep breaths to help you relax.

    IRT (Instant Relaxation Technique)

    Relaxation helps bring the mind back to the body and the breath, which helps reduce stress. Regular relaxation during a session prevents the body from producing lactic acid. Lactic acid is similar to sweat created on the muscles during exercise. Relaxation helps prevent aching muscles by cooling the body before lactic acid is formed (11).

    How To Practice

    1. One minute of Instant Relaxation Technique (IRT).
    2. Maintain a calm expression and a smile throughout the practice.
    3. Begin by contracting the muscles in your toes.
    4. Activate the ankle joints and calf muscles to make them more rigid.
    5. Pulling the kneecaps up is a good exercise.
    6. Tighten the thigh muscles as much as you can.
    7. Compressing and squeezing the buttocks is recommended.
    8. Take a deep breath and tuck your abdomen in.
    9. Fist your hands and tighten your arms.
    10. Take a deep breath and expand your chest.
    11. Tighten your shoulders and neck muscles, and compress your face.
    12. Tighten your entire body, from your toes to your head. Tighten; tighten; tighten
    13. Release and let go of the entire body in a single motion.
    14. Legs and arms are spread apart, with open palms facing the ceiling.
    15. Relax your entire body and take solace in the immediate relaxation.

    Sukshma Vyayama

    This exercise aids in the stimulation of blood flow and the warming up of the body while also providing nutrition to all joints, energizing and healing the body while also soothing the mind and preparing the body for more challenging yoga poses (11, 12).

    How To Practice

    To loosen up the joints, this full-body series of poses includes motions such as-

    Wrist Rotation

    1. At shoulder height, extend your arms straight out in front of your chest.
    2. Keep your feet flat on the floor.
    3. Make fists with your palms facing down.
    4. Fists raised and lowered from the wrists.

    Elbow Bends

    1. Straighten your arms out to the side, palms facing forward.
    2. When you clench your fists, bend your arms at the elbows so that the violent jolt of your clenched fists hits your shoulders with your arms straight.
    3. Make a jerking motion to bring them to the ground.

    Shoulder Rotations

    1. Take a proper fist and place it on your left shoulder.
    2. In front of your chest, move your elbows toward each other (touch them together if possible).
    3. Now, with your left arm rotating clockwise and your right arm rotating counter-clockwise, do the opposite with both arms.
    4. Then turn the circles around and go through the process again.

    Neck Bends

    1. Gently lower your head to the point where your chin touches your chest, lowering your head as far as you can.
    2. Return to normal, then tilt your head back as comfortably as possible.
    3. Move your head back and forth from right to left to complete the motion.

    Neck Rotations

    1. To begin, gently roll your neck counter-clockwise and then clockwise.

    Sun Salutation

    Surya namaskar helps to stimulate the body, improves flexibility, calms the mind, enhances blood circulation, and releases endorphins, or happy chemicals. Additionally, it’s a great stress reliever, and because of its numerous health benefits, Surya namaskar is an excellent remedy for headaches (11).

    How To Practice

    1. Standing with the feet and hands pressed together in front of the chest is a good starting point.
    2. Inhale deeply, arch your back, and raise your arms above your head.
    3. Take a deep breath and bend forward, placing your hands on the floor.
    4. Take a deep breath and bring the right leg back into a lunge.
    5. Maintain your breath and step the left leg back into a push-up pose on the other side.
    6. Take a deep breath and bring your knees, chin, and chest to the floor.
    7. Lower the hips to the floor with each exhalation or raise the head and shoulders off the floor.
    8. Take a deep breath, curl the toes under, and press the hips to the ceiling
    9. Take a deep breath as you lift your right leg up between your hands into a lunge.
    10. Exhale, move the left leg forward, rest the palms of the hands on the floor, and lower the head to the level of the knees
    11. Take a deep breath and lift your arms above your head, arching your spine.
    12. Return the arms to their original positions.

    The sun salutation is complete when you repeat the whole pattern, starting with the left leg.

    QRT (Quick Relaxation Technique)

    Depending on how much time you have, a quick relaxation technique can take as little as three minutes or ten minutes. It creates a state of deep relaxation by focusing on and controlling the breath from the abdomen. A tense mind can be soothed with deep abdominal breathing (11).

