Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that is associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain. There are around 10 million people in India suffering from epilepsy; this number contributes to one-sixth of the global incidences of epilepsy.
Some of the causes behind epilepsy include stroke, brain tumor, brain injury, infection of the brain, genetic influence, and other developmental disorders. According to a review published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry in 2012, yoga can help reduce the frequency of seizures, change brainwaves and improve quality of life. Yoga stimulates the vagus nerve, bringing epileptic seizure frequency down by about 30 percent.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Practices to be done should be slow-paced and not overexerted.
- Always consult a Yoga and Naturopathy Physician or a doctor before starting the practice.
- Triggers for seizures vary greatly, they can be related to the stress of a new environment, sensory stimulation like bright lights, low blood sugar right before lunchtime, not enough sleep the night before, or the menstrual cycle. Try to avoid such stimulus before and during practice.
Breath awareness relaxation, Asanas with awareness and slowness, Nadishodana at a ratio of 1:1 without holding the breath, Brahmari, and relaxation techniques are good for epileptic patients.
Asanas to Manage Epilepsy
- Stand straight and keep your arms by the sides of your body.
- Lean forward and slowly place your knees on the mat.
- Place your pelvis on your heels and point your toes outward. Your thighs should press your calf muscles. Keep your heels slightly apart from each other.
- Place your palms on your knees, facing upward. Straighten your back and look forward.
- Hold this asana for a while.
- Stand straight with your arms by your side and feet apart. Now, sit down but ensure you’re on your feet and have not placed your buttocks on the floor.
- Place your pelvis over your heels. Keeping your feet flat on the floor, place your palms on the floor beside your feet or join them in front of your chest in a gesture of prayer.
- Begin by standing in Samasthithi. Start with your right leg. lifting it off the floor and balancing your body weight on your left leg. Place your right foot on your left inner thigh.
- Place it as close to your pelvis as possible. You may support your foot with your palms to bring it in place. Balance and join your palms in Pranam Mudra at your heart chakra.
- Focus your gaze forward. Repeat the same with the alternate leg.
- Stand upright with your toes touching and heels together. Draw in your abdomen and relax your shoulders.
- Take 5 to 8 breaths while actively engaging your leg muscles.
- Try to balance your body weight on both feet equally. It’s a great pose to keep the postures tall and strong.
Stress is known to be a major trigger for seizures. By keeping your stress levels under control with regular yoga practice, you can reduce the frequency of your seizures. Yoga eliminates anxiety and depression, improving the quality of life.
These asanas can help make the condition more manageable for those suffering from epilepsy.
Note: Always consult your doctor before you start practicing yoga.