What is a headache and why do you get it?
Headache is a kind of pain that originates in one or more parts of the face or the skull. This pain may suddenly occur or gradually increase due to an exercise or activity.
Here are some of the common symptoms of a headache:
- Throbbing or constant pain either in the entire face or skull or parts of it.
- Sensitivity to light or loud noises.
- Feeling of your head getting squeezed.
- Sensitivity or tenderness around your neck area.
- Heaviness or pressure around the facial area or the skull.
- Pulsations in the facial area or the skull.
There are mainly two types of headaches:
- Primary: This is caused due to a problem with the pain-sensitive structure in your head. These are caused due to chemical changes in your brain or problems with your nerves, blood vessels, or muscles. Some types of primary headaches include migraine, tension headaches, cluster headaches, etc. These may be triggered by poor posture, alcohol, missing meals, lack of sleep, or stress.
- Secondary: This type of headache happens due to the symptom of an underlying disease. These include arterial tears, blood clots, sinus, concussion, dehydration, ear infection, encephalitis, etc.
How is a headache relieved?
Usually, headaches go away on their own. If they don’t subside in a few hours, these treatments may help:
- Treating your head with a hot or cold compress.
- Massaging your head.
- Taking small amounts of caffeine.
- Rest in a dark and quiet room.
- Use over-the-counter painkillers.
However, all these measures are short-term. To prevent headaches in the long run, you need to make some lifestyle changes. These include:
- Reducing your caffeine intake.
- Avoiding smoking or alcohol.
- Keeping yourself hydrated.
- Improving your sleep patterns and keeping yourself rested.
- Recognising your triggers of stress and anxiety and reacting better to them.
Besides these treatments, one of the most-effective treatments of headaches is yoga. This ancient practice combines physical exercise, mindfulness, breathwork, relaxation, and meditation. All these are aimed at attaining harmony between your mind and body and several mental and physical benefits.
What is yoga for headaches?
Yoga for headaches is a group of postures that are specifically aimed at relieving your painful and discomforting symptoms. Yoga poses for headaches not just help in curing a current bout of headaches but also prevent headaches in the long run.
Different poses of yoga for head pain are a combination of breathing exercises and physical postures.
What are the benefits of yoga for headaches?
There are more benefits of yoga for headache relief than you can imagine. Some of the most important benefits of yoga for headaches:
- One of the most important benefits of yoga for headache relief is that it emphasizes the root cause of your headache instead of offering a temporary quick-fix solution. This makes yoga a long-term solution for all kinds of headaches. This goes a long way in reducing your dependence on medications.
- Yoga for head pain is a holistic practice that combines postures, breathing exercises, and pranayama that cure the imbalances in the body.
- One of the most common causes of headaches is stress. Since yoga asanas for headaches are gentle poses that reduce the production of stress hormones in your body and enhance the production of endorphins, they help in curing and preventing stress-related headaches.
- Since poses of yoga for headaches give your neck, shoulders, and back muscles a good stretch, they relieve posture and injury-related headaches too.
- Asanas of yoga for headaches help in improving the levels of nitric oxide levels of your body. This also helps in reducing your blood pressure and relaxing your blood vessels. All these release the tension in your head and cure headaches.
Which are some of the best poses of yoga for headaches?
Here are some of the best poses of yoga for headaches:
- Adho Mukho Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog): This asana helps you get rid of back pain and stiffness and improves your circulation.
- Come into all fours and place your hands under your wrists and knees under your hips.
- Gently lift your knees while pressing into your hands.
- Raise your hips towards your sky as you lengthen your spine and tailbone.
- Keep your head in line with your arms with your chin tucked in slightly.
- Hold this pose for 50-60 seconds.
- Uttanasana (Forward Fold): This is one of the best yoga poses for headaches that rejuvenates your brain through an increased supply of blood. It is also a great yoga asana for inducing calmness.
- Inhale and lift your arms over your head.
- Exhale and release your arms in a diving motion and fold your torso over your legs.
- Place your hands on your shins and hold the pose for a few seconds.
- Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana): This gentle and calming pose of yoga for head pain relaxes and stretches your lower back, especially when pain in these areas is a cause of your headache.
- Lie on your back and bend your knees towards your chest at an angle of 90-degrees.
- Hold your feet and spread your knees apart.
- Gently rock from side to side like a happy baby.
- Stay in this position for a few seconds.
What are some best practices to remember while doing yoga for headaches?
Though poses of yoga for headaches are simple, there are some things that you need to keep in mind to do them safely. These are especially important for yoga for beginners and include:
- Never do poses of yoga for headaches without learning them from an experienced trainer. This helps in preventing injuries and fatigue. You can also take online yoga classes.
- Always do yoga for headache relief in the morning hours. This is when you are relaxed and work out on an empty stomach, which helps you gain the benefits of yoga better.
- Combine yoga asanas for headache with yoga for sinus for better circulation and release of sinus pressure.
- Always listen to your body and never overdo yoga. In case you feel any pain, stop immediately.
So, next time when headache strike, don’t just pop that pill. Try these effective asanas to eliminate headaches and their painful symptoms.
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