    Shavasana (corpse position), lying down, or sitting on the chair are viable options for performing QRT.

    How To Practice

    1. Lie or sit on the chair. Begin noticing how your abdominal muscles move up and down when you breathe normally. Observe approximately 5-7 cycles.
    2. Match the same movement with deep breathing. Feel how your gut and breath are beautifully synced as you inhale and exhale. Repeat this for 5-7 cycles.
    3. Inhale deeply and slowly to revitalise and lighten the body. Exhale to relieve tension and relax totally. Repeat this for 5-7 cycles. Chant the A sound (A-kara) as you exhale.
    4. When you are ready, open your eyes with a few blinks.

    Yoga Poses

    Yoga is an ancient art that improves the mind, body, and soul. Yoga was once considered much more than a form of exercise. Correct posture, rhythm, and energy levels lead to optimum health. This will keep you from getting a migraine. When it comes to overcoming a Headache, Yoga is the most natural remedy (11, 12, 13).

    Standing Forward Bend Pose (Padahastasana)

    Padahastasana is great for migraines. This asana calms the brain and decreases tension, the primary main migraine trigger.

    How To Practice

    1. Maintain a straight back and keep your feet close together.
    2. Slowly and deeply inhale the air.
    3. Straighten both of your arms out in front of you.
    4. Keep your body in an upright position and feel it elongate.
    5. Exhale. Bend your knees and keep your arms spread as you lower yourself.
    6. Keeping your knees straight while keeping your head close to your knees is essential.
    7. The back of your lower legs (your calves) should be gripped with your hands.
    8. Breathe normally. For up to a minute, hold the position.

    Standing Back Bend (Ardha Chakrasana)

    This pose, which promotes blood circulation to the head and forces you to breathe deeply, can be pretty for people suffering from migraine headaches. It also strengthens and opens up the shoulder joint while also providing a great stretch to the back of the legs.

    How To Practice

    1. Stand erect with your feet firmly planted on the ground and your arms resting comfortably at your sides.
    2. Maintain an even distribution of weight between your two feet.
    3. The palms of your hands should face each other as you inhale and exhale.
    4. Take a deep breath and slowly bend backwards, pushing the pelvis forward while keeping your elbows and knees straight and your head up.
    5. Hold. Breathe in, then rise.
    6. As you exhale, lower your arms and let go.

    Two-legged Forward bend (Paschimottanasana)

    The yoga pose of Paschimottanasana is known for its ability to soothe the mind and relieve stress and anxiety. It also has the additional benefit of relieving a headache.

    How To Practice

    1. Sit up straight on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you.
    2. Keep your back straight, and your toes flexed toward you while you walk.
    3. Inhale and exhale normally.
    4. As you take a deep breath, slowly raise your arms straight up in the air and extend your limbs.
    5. Breathe out and bend from the hip joint, keeping the spine erect as the chin moves toward the toes.
    6. Place your hands on your thighs without exerting any effort.
    7. If you can, grab hold of your toes and use them as leverage to propel yourself forward.
    8. Hold on to this position for as long as you can.
    9. Inhale and raise your arms straight above your head after accomplishing your maximum amount of exertion.
    10. When you exhale, lower your arms to the ground, palms facing down.
    11. Take some time to unwind and become aware of any physical alterations.

    Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

    The downward-facing dog pose is beneficial for improving blood circulation and providing headache relief. It helps you stretch your muscles, clear your thoughts, and strengthen your bones.

    How To Practice

    1. Get down on your hands and knees. Form a table with your back as the top and your hands and feet as the legs.
    2. Your body should form an inverted V shape as you exhale. Lift your hips and straighten your legs and elbows as you exhale.
    3. Assume a similar pose with your feet hip and your hands shoulder-width apart. The soles of the feet point forward.
    4. Make a fist with your hands and dig them into the dirt. Expand the space between the shoulders. Keep your neck long by placing your earlobes on the inside of your upper arms.
    5. Take long, deep breaths in the downward dog stance. The navel is where you should focus your attention.
    6. Exhale. Bend your knees and return to the table position. Relax.

    Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

    This yoga pose can help you relax your upper body and get more blood to your brain because your heart is raised above your head.

    How To Practice

    1. Begin by laying on your back and allowing yourself to relax.
    2. After a swing or a turn, Kneel with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle to the floor.
    3. Distance from your pelvis should be between 10 and 12 inches along with knees and ankles in a straight line.
    4. Your palms should be facing down as you place your arms beside your body.
    5. Lift your lower, middle, and upper backs off the floor as you inhale.
    6. Now, using your shoulders, arms, and feet to support your weight, gently roll your shoulders. Touch your chest to your chin without lowering your chin.
    7. You should feel a tightening in your lower abdomen in this position. Keep your thighs parallel to each other and the floor while performing this exercise.
    8. To raise your torso even higher, you can either interlace your fingers and push your hands on the floor or support your back with your palms.
    9. Slowly and steadily inhale and exhale, keeping your lungs full.
    10. Inhale for 30 seconds or a minute, then exhale as you slowly lower yourself out of the pose.

    Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

    The asana is beneficial for alleviating headaches and improving the spine’s health. It is one of the most fundamental postures in the Surya Namaskar practise

    How To Practice

    1. In a prone position, take a deep breath and relax.
    2. The palms of your hands can lift your trunk and head.
    3. Bend your elbows inward.
    4. Gently raise your head in an arched position.
    5. Make sure that your belly is pressed firmly on the ground.
    6. Press your toes firmly on the floor to exert pressure. Extend them out to get the full effect of the cobra. ‘
    7. For 5 seconds, hold the pose.

    Simple Spinal Twist (Vakrasana)

    You can do this pose to stretch your spine and open up your shoulders, which helps relieve some of the tension that comes with headaches.

    How To Practice

    1. Lie on your back on the ground and extend your legs wide.
    2. Kneel and place the left foot on the right knee.
    3. As you exhale, keep your spine straight and twist your waist to the left.
    4. Place the right hand on the outside of the left foot and bring the right arm towards the left foot so that the outer side of the right arm touches the outside of the left leg.
    5. To maintain an erect posture, keep your left arm back and palm on the ground.
    6. From the other side, repeat the procedure.
    7. This concludes the game. Do two to three sets.

    Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

    In addition to relieving a headache, this yoga pose strengthens your back and stretches your stomach and legs simultaneously.

    How To Practice

    1. Kneel on the yoga mat and put both hands on your hips.
    2. Keeping your knees and feet in line with your shoulders, keep the soles of your feet pointing toward the sky.
    3. Draw your tailbone toward your pubis as you inhale, as if you were being yanked from your navel.
    4. Arch your back, glide your palms over your feet until your arms are straight, and return to the starting position.
    5. Keep your neck neutral, not strained or flexed.
    6. For a few breaths, hold this position.
    7. Slowly return to the starting position by exhaling. Straighten your back by withdrawing your hands and bringing them back to your hips.

    Child Pose (Balasana)

    A migraine headache causes your blood vessels to expand. This pose helps your head be higher than your chest if you prefer more blood flow to your brain (11, 12).

    How To Practice

    1. Place your heels on the mat, your knees stretched apart, and your chin on the floor.
    2. Depending on your preference, you can either keep your arms stretched out or place your hands on your forehead.
    3. Focus your attention on your lower back and take a deep breath.
    4. Rest in this position for 30 seconds to several minutes.
    5. The best way to exit is to exhale and roll up vertebra by vertebra or return to a straight spine.

    Savasana-Yoga Nidra Or DRT

    Yoga Nidra

    Yoga Nidra is a form of guided meditation that combines breath awareness, guided imagery, and body sensing to promote deep relaxation and peace. It offers to heal and transform the mind, body, and consciousness properties. This specific practice is meant to help with physical discomforts, such as an injury, a pinched nerve, or a headache.

