Headache is a menace especially when it frequents one’s life like an uninvited guest. Just as uncalled for as it enters, one would expect it to make a hasty exit but oftentimes this may not happen. A lingering headache not only causes utter discomfort but also comes in the way of one’s smooth functioning. That’s when people resort to over-the-counter medicines to reduce the pain, hoping to get rid of it completely. But over a period of time, an addiction to such medicines may come at the cost of unpleasant side-effects that in turn would adversely affect one’s overall health. In this topic, we will cover how an alternate approach like practicing yoga can effectively help to reduce and get rid of headache.
Causes of Headache
Headache and its intensity often range from mild to severe and it may vary from person-to-person. Headache can be caused owing to factors like lifestyle, poor sleeping habits, bad posture, health issues like sinusitis, migraine, extended exposure to laptop screens, mobile phones, gaming addiction, occupational causes like in the case of those who work in lighting stores, overexposure to sunlight and several other factors. Headache can also be a sign of stress and tension. Headache can be classified as primary and secondary depending on what causes it, where the former is momentary and the latter is a result of other underlying health conditions. The WHO reports that nearly half the adults worldwide will complain of a headache at any given time of the year, throughout the year.
How Yoga Can Help Relieve Headache
Yoga is an apt choice to resort to when it comes to the treatment of ailments and health issues owing to several factors. Yoga is hassle-free, can be practiced at home, is reliable, cures the person of ailments effectively, and also improves the overall well being of the person. By just following some simple steps and breathing exercises yoga renders the person feeling relaxed and revived completely with long-lasting results.
Different Yoga Asanas To Relieve Headache
Mentioned below are some effective Yoga asanas, that aids in reducing as well as getting rid of headache.
1. Prasarita Padottanasana
- Stand with both legs outstretched at the front of the yoga mat.
- Take a deep breath, step backward with the right foot for the body to face the long edge of the mat.
- At shoulder height, outstretch both hands above the feet and gently bring the hands to the hips.
- Take a deep breath, expand the chest and heart facing upwards. Breathe out and gently bend forward until the tips of the fingers touch the mat.
- Keep stretching bringing the crown of the head down to touch the ground, whilst pushing the buttocks upwards. At this stage, the muscles around the abdomen should also lengthen along with the spine.
- The hands, at this stage, are free to be placed either underneath the legs or on the mat near the head with elbows bent.
- Remain in this pose for about a minute breathing deep and gentle. Slowly, bring both hands forward leaving the torso parallel to the floor. Ensuring full spinal engagement bring both hands to the hips. Take a deep breath, lifting the torso up and then return back to Tadasana or the initial position.
This asana should be avoided in case of lower-back injury or sinus congestion.
2. Viparita Karani
- In a spacious room, sit next to a wall making sure the feet spread out in front of you touching the ground and the left side of the body is in line with the wall touching it.
- Breathe out, then lie down on your back such that the back of both legs are pressed to the wall, with the soles of both feet facing the ceiling. Adjust yourself to get comfortable in this position.
- At this stage, you can either press the buttocks to the wall or place them comfortably away from the wall.
- Ensuring the head and back are resting on the ground the body takes up the shape of a 90-degree angle.
- Lift the hips gently and slide a pillow or bolster under them.
- Keeping the head and neck still, gently relax the face.
- Inhale slowly with eyes closed and stay in the position for at least 5 minutes. Gently release and roll onto your side. Breathe and then sit up.
Avoid this asana in case of menstruation, glaucoma, serious back and neck issues. This asana should be strictly practiced under the guidance of an instructor.
- Sitting erect, stretch both legs in front ensuring the toes are flexed towards you.
- Inhale and raise both arms over the head stretching.
- Gently exhale and then bending forward feel the hip joints bending, with the chin moving towards the shin.
- Stretch both the arms out as much as possible up until the toes but do so comfortably.
- Inhale, gently lift the head and stretch the spine.
- Then exhale, moving the navel towards the knees.
- Repeat the above steps a few times after which you have to place the head on the legs and remain in that pose.
- Gently breathe in and return to the sitting pose with both arms outstretched.
- Breathe out and then lower the arms.
Avoid the asana in case of diarrhea, asthma. In case the person is pregnant or has a back injury do the asana under the guidance of an instructor.
4. Ardha Pincha Mayurasana
- Get down on your hands and knees.
- Placing the forearms on the ground make sure the elbows and shoulders are in line.
- Tucking the toes, lift the back and hips, and make both legs straight.
- At this stage, the shoulder blades should be firm into the ribs. The neck should be left free. For this lift the shoulders away from the ears.
- Take long and deep breaths and hold the pose for a few seconds.
- Gently sit back, relaxing the muscles and inhaling and exhaling slowly.
Avoid the asana in case of neck or shoulder injury.
- Stand up straight, placing the feet parallel to each other at least 6 inches apart, keeping the legs straight.
- Lift the kneecaps outwards by contracting the thigh muscles.
- Bend forward touching the forehead to the knees ensuring that the head and torso move in alignment with each other.
- Hold the big toes of each foot with a firm grip using the fingers of each hand on the same side as the toe.
- Breathe in whilst gently lifting the torso. The elbows should be held straight.
- Gently breathe out and bend towards the toes. Repeat these steps a few times.
- Straighten the body keeping the breath constant, keeping the torso straight while going up and down. The toes should be held throughout.
- Return to the position.
Avoid the pose in case of neck or lower back injuries.
- Lie down on the floor ensuring complete peace of mind and calmness whilst the asana is carried out and close the eyes.
- Place both legs comfortably apart with the toes resting sideways
- Place the arms comfortably along the side of the body with the palms open, facing upwards.
- Slowly, gently focus attention on every body part starting from the toes going up to the head. Inhale and exhale slowly bringing the entire body to a state of complete relaxation.
- Continue breathing deeply yet slowly ensuring every part of the body is revived and calmed with every inhalation and exhalation.
- Stay put for another 10 minutes and then gently roll onto your side keeping the eyes closed throughout. Then hold this position for about a minute and then gently sit up.
- Take long deep breaths and slowly bring the mind and body to a state of awareness of the surroundings and then gently open the eyes.
This asana can be practiced by anyone unless one is advised against resting on one’s back.
It is a common observation among health experts that a vast majority of headache and related discomforts are tension-related. So naturally, they recommend Yoga as it helps to keep the mind and body in a state of peace and calm for prolonged time periods. So, before the pill is popped look into alternate treatment-methods like Yoga with zero side effects. It not just guarantees to get rid of ailments like headaches once and for all but also ensures a person’s complete well being which is what one eventually strives to attain in life.