Struggling with epilepsy? You’re not alone. Discover the best yoga poses to help alleviate symptoms and maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!
Quick facts: Best Yoga Poses For Epilepsy
- ✅ Yoga poses that focus on improving breath control, such as pranayama and asana, can help manage stress and reduce seizures in people with epilepsy – National Institute of Health (NIH)
- ✅ People with epilepsy may find improvements in their symptoms after participating in yoga classes, such as increased frequency and duration of seizures, improved sleep and mental clarity – Harvard Medical School
- ✅ Certain poses, such as child’s pose, cat-cow and warrior II, can help relieve stress, tension and anxiety – Yoga International
- ✅ Postures that focus on flexibility, such as cobra and bow, can help improve range of motion and balance – American Academy of Neurology
- ✅ Supported hip openers and seated spinal twists can help reduce muscle tension and improve blood flow to the brain – Yoga Journal
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Yoga is an ancient practice of mind-body connection and an excellent way to deal with the physical and mental effects of epilepsy. Regularly practicing yoga can help reduce seizures and improve physical mobility, as well as reduce stress and anxiety.
In this article, we’ll explore the best yoga poses for epilepsy, as well as modifications you can make to adjust for your abilities and any medical conditions. We’ll also discuss how to start a safe and effective at-home practice that suits your needs. With regular practice, you can gain relief from the symptoms of epilepsy, improve overall quality of life, and enjoy greater peace of mind.
Benefits of Yoga for Epilepsy
Yoga is a great way to manage many types of chronic health conditions. For people with epilepsy, practicing yoga could help reduce symptoms and improve overall health. Research has shown that yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and reduce the frequency and intensity of seizures.
Let’s look at how yoga can help people with epilepsy:
Improved sleep is one of the top benefits of yoga for people with epilepsy. Research suggests that regular yoga practice can help people experience better quality sleep, and may even reduce the risk of nighttime seizures.
The combination of stretching, relaxation, and mindfulness exercise can all help promote better sleep by calming both body and mind and regulating hormones like melatonin. One study on epilepsy patients who practiced yoga showed that weekly yoga sessions over an 8-week period improved their sleeping patterns, including a decrease in nighttime wakefulness.
Yoga poses such as forward bends, restorative poses, and Savasana are helpful in relaxing the body ready for sleep. As well as providing physical benefits, these poses also help to encourage mindfulness exercises that aid in calming the mind so you can drift off naturally each night.
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
Practicing yoga can help to reduce stress and anxiety in people with epilepsy. It supports relaxation, better sleep, and improved mood, which all work together to reduce stress levels. Yoga can also help with mindfulness and self-awareness, important components of reducing stress. Mindfulness helps you be present in the moment, without worrying about the future or dwelling on past events. If practiced regularly, yoga can be a powerful remedy for stress-related epilepsy symptoms.
In addition to helping with controlling stress and anxiety levels associated with epilepsy, yoga also encourages physical activity while still remaining gentle on your body. Many poses are low impact and don’t require much exertion or effort from the muscles. This makes it a great way for people with epilepsy to stay active safely and healthily without putting too much strain on their bodies or risking any further episodes.
Improved Cognitive Function
Studies have shown that practicing yoga regularly can help to improve cognitive function in those dealing with epilepsy. Benefits are seen even after just a few weeks of practice. The poses used help to increase mental clarity and clarity of thought, increase focus, reduce the frequency of seizures due to fewer distractions and improved functioning, and improve the overall quality of life for those with epilepsy.
Yoga poses that are particularly beneficial for epilepsy include:
- Forward-bending poses such as uttanasana (standing forward bend), trikonasana (triangle pose) and adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog). These poses help to calm the mind and body as well as reduce stress levels.