    How To Practice

    1. Lay on your back in Corpse Pose, your spine straight and flat against the floor (Shavasana). Relax your body and mind by closing your eyes. Inhale and exhale several times. Remind yourself to take deep, deliberate breaths throughout the day.
    2. Gently focus on your right foot for a few seconds. While resting your foot, focus your attention there for a few seconds. Move your focus to the right leg, right hip, and right knee. Focus on your right leg as a whole.
    3. Replicate the procedure with the other leg, taking care not to strain it too much
    4. Pay close attention to the genital, abdominal, navel, and chest areas.
    5. The right shoulder, right arm, palms, and fingers deserve your entire focus. Afterwards, work your way up to the top of the head before moving on to your other left shoulder, arm, and throat.
    6. Take a few deep breaths and pay attention to your feelings. Spend a few minutes in this meditative state.
    7. Turn to your right side and lie down for a few more minutes as you become more aware of your body and surroundings. When you lie on your right side and breathe through your left nostril, you’re helping to keep your body cool.
    8. When you feel comfortable, slowly sit up and open your eyes, however long it takes you.

    Pranayama

    Pranayama practice can be an excellent companion if you suffer from chronic headaches. Yoga has been proven to cure several chronic ailments. Pranayamas decrease headaches by reducing stress hormones in your body (11).

    Bhramari Pranayama

    Bhramari Pranayama (Humming bee breaths) is the best and most popular Pranayama practice. Spending a few minutes alone listening to the soothing hum of a humming bee can help you de-stress and unwind on all levels. As a result of the unique Bhramari Pranayama’s ability to create vibration, it has incredible health advantages on the head, thus, keeping headaches and migraines at bay.

    How To Practice

    1. Sit on the Padmasana or any other seated Asana.
    2. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in.
    3. With your thumbs, close your ear flaps or lids.
    4. Put your index finger just over your brows and your other fingers, all of which should be the middle fingers, over your eyes.
    5. Applying a small amount of pressure to the sides of your nose.
    6. Focus your attention on the area between your eyebrows.
    7. Keeping your mouth shut, softly exhale through your nostrils while humming the sacred Om mantra
    8. Repeat this procedure five times for a total of 10. While practising Pranayama, it is assumed that your body is connected to all the positive forces.

    Kapalabhati

    Kapalbhati pranayama is good for reviving your nerves, controlling your mental strength, growing hair, and getting rid of toxins from your skin. It soothes your mind and alleviates some of the symptoms of minor discomfort and mood swings you may be experiencing.

    How To Practice

    1. Sit with your back straight and your shoulders relaxed. Keeping your palms facing the heavens, place your hands on your knees.
    2. Take a deep sigh of relief and exhale.
    3. Pull your navel toward your spine as you exhale. Put in as much effort as you’re able to. Keep your right hand on your stomach to feel the contraction of the abdominal muscles.
    4. Relaxing the navel and abdominal allows you to inhale more easily.
    5. To finish one round of Kapal Bhati, take 20 such breaths.
    6. After completing the round, close your eyes and pay attention to your body’s sensations.
    7. Do two more Kapal Bhati rounds.

    Nadi Shodhan

    Nadi Shodana, also known as Anulom Vilom or Alternate Breathing, help purifies the Nadis (the energy pathways) of all impurities. It restores equilibrium so that energy can flow freely, which is particularly useful when you suffer from headaches.

    How To Practice

    1. Sit back and relax your shoulders and spine. Always wear a soft grin.
    2. Make a Chin Mudra with your hands in the air or on your knees with your palms facing up (thumb and index finger gently touching at the tips).
    3. Using the index and middle fingers of the right hand, place them in between the eyebrows; the ring and little fingers are placed on the left nostril, and the thumb is placed on the right nostril; To open or close the left nostril, we’ll use the ring and little fingers, and to do so on the right, we’ll use the thumb.
    4. Breaththe in via the left nostril and through the right nostril.
    5. Inhale from your left nostril now, and softly press your left hand’s ring and little fingers against the left nostril. Breathe out through your right nostril while removing your right thumb from the right nostril.
    6. Take a deep breath through your right nostril and expel through your left. One round of Nadi Shodhan pranayama has now been finished. Breathe in through one nostril and out through the other.
    7. Breathe in and out alternately through both nostrils for nine cycles. Inhale from the same nostril you exhaled, then exhale from the other nostril. Keep your eyes closed and continue breathing long, deep, smooth breaths without effort.

