Headaches got you down? Try yoga as an exercise program to help manage the frequency and intensity of headaches, as well as relieve pain naturally.
How Yoga as Exercise Helps Headaches
Exercise releases endorphins, which help relieve stress, reduce pain, and improve sleep - perfect for people suffering from headaches. Its also one of the 5 high-impact preventive activities recommended by headache specialist Dr. Lawrence Newman in his SEEDS for Success model. SEEDS stands for sleep, exercise, eating, drinking, and stress reduction. The coolest thing about this model to me is that yoga can directly impact 3 of the 5 activities listed - sleep, exercise, and stress.
Yoga helps reduce stress by implementing practices such as meditation and controlled breathing. When your nervous system is calm, you will have a much easier time sleeping and feeling rested when you wake up. When you practice yoga poses consistently, especially in a flow, you'll build strength, flexibility, and balance in your body. Win, win, win.
How Often Should You Practice Yoga
According to the World Health Organization, adults need at least 150 minutes of exercise during the week at a moderate level (75 minutes vigorous). Its best to spread this out over 3-5 days and to practice in at least 10 minute chunks of time.
Think about it this way, a typical yoga class is between 30-60 minutes long. If you only want to exercise 3 days a week, you need to practice for 50 minutes each of those days.
You might think that sounds like a lot of time to find in your day, but I know you can fit it in if you really inventory the time you spend scrolling through social media or watching Netflix. We all have time that could be better spent on something that helps us feel and live better. That's why its one of the things we focus on in my initial consultations with private yoga clients. Once you can visualize incorporating a yoga exercise program into your life, its a lot easier to actually do it.
3 Yoga Poses for Targeted Exercise
Everyone can practice yoga, but yoga is not the same practice for everyone. You are unique in your health history, temperament, and wellness goals - among other ways. This all translates to your yoga practice. Keep this in mind when using the below poses and make sure to note the contraindications. You can combine these three poses with a warm-up and cool down to stretch out before and after. If you want to work with me to create a custom yoga exercise plan, feel free to reach out. I'd love to help you achieve your goals!
Downward Facing Dog (Shoulders/Core)
Hey! I'm Tiffany Lord, Yoga for Headaches guru and Founder of Love & Asana. My passion is helping people just like you learn easy ways to integrate yoga into your daily life to manage headaches and stress. Want help adding yoga to your lifestyle? Schedule a private consultation and let's create a special plan just for you!