Other useful poses include:
- Child’s Pose, Half Moon Pose and Corpse Pose for deep relaxation;
- Bridge Pose for improved circulation;
- Tree Pose for improved balance;
- Cat/Cow Poses for increased spinal mobility;
- Cobra Pose for improving sensory awareness;
- Lion’s Breath for releasing energy blocks from the neck area;
- Ujjayi Pranayama breathing technique to relax thought patterns; and
- meditation techniques such as counting breaths or focusing on an object to improve clarity of thought.
Types of Yoga
Yoga is a practice that has been used for centuries to improve mental and physical health. It can be used to treat many different conditions, including epilepsy.
Different types of yoga can be used to help manage epilepsy, including Hatha yoga, Ashtanga yoga, and Vinyasa yoga. Let’s explore the various types of yoga and their associated benefits for those with epilepsy:
Hatha Yoga is a type of yoga that focuses on physical postures (asanas) and breathing techniques (pranayama). It is an ancient form of yoga that has been practiced for thousands of years, and it can help to improve balance, flexibility, strength, posture, and relaxation. Hatha yoga poses help to strengthen and energize the body, while calming the mind.
Hatha yoga has been recommended for people with epilepsy as it is known to reduce stress and anxiety levels which may trigger seizures in some individuals. The poses also help to improve coordination, balance and concentration. Additionally, Hatha yoga practices emphasize mindful breathing which can help calm the nervous system by providing a sense of relaxation in the body even during stressful situations.
Kundalini Yoga is an ancient form of meditation, breathing and yoga that focuses on releasing stored energy from the base of your spine (chakra). It is believed to increase physical, spiritual and mental well-being. Kundalini yoga can be a great tool for those living with epilepsy as it helps to increase one’s awareness and control over the body. This can help individuals manage stress better, which may reduce the chances of a seizure.
Adding Kundalini yoga into your practice can help you become more mindful and attuned to your body’s needs. It consists of a series of postures and breathing exercises that are performed in specific sequences. Through its combination of physical strength training, breath work, chanting, and meditation it helps to reduce stress levels and refocus attention away from seizures.
Vinyasa Yoga is a form of yoga that focuses on movements and breathing. It is said to improve circulation, flexibility, and strength in the body. Vinyasa is a Sanskrit word that means “to place in a special way”. This type of yoga connects movement with breath to flow between postures. The practice encourages students to find their own pace, so each session may look different depending on the instructor’s style and the student’s preference.
Although this style can be adapted to suit any skill level, it is still important for people with epilepsy (or other conditions) to use caution when involving themselves in this type of yoga practice. Because there are many transitions and pauses between postures, people with epilepsy need to pay close attention to their bodies and take extra precautionary measures if necessary. It is also important for these people to include rest during their Vinyasa flow practice to avoid over-exertion or fatigue.
Recommended Yoga Poses
Yoga is an effective way to manage the symptoms of epilepsy. Certain poses can increase focus and reduce stress, both which are helpful for epilepsy. There are also poses that can help to reduce the frequency of seizures.
Let’s look at some of the best yoga poses for epilepsy:
Child’s Pose, or Balasana, is a popular restorative yoga pose that can be helpful for people with epilepsy. It helps to reduce stress in the body and relax the nerves.
In this pose, the chest is open and the stomach is resting on the thighs, allowing for deeper breath and relaxation. The arms are stretched out in front of the body and can be gently supported by blocks or cushions for additional comfort.
This pose helps to reduce tension in both mind and body by calming the nervous system and releasing any stored energy in the spine. Practicing this supportive and restorative pose can help to lower stress levels which may help reduce seizure activity associated with epilepsy.
The Cat-Cow Pose is a gentle, flowing posture that helps alleviate stress and promotes spinal flexibility. It can also be used to help battle the symptoms of epilepsy.
To practice the Cat-Cow Pose, begin on your hands and knees with your palms flat on the floor and your knees hip-width apart. As you inhale, let your belly drop toward the floor as you arch your back and look up towards the ceiling. This is known as Cow Pose. On the exhale, round your spine up towards the ceiling while tucking in your chin towards your chest. This is known as Cat Pose.