    Nadanusandhana (Om Meditation)

    Nadanusandhana is a meditation technique that involves the practitioner focusing on an inner sound produced by chanting. Om, the primordial sound of the universe, is composed of three distinct sounds: A, U, and M, also known as A-kara, U-kara, and M-kara. These sounds are like “stimulants,” and the silence after them helps you become more aware and let go of minimal tensions.

    This exercise draws the mind within and away from external sensory stimuli. It can help reduce tension, lower blood pressure, and calm the mind (11).

    How To Practice

    1. A – KARA CHANT (in Chin Mudra)
      1. Vajrasana or any comfortable, contemplative pose.
      2. Sit comfortably and embrace chin mudra.
      3. Close your eyes and relax.
      4. Inhale slowly while exhaling. Repeat ‘AAA’ softly.
      5. Feel A-kara resonance in the abdomen and lower body.
      6. Rep 5–9 times.
    2. U – KARA (in Chinmaya Mudra)
      1. Vajrasana or any comfortable, contemplative pose.
      1. Sit comfortably and practise Chinmaya mudra.
      1. Close your eyes and relax.
      1. Inhale slowly; while exhaling, chant “UUU” softly.
      1. Feel U-kara resonance in the chest and mid-section.
      1. Rep 5–9 times.
    3. M – KARA (in Adi Mudra)
      1. Vajrasana or any comfortable, contemplative pose.
      1. Sit comfortably in Adi mudra.
      1. Close your eyes and relax.
      1. Inhale slowly while exhaling repeat “MMM” softly.
      1. Feel M-resonance kara’s throughout your skull.
      1. Rep 5–9 times.
    4. A-U-M— CHANTING (in Bharma Mudra)
      1. Vajrasana or any comfortable, contemplative pose.
      1. Sit comfortably and make Brahma mudra.
      1. Close your eyes and relax.
      1. Inhale slowly; while exhaling, recites “A-U-M” softly. Feel the resonance all over.

    A U, M, and AUM are loudly created to create a pleasing resonance throughout the body. Resonance occurs when the created sound frequency matches the natural frequency of your body. The post-resonance stillness deepens consciousness and dissolves even mild tensions.

    So, when making the different sounds (A, U, M, and AUM), try to modify the pitch to achieve a delicate resonance.

    Cooling Exercise

    Cooling exercise is a breathing practice that cools the body, the mind, and the emotions in a highly efficient manner (11).

    Sitali

    Pitta imbalances can be alleviated by using a breathing technique called Sitali.

    How To Practice

    1. Sit cross-legged or in a position that seems natural to you. Wherever you sit, keep in mind that the best posture is achieved when the shoulders are relaxed, the spine is long, the stomach is soft, and the chin is nearly parallel to the floor.
    2. Preparing for this pranayama practice, inhale and exhale several times via your nose.
    3. Make a tube out of your tongue by rolling your tongue and bending the sides towards the centre (or a taco shape). The end of your tongue should be sticking out between your lips. Instead of rolling your tongue, make a small “o” shape with your mouth. Keep your tongue against the back of your bottom teeth so that the air you’re suckling in passes over your tongue. Alternatively, you can slide your tongue back to rest on a ridge behind your top teeth on the roof of your mouth.
    4. Your tongue acts like a straw, allowing you to inhale and exhale softly. Allow the breath to fill your chest and belly. If your lips are pursed in the shape of an “o,” breathe in through that gap.
    5. Exhale softly via your nostrils after you’ve closed your mouth.
    6. Repeat at least five to ten times to get the most cooling effect out of this method. 

    Sitkari

    Sitkari is a type of martial arts exercise. Hatha Yoga Pradipika claims that sitkari and its cooling properties help regulate the endocrine system and boost energy.

    How To Practice

    1. Close your eyes and enjoy it without thinking about it.
    2. Separate your lips as far as possible and gently press your lower and upper teeth together so that your teeth are exposed to the air.
    3. Inhale profoundly and intently, focusing on the hissing sound as the air passes through the spaces between your teeth.
    4. Breathe out softly and steadily via the nose as you close your mouth.
    5. Do this as many times as necessary, up to 20.

    Sadanta

    The practice of Sadanta pranayama, a cooling Pranayama, aids in the removal of excess heat from the body and the mind. When the temperature is high or if you have a fever, you should perform this Pranayama in the summer.

