Cure the Migraine with Yoga

Yoga, which has been practiced for some 5,000 years, involves mind and body control through a series of movements, breathing techniques, meditations and postures. It is based on ancient Indian principles and philosophies that centers on discipline and spiritual enlightenment through uniting the mind and body.

A few recent studies have shown that yoga may also help people who suffer from persistent migraines have fewer, less painful attacks by controlling migraines naturally.

How Yoga works for migraines

Yoga’s relaxation techniques are thought to calm the body’s nervous system. This action on the nervous system is believed to reduce the activities in the brain that lead to migraines. Yoga also has a positive impact on certain chemicals in the body and in the brain, which may also help migraine sufferers. Researchers also believe yoga increases the chemical serotonin, which relays signals from one area of the brain to another. Serotonin also eases the tightening of the brain’s blood vessels, so migraines and serotonin levels are believed to be closely related.

Yoga Therapy for Migraine generally focuses on the prevention of the occurrence which includes stress reduction and avoidance of the various causes of the attacks. Yoga can also alleviate the headache pain by providing relief to sensory overload and relaxing your mind. A combination of Yoga poses, breathing exercises and relaxation may help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines, a new study suggests. Just as the mind affects the body, so the body affects the mind. Yoga asana, or postures, can help alleviate migraine headaches. Most sufferers can’t do much other than retreat to bed once a severe migraine hits, but a full-blown attack is often preceded by a prodrome, a warning symptom, such as dizziness, drowsiness, muscle stiffness, or mood swings.

Developing sensitivity to such signals, and using them as a call to action, can help you halt the migraine before it begins, or at least reduce its severity. When you get a warning, make it a priority to stop what you are doing. It is also a very useful trick to rest and relax the muscles of the head. These techniques work by slowing down the mind. When you begin to enjoy a deep internal massage though the resonance of sound in your whole head, you will start to feel the tension release. Performing certain asanas before the migraine occurs, or just as it is making itself known, is most effective. There’s no prescribed set of asanas guaranteed to conquer headaches, and each individual is different.

Kapalbhati is a Breathing Technique used specifically for cleansing. If you have a lot of mucus in the air passages or feel tension and blockages in the chest it is often helpful to breathe quickly. This article will introduce you to this breathing techniques and show you its its benefits.

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
The Mountain Yoga Pose promotes the experience of stillness, strength, relaxed power, and immovable stability associated with mountains. This yoga posture, and coming back to this stillness after other poses, is one of the ways of becoming acquainted with stillness.

Hands to Feet (Pada Hastasana)
The Hands to Feet Pose or Pada Hastasana gives many of the same benefits as the Forward Bend – trimming the waist, restoring elasticity to the spine, and stretching the ligaments of the legs, especially the hamstrings. Learn how to do the Hands to Feet Pose in this section.

Crescent Moon Pose
The Crescent Moon Pose stretches and strengthens the arms and legs, increases stamina, improves balance and concentration, and can also relieve backaches. If you are suffering from diarrhea, high blood pressure or neck problems, you should take extra caution practicing this pose.

Stand Spread Leg Forward Fold
Practicing the Standing Spread Leg Forward Fold can strengthen and stretch your inner and back legs and your spine. People with lower back problems should avoid doing the full forward bend. For beginners, you may use props like a folding chair to support your forearms.

Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
In Hindu art, the triangle is a potent symbol for the divine principle, and it is frequently found in the yantras and mandalas used for meditation. The Trikonasana or Triangle Pose concludes the Yoga Postures in our basic session.

Standing Side Stretch Pose
The Standing Side Stretch is another Yoga Pose with two lines of energy radiating outward from your center. This is a simple Yoga Posture with a wonderful stretch in which one line of energy reaches upward from your belly and outward through the arm, and one line travels downward through the legs.

Tree Pose (Tadasana)
The Tree Pose helps strengthen your thighs, calves, ankles and back. It can also increase the flexibility of your hips and groin. Your balance and concentration can also be improved with constant practice. This Yoga Pose is recommended for people who have sciatica and flat feet.

The 7 Best Yoga Poses for Cyclists

There’s no question that long hours hunched over the handlebars can lead to tightness in both the upper and lower body. Serious road bikers sometimes endure chronically tightened hamstrings, quadriceps and gastrocnemius muscles. Recreational and commuter cyclists also get tight, especially if they overdo it or have bad posture in the saddle. Focusing on improving posture, stretching and a simple yoga routine can help diminish these problems, and make you a stronger, healthier cyclist.

Yoga for Cyclists

Yoga for Cyclists

“Yoga and cycling inform each other—they are both about staying aware in the moment,” says Kelli Refer, a Yoga for Cyclists instructor and the creator of the forthcoming ’zine Pedal, Stretch, Breathe. ”Yoga can really help cyclists remember to breathe while they ride, and know when to take critical rests.”

The bandhas, the energetic locks or restraints that help move and direct energy flow in the body, help keep a body’s core strong and, by extension, keep the lower back happy on bike rides. Mula bandha, or root lock, is similar to the Kegel exercise many women are given to improve pelvic floor muscles, yet mula bandha and its adjunct uddiyana bandha are excellent for both male and female cyclists. Here are seven poses—including a few bandhas—you can practice on your own before taking to the saddle on your next ride.

As with all yoga, be gentle, use your breath and know your personal limitations.

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Yoga for Great Abs

Yoga doesn’t just improve flexibility and strengthen the core, but it has been shown to reduce stress levels, which studies have shown in turn, reduces belly fat.

Try these poses of yoga for abs sculpting poses that will help define your abs and clear your mind.

1. Tree Pose
Stand up straight with a strong core. Shift your weight onto your left leg and draw your right knee up towards your hips. Take hold of your ankle and place your foot flat onto the side of your left thigh.

If you are maintaining your balance, press your palms together in front of your chest. Brace your abs into your spine to support the stance. Don’t look down at your legs – instead focus your gaze on a spot in front of you. Take ten deep breaths, then return to a standing position and repeat with the other leg.

yoga for abs

2. Camel hinge
Kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart and tuck your toes under. Extend your arms out straight in front of your chest, palms facing the floor. 

Focus on opening your chest as your hinge backwards from your pelvis, tilting your shoulders back down slightly towards your feet. Arch slightly through your lower back, keep your ribcage down, and draw your bellybutton back towards your spine to support your back. Slowly return to the start position. Do 10 reps.

yoga for abs - yoga-camel-hinge

3. Bridge with a leg sweep
Tone your abs and your bum with this maximized bridge move.

Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Lay your arms straight by your sides, palms down. Brace your abs and the lift your hips off the floor.

Keep your hips level and extend your left leg up to the ceiling with your foot flexed. Sweep your left leg to the right, and the back to the left, past your left hip, keeping it extended at all times. Repeat that 10 times and then switch legs and do 10 reps with the right – maintaining the bridge at all times.