Continue to alternate between these two positions while breathing deeply for a minute or two. The Cat-Cow Pose has been shown to:
- Reduce anxiety levels
- Improve balance
- Relieve muscle tension
- Strengthen core muscles
All of which can be beneficial for those suffering from epilepsy.
Downward-Facing Dog is an effective yoga pose for epileptic people, which is suitable for both beginners and advanced practitioners. It helps to reduce stress and fatigue levels, as well as stretching the spine, hamstrings and shoulders.
To begin the pose, come onto hands and knees with your wrists directly below your shoulders and your hips directly above your knees. Place your feet hip-width apart while pressing back through the heels. Begin to lift your hips towards the ceiling, straightening the legs without locking them out. Press firmly into the palms of your hands while gently drawing in through your navel to lengthen out through the sides of your waist. Hold here for up to 5 breaths before coming out of the pose slowly. Be sure not to strain or push yourself too hard as Downward-Facing Dog can be an intense posture if done incorrectly or too forcefully.
Seated Forward Bend
Seated Forward Bend, also known as Paschimottanasana, is an excellent pose for stretching the spine and the back of the legs while giving great mental and physical relief to those suffering from epilepsy. This pose can be done seated with your legs together or separately in an easy cross-legged posture.
When seated in this beneficial pose, fold your torso forward over your legs as you reach for your toes. During the fold and stretch, be sure to keep your chest open and shoulders relaxed. You may choose to stay in this position for a few minutes, allowing yourself to feel all that it offers before slowly coming back up when ready.
For those who have difficulty reaching the toes due to back discomfort or tightness, you can simply wrap a belt around each foot and hold onto the material instead. This yoga pose not only helps reduce epileptic convulsions but also has a calming effect on both body and mind.
Corpse Pose (Savasana) is a gentle and restorative yoga pose traditionally performed at the end of an asana practice to allow for full relaxation of the body. It is an immensely powerful pose for calming both the mind and body and has been known to reduce stress, insomnia, depression and anxiety.
For those with epilepsy, this pose works great as it helps improve circulation and lower heart rate. By lying flat on your back with your arms by your side, eyes closed and forehead relaxed, you can also reduce muscle tension in the neck which can help relieve many forms of headache or migraine.
Additionally, Corpse Pose helps cultivate stillness within the body that can be great for managing epilepsy. Feeling comfortable in a complete state of stillness can significantly contribute to reducing seizure activity. Make sure to move slowly out of Corpse Pose if you experience any dizziness or light-headedness while in this position.
Yoga is a wonderful complement to traditional treatments for epilepsy. Depending on individual health needs and preferences, people with epilepsy can choose from a variety of yoga poses to help manage their symptoms.
For those who experience physical limitations due to epilepsy, restorative poses may be the most beneficial. For those looking for a gentle way to increase their strength and flexibility, Vinyasa or Hatha yoga may be best.
Whatever type of yoga you decide to try, it is important to speak with your doctor about taking precautions if you have epilepsy. Taking these measures before beginning a yoga practice can help ensure that it serves as a source of relief rather than an added burden.
FAQs about: Best Yoga Poses For Epilepsy
Q: What are the best yoga poses for epilepsy?
A: Yoga poses that are beneficial for people with epilepsy include child’s pose, corpse pose, seated forward bend, and mountain pose. These poses are known to help regulate breathing, reduce stress, and promote relaxation.
Q: Are there any yoga poses to avoid when dealing with epilepsy?
A: People with epilepsy should avoid poses that involve extreme neck or head movement, such as plow pose, headstand, and shoulder stand. In addition, poses that require balance or can cause dizziness, such as tree pose, should also be avoided.
Q: Are there any other benefits to doing yoga for people with epilepsy?
A: Yes, yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can be triggers for seizures. In addition, yoga can help improve sleep quality and increase overall physical and mental wellbeing.