How I Use Yoga for Migraine Episodes
I was raised in a traditional Christian background where yoga was often associated with beliefs that didn't align with my own. I didn't have much knowledge about yoga other than it seemed mystical and involved serious people sitting on mats. My preferred workout routines were more focused on hip-hop and belly dance. However, as an adult, I went to my first yoga class when a friend from work invited me. I felt out of place without a yoga mat or trendy yoga pants. I gave it a try, but I didn't enjoy it. I think I had some preconceived notions that prevented me from fully embracing it.
Before I could truly give yoga a chance, I had some hurdles to overcome. I tend to have a strong imagination, making it difficult for me to change my mind once it's made up.
Barrier 1: I believed that yoga was only for hippies or new-age types. However, when I started attending various yoga classes in my city, I was surprised to see people from all backgrounds and walks of life. The diversity of students was eye-opening for me. I also noticed an increase in programs that introduce different cultures to yoga.
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Barrier 2: I thought that yoga was only for skinny people. While some forms of yoga can aid in weight loss, it's not limited to super skinny individuals. Even being curvy, I witnessed people who some might consider overweight excel in the various poses. I realized that I was capable of doing yoga, despite my initial doubts.
Barrier 3: I believed that yoga was a religion. Although yoga is practiced by people of the Hindu faith and has its origins in India, my experiences in local gym classes haven't contradicted my own Christian beliefs. I see yoga as a practice for the physical benefits, the moments of calm, and the breath work.
Barrier 4: I thought that yoga was too difficult. Seeing people effortlessly perform yoga poses on TV made me question my abilities. However, I discovered that instructors and fellow students are often willing to offer assistance. While I stumbled on some poses initially, I persevered and improved.
Barrier 5: I considered yoga to be boring. However, the more I engaged in yoga, the more I found it to be calming rather than dull. Yoga taught me breathing techniques, improved my posture, and helped me release stress. I've come to appreciate the art of slowing down, which yoga has aided me in.
Once I overcame these barriers, I realized that yoga could be like medicine for my migraines. Whenever I experience early signs of a migraine, I incorporate a few minutes of calming yoga into my morning routine. I also use yoga to calm my mind after a stressful day. Sometimes yoga lessens my symptoms, and other times it completely eliminates my migraine. I've never experienced it making my migraines worse. I was delighted to discover yoga sessions specifically designed for people with migraines. I learned about the connection between stress and migraines, and how yoga emphasizes breathing and calmness. It also helps to relax the muscles in the neck and shoulders, which can trigger migraines for me. I appreciate the accessibility of yoga, as I can do it at home through YouTube videos whenever I can't make it to a spa. I've gained enough knowledge about yoga poses to practice on my own, whether I'm in the car, traveling, or cooking in the kitchen. I'm grateful for the option to incorporate yoga into my life anytime.
As I grow older and face the normal aches, pains, and stresses of life, I want to practice more yoga, not less. I now own a yoga mat and yoga pants, and I'm grateful for the connection I've developed with the practice.