Yoga for Migraines

Gentle yoga among other things I was working so much at a desk squinting at a computer that was stress on my eyes and my poor posture were causing a lot of bad headaches for Zoomers as we age the head can move forward and take us out of our proper alignment causing headaches and, if we’re already susceptible triggering migraines based on that experience I’ve created a simple yoga series that can bring relief, if you have a migraine right now sitting in a dark room might be the best bet. But we’re gonna do some preventative poses right now we’ll start on the mat for a warm-up that relaxes the head. And the jaw. And then we’ll do some standing poses to take tension out of the shoulders after that we’ll breathe fresh oxygen into our heads with a tranquility pose these poses are so easy that you might wonder how effective they can be. But do the whole series or, if you’re busy just do one or two and you’ll be pleasantly surprised let’s start the healing joining me today anita and jennifer and all of us would like to have a wonderful gentle practice to help us prevent and manage symptoms of headaches we’re gonna start with a wonderful warm-up coming down into a constructive rest position we come back on to the back using the hands to help us come down to the floor the knees are bent. And the feet are about hip-width apart the feet are positioned in such a way that the heels are moving out. And the toes are moving in shoulder blades come down the back one at a time. And the arms come out to the sides next time an out breath comes along the knees we’ll move over to the right. And the head moves over to the left letting the feet hinge inhaling back to Center.

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And then exhaling letting the knees drop over to the left. And the head over to the right we’re getting a wonderful cranial sacral massage here. And the added benefit is that the muscles on the front of the spine so as muscles these muscles are usually tense when we’re experiencing or anticipating pain. So this wonderful movement sequence is helping to release the psoas. And also the roots of the diaphragm now let’s bring the knees over to the right take the feet a little bit wider apart. And just find a comfortable way to release and surrender your legs to gravity then we’ll take the hands to the back of the neck will lengthen the back of the neck. And we’ll turn the head in the opposite direction of the knees and place the head down very gently now we’ll just take a couple of moments here and let this wonderful twist set in bring awareness to the jaws and take a long slow smooth in-breath deep into the place where the jaws come together underneath the ear let the belly come to the front spine pause there for a moment. And then let the in-breath come in feel how nourishing that is now let’s see the jaw down and forward. And then move the jaw a couple of times in one direction. And then a couple of times in the opposite direction let go the eyes and let go the eyebrows this movement is helping release a lot of long-held gripping and holding in the muscles and connective tissue of the jaws of the face. And also of the back of the neck where it comes into the skull come back to Center. And then we’ll bring the knees in to the opposite direction. So the knees are coming down to the left we take the back of the head we lift it turning the head in the opposite direction placing the head down very gently. And we rest and let gravity take over please continue whatever variations of this movement sequence are feeling good for you.

And we’ll be back in just a few moments to work with more symptoms of headaches and migraines Healing Yoga Yoga for real people with real problems hi my name is Anita and I’ve been suffering from migraines just recently moving from Victoria British Columbia and I feel useless really. Because is very uncomfortable coping with my day and going doing things and hard to think so what I’m trying to do is doing yoga. And some poses to release the migraines and trying to be also in a dark room and playing soft music and meditating and trying to relax as much as I can welcome back today we’re working with symptoms of headaches and migraines Anita it was interesting that you mentioned once you have a migraine you just go into a dark room yes is absolutely right as soon as I feel that is a migraine coming I go into a dark room with playing nice soft music and trying to stretch and be just in a dark that’s a wonderful idea it’s all about prevention Yoga is a wonderful way to prevent regular headaches and to get in front of those migraines before they come into their fullest form we’re gonna be working with the shoulders this is a really important prevention sequence that we’re gonna be doing. And you can also be your pain, if you already got a headache coming into Tad Asana the Mountain Pose come to the center of the mat take a belt an old bathrobe tie or your husband’s tie. And then we’ll do a few ups and overs take the belt in front hands are close together. And we in the L. And we lift up and exhale over come back to the front taking the fingers closer together. And then inhaling and separating the hands exhaling over now I’ll do a few more of these and we’re gonna find a place where it feels like it might be a good idea to rest in this up and over position so today it might be here tomorrow it might be somewhere else maybe the second round might be somewhere else. But we just find that spot we come back onto the heels engaging the front of the legs squeezing the pelvic girdle grounding here. And then breaking the belt we’ll take a long slow smooth and breath lengthening up the front of the spine bringing the head back into alignment moving the head more towards the back line of the body another long slow smooth in-breath takes the ribs up off of the pelvis exhaling completely. And then surrendering ahh now we’re just gonna circle the shoulders around a few times the shoulders are.

