National Epilepsy Day is earmarked on November 17 and was originally observed by the Epilepsy Foundation in India to reduce the prevalence of this disease in the country. This day chiefly characterizes conducting various seminars, debates, stage events, etc. to create awareness and educate people about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and preventive measures of epilepsy.
What Is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition wherein the brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or fits or periods of unusual behavior, sensations, temporary confusion, staring spell, anxiety, fear and sometimes even loss of awareness. Epilepsy can affect any one of any age regardless of the geographical location, race, ethnicity, gender etc. Although, doctors are yet to surface the exact cause of epilepsy, several studies suggest that it can happen due to head injury, trauma, brain damage from prenatal or perinatal injury, stroke, congenital defects, infectious diseases, genetic influence, autism etc.
According to the survey conducted by the World Health Organisation, currently, approximately 50 million people are suffering from epilepsy all over the world. So, it is extremely essential to make people aware of the condition and reduce the number of affected people since if the condition is left untreated or not managed on time, it can lead to complications like depression, suicidal thoughts, drowning, status epilepticus (frequent episodes of a seizure lasting more than five minutes), and sometimes even death.
Although epilepsy can be treated by taking anti-epileptic medications, but due to some side effects, people often prefer alternative remedies and preventive measures. One such time-less practice is Yoga. The ancient Indian practice and physical discipline of Yoga seeks to re-establish balance between the body and metabolic systems, while uplifting physical stamina and calming the nervous system. Practicing selective yoga poses on a regular basis not only improves circulation, respiration, immunity and concentration but also effectively manages epileptic attacks and also decreases its frequency.
So, what are you waiting for? Just grab a yoga mat and start unwinding yourself and managing this chronic condition with these yogasanas from tomorrow morning.
Effective Yogasanas For Epilepsy
1. Uttanasana (Forward Bending Pose)
While standing, bring the feet hip-distance apart. Without bending your knees, slowly bend your body above the torso downwards. See that your knees are straight. You can allow your hands and hang down and rest your palms on the ground or just hold your feet to the ankles. Hold this position for 8-10 breaths, then slowly get back to the standing position.
Also known as ‘Padahasthasana’, this inverted posture is quintessential in stretching the hips, spine and calf muscles. It soothes the nerves and calms the mind and helps in relieving stress and insomniac conditions. It is also extremely beneficial to calm down a throbbing headache.
2. Sarvangasana (Shoulder-Stand Pose)
Lie flat on the ground with your legs laid side-by-side and both arms resting on either side of the body. Swing your legs up in such a way so that your legs, buttocks and hip is up in the air and support your body with your elbows attached to the ground. While settling into the pose, ensure that the hold your body properly keeping your legs and spine straight. Hold the pose for 30-40 secs while breathing normally. Slowly bring down your legs back to Shavasana pose and repeat 2-3 times.
Popularly known as the “Mother of all Poses”, the shoulder stand pose is extremely beneficial to soothe the nerves, calm the mind and stabilize secretion of hormones from the thyroid gland. By strengthening the arms, legs, spine and lungs, it promotes flow of blood to the roots of the spinal nerves, brain cells etc. Practicing this pose every day, relaxes the mind and increases patience, concentration and clarity.
3. Matsya Asana (Fish Pose)
Lie on your back and fold your arms underneath your body. Lift your head and chest up, breathe in, and then rest the crown of the head on the ground while arching your back. Maintain the balance of your whole body using your elbows. Inhale and exhale deeply opening up the chest. Maintain this position for as long as you are comfortable.
Deemed as the “Destroyer of all diseases”, the Fish pose promotes deep breathing by stretching and strengthening the lung muscles. It opens up blocked channels within the ribs, chest and throat, to relieve tension from the neck and shoulders and also to fortify the upper back muscles. It is also pivotal in relieving neurological conditions, enhancing circulation and promoting overall immunity.
4. Halasana (Plow Pose)
Lying on your back, raise both legs above the stomach. Bend your body and try to extend your legs above the head to touch the ground with the toes. Hold this posture for 10-15 seconds, relax for a minute and repeat again.
One of the best asanas to help strengthen and open up the chest and make the spinal cord strong and flexible. It actively reduces stress, normalises blood pressure and also improves one’s mental and physical state. Practicing the plow pose on a daily basis, hold high significance in managing stress, calming the nervous system and boosting the immune system of the body.
5. Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
Lie down on your back and close your eyes. Relax your body and mind. and think happy peaceful thoughts. Take your time while you do this. Breathe normally and do not hold your breath. After some time, stand up.
This yogasana is a must for insomnia marking the end of the yoga session. Not only does the corpse pose enhance concentration, relieve stress and tension but also manages neurological problems and improves overall mental well-being and stamina.