    How To Practice

    1. Sit comfortably in the chosen yoga position. It is critical that you feel at ease in this situation.
    2. Open your mouth and relax your body while your bottom and upper teeth come together.
    3. Apply pressure to the back of your teeth with your tongue.
    4. Take a deep breath in slowly and steadily via your mouth. Allow the teeth to breathe by allowing the air to travel between them. A hissing sound should be produced.
    5. Give Antara kumbhaka a brief pause and exhale through the nose. The trachea should be used to evacuate the warm air from the body.
    6. One round of Santa. To get the best results, do at least nine repetitions.

    Conclusion

    severe pulsing pain and discomfort can be experienced with a headache, often seen as a tightness sensation in the shoulder, neck, and scalp. According to research, yoga can help reduce the frequency and pain of headaches when used in conjunction with other medical therapies. It is best to do gentle yoga poses that make you feel relaxed and stretch your neck, head, and shoulder area.

    Reference

    1. Hershey, A. D., Winner, P., Kabbouche, M. A., & Powers, S. W. (2007). Headaches. Current opinion in pediatrics19(6), 663-669.
    2. Stovner, L. J., Hagen, K., Jensen, R., Katsarava, Z., Lipton, R. B., Scher, A. I., … & Zwart, J. A. (2007). The global burden of headache: a documentation of headache prevalence and disability worldwide. Cephalalgia27(3), 193-210.
    3. https://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/tension-headaches#:~:text=Tension%20headaches%20are%20dull%20pain,most%20common%20type%20for%20adults.
    4. Menon, B., Satyanand, V., & Karishma, P. H. (2013). Effects of yoga on a tension headache. Journal of Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences2(3), 167.
    5. https://examine.com/topics/migraine/
    6. Field, T. (2016). Yoga research review. Complementary therapies in clinical practice24, 145-161.
    7. Hainsworth, K. R., Salamon, K. S., Khan, K. A., Mascarenhas, B., Davies, W. H., & Weisman, S. J. (2014). A pilot study of yoga for chronic headaches in youth: Promise amidst challenges. Pain Management Nursing15(2), 490-498.
    8. Menon, B., Satyanand, V., & Karishma, P. H. (2013). Effects of yoga on tension headache. Journal of Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences2(3), 167.
    9. Sharma, N., John, P. J., Sharma, C. M., & Vaidya, R. (2019). Yoga Therapy for Chronic Tension-Type Headache. Global Journal of Health Science11(5), 1-94.
    10. Messina, R., & Goadsby, P. J. (2019). CGRP–a target for acute therapy in migraine: clinical data. Cephalalgia39(3), 420-427.
    11. Kumar, A., Bhatia, R., Sharma, G., Dhanlika, D., Vishnubhatla, S., Singh, R. K., … & Srivastava, M. P. (2020). Effect of yoga as add-on therapy in migraine (CONTAIN): A randomized clinical trial. Neurology94(21), e2203-e2212.
    12. Kisan, R., Sujan, M. U., Adoor, M., Rao, R., Nalini, A., Kutty, B. M., … & Sathyaprabha, T. N. (2014). Effect of Yoga on migraine: A comprehensive study using clinical profile and cardiac autonomic functions. International journal of yoga7(2), 126.
    13. https://www.nios.ac.in/media/documents/OBE_indian_knowledge_tradition/Level_A/Yoga/Yoga_(Level-A)_ch-1-final.pdf
    14. Udayakumara, K. (2018). Yoga therapy for frontal sinusitis headache: A research based study.

    Author

    Neha
    Neha

    I am a food technologist. I cherish working on interesting topics and will be ready to take the challenge into sharp output. I like to study and learn while working. My work describes me. Good content allows me to talk with people without speaking a word.

    Neha has authored the following key articles on the World Yoga Forum.
    Top 50 Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises and Benefits
    Mindfulness
    Yoga for Anxiety
    Yoga For Back Pain
    Yoga For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    Yoga For Better Digestion
    Yoga For Depression
    Yoga For Osteoporosis
    Yoga For Pregnancy
    Yoga for Menstruation 
    Yoga For Menopause

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