So Important for us to release tension from. Because the neck. And the head sit on top of the shoulder girdle when we have our head forward that puts an enormous amount of strain across the whole back of the shoulder line so coming into these ups and overs and spending time breaking the belt is gonna bring the shoulder blades together it’s gonna squeeze the shoulder blades to the rhomboids those muscles in between the shoulder blades together. And then there’s this natural action of bringing ourselves back towards the back plane of the body and getting our posture back into a good relationship with gravity now let’s drop the belt. And we’ll come into this Vitruvian Man the Leonardo da Vinci picture that you see of the man in a really strong stance this is our Mountain Pose coming back on the heels feeling the quadriceps activate feeling ourselves coming back into the back plane of the body feel the in breast lift everything on the front of the spine let everything on the back plane of the body drop down on the out breaths take the shoulder blades together move them down take the back of the head toward the back plane of the body fill yourself grounding a little bit more on the heels feel your legs working the front thighs working. And then the next time an in-breath comes along let the arms come out and up 45 degrees. And then we’ll stop here spread the fingers and take some long slow smooth and complete in-and-out breaths we’ll swing the upper arms. So that they’re rotating externally. And the palms are facing forward fingers are spread wide active fingers long slow smooth in-breath we’ll take the arm up.

And then the head is going to just tilt over to one side. And then we’re gonna exhale this left hand down in to the low back we’re taking the head of the humerus bone the arm bone bring it back a couple of breaths here opening up this open side of the neck we’re releasing a lot of tension out of the muscles. And the connective tissue that are deep in the muscles of the neck deep in the muscles of the shoulders shelf now we’ll come back to Center to our Tad Asana Mountain Pose now we’ll take ourselves back onto the heels again inhaling the arms up to shoulder height exhaling spinning the arms up and reaching out with the fingers you got an external rotation going on with the upper arm bones now go to the upper arm bones and hug the muscles to bone hug the muscles reach out with the fingers bring the head back towards the back plane of the body tuck the chin down just a little bit lengthening the back of the neck. And then turn the head to the left come back to Center. And now you can continue this movement sequence adding the eyes moving the eyes first. And then letting the head follow coming back to Center letting the eyes Lee the way coming back to Center please continue these variations of vitruvian man. And we will be back in a few moments to work more deeply with our symptoms of headaches and migraines Healing Yoga Yoga for real people with real problems welcome back we’ve been working with symptoms of headaches and migraines and Jen how are you feeling right now well when I came to class today I could feel the beginnings of a headache pain right here. But doing the poses that we’ve we’ve done together over the last few minutes I can feel the tension releasing in my jaw and my shoulder is I just feel like I’m a little bit longer my neck isn’t as crunched up. So It’s not gone. But it’s easing off it is great oh fantastic well we’re gonna be working a little bit more with the jaws. And the neck here let’s come to sitting down.

And we’ll come forward we’ll come to the edge of our seat. And we’ll just sit with the sit bones grounding. And the feet. And the knees are aligned so there’s a sense of being able to sit away from the back of the chair let the spine come up on its own there’s this natural function of the spine that wants to rise up away from the ground and, if we could just go with that you know there’s this wonderful arch in the low back the lordotic arch we’re just going to allow that low back to come in a little bit we’re gonna let the thoracic spine go in the opposite direction we’re feeling the ribs bringing awareness to the breath. And then we’re coming to the top of the spine we’re lengthening the back of the neck we’re broadening through the collar bones here. And we feel very secure in our seat here now let’s take the hands to the jaws just that place underneath the ears where the jaws come together and continue to work with this joint here this is such an important area to be thinking about when we’re experiencing headaches. So just palpating this area where the jaws come together underneath the ear in front of the ear. And then taking the jaw down and moving it in a couple of circles. And just feel what’s going on with the anatomy of this part of the face trying to keep that idea of lifting through the front line of the body and descending through the back line of the body grounding through the sit bones. And the heels. And then I’ll come back and let the jaws go again notice what’s going on a little bit higher up around the front of the ears in towards the temples in towards the hairline these are the muscles that we use for chewing and they can be get extremely tight and tense as well just massaging all of the points where you feel some muscle action happening in the hairline now we’ll come back to hands on the knees just give yourself a few moments here and ground in your seat see how your face feels see how your eyes feel how do your eyebrows feel let’s just check our shoulders a few times we’ve been working with the head the neck and shoulders and releasing a lot of long-held tension there we’ve been creating space and openness for the blood vessels to deliver fresh oxygen for the subtle energy blogs to deliver fresh prana deep into all of the tissues and all of the nerves of the upper part of the body now we’re going to take some time to rest the brain with forward folds forward folds are wonderful ways to prevent headaches in the first place. But it’s also a wonderful way to manage the pain that you might be dealing with, if you have a headache or migraine we take two folding chairs. And we take a bolster or a firm blanket rolled up and we’re gonna create a bridge between these two chairs and a nice support for the forehead. So we take a long slow smooth in-breath lifting everything on the front line of the body and a long slow smooth out breath we fall forward and rest.

