Want to learn the best yoga posture for headache?
Whether you get a headache once in a while or chronically deal with them, finding a way to reduce the pain is important.
Suffering from tension in your neck, shoulders and scalp or enduring a pulsating migraine can be excruciating, and finding relief quickly is beneficial.
Headaches can affect each person differently, and the way headaches and migraines present can vary from one to the next. Yoga can relieve headache pain.
Yoga has many benefits.
The practice helps release tension and stress in the body that can trigger headaches. Reducing these two factors with yoga provides the potential to reduce head pain.
The following yoga postures target areas of the body that hold tension, such as the neck, shoulders and spine, while increasing blood circulation to the head. Using yoga practice for headache relief will help you reduce the use of painkillers and address your head pain holistically.
When doing the following exercises, make sure you are consciously taking deep breaths. Draw in air down to your diaphragm and fill your lungs. This assures that you will have lots of oxygen in your blood, thus enhancing the relaxation of mind and body through circulation.
Make sure to listen to your body, and move in these poses gently so you do not overextend yourself or do more than you are able.
Yoga Posture for Headache
Below are five exercises that can help release tension and stress, which can cause headaches and migraines. These exercises can improve blood flow, help increase oxygen levels and reduce tension. Always check with a doctor before starting new exercise regimes, and never push your body to pain or discomfort. Deep stretching is good, but be aware of your limits.
You might also find our yoga and fibromyalgia guide useful.
1. Seated Neck Release
The neck is often the hotspot for headaches caused by muscle tension. Stretching your neck with a good, simple yoga exercise is one way to address this. Begin the exercise by sitting in a comfortable spot where you can make sure your back is straight and your neck is elongated.
- Put your left hand on the right side of your head.
- Tilt your head to the left. Hold this position as you pay attention to breathing in and out several times.
- Switch to the other side, and repeat by putting your hand on the opposite side of your head.
- Gently repeat this a few times on each side to reduce the intensity of your headache.
2. Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
This yoga pose is great for reducing headache pain. It targets your neck muscles while relaxing your whole body. The Legs Up the Wall Pose offers stretch as well as calm. It can reduce the pain in your head quickly.
- Sit at the end of a yoga mat with your right hip touching the wall.
- Tilt back and turn your body to the right so you are lying on the mat with your bottom nearly touching the wall.
- Your legs should be extended and close together. You can place your hands on your stomach or beside you on the mat.
- Close your eyes, release any tension from your jaw.
- Remain in this position from 3 to 10 minutes as you feel necessary.
Remember to breathe deeply with a regular rhythm while practicing this pose.
3. Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Most people have heard of this pose. It is a widely acknowledged asana.
The downward-facing dog pose helps reduce fatigue, back pain and stiffness. Practicing this pose stretches the hamstrings and chest and helps alleviate tension in the spine. It also increases blood flow to the head, which helps alleviate headaches.
- Start face down on your knees. Extend your hands and bring your elbows beside your ears. Keep your knees beneath your hips.
- Lift your knees up from the floor and rise onto your toes.
- While on your toes, stretch your heels down and gently straighten your knees, making sure not to lock them.
- Take deep breaths and let your head hang and relax.
4. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
This particular pose helps release any tension climbing up your spine. It will reduce pain and help with relaxation. The Happy Baby pose helps you create a sense of calm.
- Lie on your back and bend your knees as you take hold of the outside of your thighs or feet.
- Rock side to side slowly.
- This pose stretches both your hips and lower back area and should help put your mind into relaxation mode.
5. Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
This pose is basic but addresses headaches and migraine pain well. The Standing Forward Fold invigorates the whole nervous system through increased blood supply. It also calms the mind and the body.
- Stand with your feet the same distance apart as your hips.
- Bend forward from the waist.
- Relax your head downward and lower your head to the floor as you continue to bend.
- Hold opposite elbows and gently bend your knees just a little.
- The goal is to relax your head and neck completely.
Increased blood to the head, deep breathing and your ability to relax should help reduce any head pain you may be experiencing.
Final Thoughts on Yoga Postures for a Headache
Finding a great yoga posture for headache relief can be helpful when you want to avoid taking medication to reduce pain. Practicing yoga will not just help with headaches but is also great for calming the mind and body in times of stress and tension.