So this movement is happening from the femurs from the top of the leg bones everything is moving back the sit bones are moving back we’re creating this wonderful length and traction for the spine the arms are resting away you can see that there’s this broadening of the collarbones. So the whole body is resting here supported by the bolster having some compression on the belly is very soothing. And it just is a wonderful feeling of activating the relaxation response resting the forehead is also an excellent practice for preventing headaches and for managing the pain of headaches there’s a way of working with the breath to bring more oxygen into the ribs moving the ribs out and up. And then exhaling. And just allowing the mind to settle allowing the mind to rest and clearing out all of the old thoughts all of the old ideas. And just having a sense of quiet and peace we can cultivate that at the end of the out-breath Anita is doing another variation of Child’s Pose here she is resting her forehead on a bolster you can do this at a table you could be doing this with a chair and both of these variations are excellent, if you’re not using a chair child’s pose or a prayer pose is also a wonderful option taking the knees apart heels together reaching forward extending the spine and letting the forehead rest long slow smooth in breaths and long slow smooth out breaths police continue to enjoy this child’s pose or variations of Child’s Pose whichever ways feel good for you. And we’ll be back in a few moments to wind down with our headaches and migraines healing yoga yoga for real people with real problems meditation is a proven way to reduce migraines or headache symptoms to start sit upright in a chair close your eyes and concentrate on your breath for five minutes welcome back we’ve been working with symptoms of headaches and migraines how are you feeling right now fantastic Debra yes well you’re still in Toronto. But we’re gonna get those headaches taken forever right so resting is such an important practice when we’re dealing with headaches preventing headaches and managing the pain of headaches or migraines. And we have a special way of taking shav Asana today we’re gonna be elevating the chest. So we can experience a little bit more breath and prana actually come on up. And I’m just gonna slide this underneath we take a bolster a rolled-up blanket or a rolled-up towel. And then we use the arms to help us support our way down.

And then we’ve got this other blanket that’s gonna be used as a shroud. So just lift your head and eat it I’m gonna slide this underneath here we go alright come on back. And then being able to take the blanket and use it as a cover for the forehead in the eyes. And then bringing the sides of the blanket into the sides of the neck feel really wonderful. So we’re creating a nice little cocoon here for Anita, if there’s any pinch eNOS in the low back bring the hips away from the lower ribs. And then place your pelvis back down again see, if that eases things up, if you’re having trouble with your low back. And this is not a comfortable pose Jennifer is demonstrating the alternative just raising the knees on rolled-up blankets or yoga bolster having a little bit of extra weight on the brow bone on the forehead might feel really wonderful and take an old sock fill it up with rice or lavender. And just place it on the brow bone. But stay away from the cornea we’d like to keep the cornea in its natural round shape. And we’ll just rest here bring awareness to the base of the throat the area the fifth chakra vishuddha huh purity and draw the breath deep into this energy center at the base of the throat thinking about the color blue and exhaling tension exhaling holding feel the whole front of the neck. And the collarbones release and let go bring the shoulder blades down the back and in towards the heart one at a time we’ll take a long slow smooth in-breath into the third eye this sixth chakra the archana chakra breathing in light and spaciousness and exhaling tension and gripping another long slow smooth in-breath into the top of the head the crown the fontanel breathing in light and spaciousness and exhaling tension and grouping please continue to enjoy sav Asana for at least another 30 minutes. And we’ll see you again next time on healing yoga day you.

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