Be it the case of migraine, sinusitis, or any mild to severe form of headache; yoga has the magic and power to cure them all. The yoga poses are gaining prominence and importance all across the globe for its healing power. With the everyday stress, tensions and anxiety caused by one’s career and work life, the natural way to limit and control them all is only possible through yoga. That is why here we talk about Yoga for headache relief!
In the current world we live in, it is not just about physical fitness, but passing them all to attain a peaceful mind and lifestyle. While many advocate yoga to get ahead in these, let us know more and explore how yoga poses for headaches can help towards a healthier life.
What is a Headache? Can Yoga Cure Headache?
Headache is a quite common concern for men and women of several age groups. They are unpleasant pain and ache caused near the head, with symptoms such as pressure, dizziness, and nausea. While it may be both mild or severe in nature, it can hit on specific areas such as the side of the head, temples and forehead. Most often, tension, stress and anxiety cause these pains. Migraine, on the other hand, is a more intense form of pain. It is severe and attacking pain on one side of the head, which is often recurring in nature (1).
But the real question is, can yoga help for head pain? Some studies indicated that those who practice and work on yoga regularly had reduced intensity and concerns of headache (2). Yoga helps in reducing stress, anxiety and tension in day to day life and contributes towards achieving a balanced and calm lifestyle.
Causes of Headache:
Before we go to finding out yoga asanas for headache, what exactly are the reasons and contributing factors for this severe pain? It is always essential to know the triggering factor before we find out on remedies. If it is a normal and tension pain, the common causes include (3)
- Weather changes
- Food and alcohol
- Lack of sleep
However, besides these, there may be secondary causes of headache as well, depending on your physical health and lifestyle. They may include trauma, brain issues, spinal headache, and more. These are the ones that may lead to migraine and sinus issues.
Best Yoga Poses for Headache Relief:
Several pieces of research on headaches and migraines have proved that yoga is quite helpful to control and heal them (4). While yoga exercises have gained a lot of prominence for treating issues such as head pains, let us get started and find out which yoga can cure headache, and some of the best possible asanas to treat the same. Most of these also work wonders as yoga asanas and exercises for migraine pain relief.
1. Bridge Pose:
The bride pose, also famously called Setu Bandha Asana, is popular yoga to cure and reduce headache. This pose, although it looks a bit complicated, helps significantly in body flexibility, concentration, and turn opens up chest and shoulders. The heart rate is normalized, and yoga can dramatically help to control anxiety issues. Overall, this is one of the best yoga asanas, which is proven for reducing headache and be very beneficial in complete wellbeing and healthy body as well as mind. Here is how one can do this, step by step.
- Lie down on a mat, in a flat manner
- Make sure your head and shoulders are rested in ease
- Keep arms by your side
- Breathe slowly
- Now, bend in your knees slowly
- Rest your feet on the ground
- Lift your waist with keeping chest suspended. This will form a bridge pose between your legs and head.
- You can also use a wooden stick as a support to your body
- Hold this pose for three minutes and continue to take deep breathes.
Precautions: Avoid this pose if you are suffering from neck injury or if you had back surgery.
2. Child Pose:
The Child pose in yoga is also known as Shishuasana or Bala asana. The name is derived from the way generally babies fall asleep. This asana is exceedingly helpful for those suffering from migraine and headache issues as it calms down the nervous system and cools down the body. It allows oneself to focus on the procedure of yoga, giving room for reducing head pains. It can also limit anxiety and tensions significantly. Here is how to do child pose yoga for headache cure.
- Kneel on the floor at first
- Place both toes together.
- Spread knees as wide as possible
- Lower buttocks near to the heels and sit up straight
- Inhale and exhale simultaneously
- Lean forward in the manner that your head and chest rests on top of your thighs
- You can allow the forehead to touch and relax on the floor
- Let your arms remain extended, and palms face down on the floor
- Hold for two minutes
- Release the pose
Precautions: Those who have knee injury should avoid this pose.
3. Corpse Pose:
Also known as savasana, the corpse pose is quite famous in yoga techniques to help relax and improve concentration. The asana helps one’s mind to calm down, release stress and reduce tensions in everyday life. It helps achieve peace of mind and seek happiness through mental peace. You can go into a deep state of rest in this pose. Further, this is the best pose for pregnancy time headaches. Here is how to do this Baba Ramdev Yoga for stress tension headache and migraine.
- Lie down on the floor, towards your back
- Place your hands and legs in ease on the floor
- Your legs can be slightly apart.
- Place both palms on the sides
- Palms should face the ceiling
- Depending on your time, you can be in this position for a minimum of five minutes to half an hour.
Precautions: If you have knee or back injury, do this pose with knees bent.
4. Downward Facing Dog Pose:
This pose, also popularly called adho mukha svanasana, is named after lying in an inverted pose which is similar to dog. This yoga helps immensely to relax the muscles, ease up mind, and increase the blood circulation towards the brain. These yoga stretches for headaches help to ease down the pain and make the body flexible and relaxed at the same time. It also helps for all those who are suffering from both head pain and cold.
- Stand on knees and hands, at first
- Make sure your wrist is under shoulders
- Knees should be placed precisely under hips
- Support head on a block, during headache.
- Stretch elbows and relax
- Spread your fingers. Weight should be distributed between hands in ease
- Lift your knees on the floor
- Lock your knees, but make sure legs are straight
- Left pelvis
- Hold this for two minutes
Precaution: Do not do this yoga asana if you have carpal tunnel syndrome
5. Head to Knee Forward Bend:
The head to knee forward bend pose is also known as janusirsasana. It involves a mild spinal twist in the body and helps in body stretching, calming in mind and relieve tension and stress. Those who have high blood pressure and migraine together can work wonders through this pose, as it can be a useful therapy in giving mental peace. Here is how to do this pose.
- Sit down with both legs extended before you.
- Keep spine straight
- Bend the right knee at first and bring the right foot to meet inner left thigh
- Make sure the outer edge of proper food is on ground
- Turn torso to face the left foot
- Inhale and exhale simultaneously
- Inhale and extend both arms near the ears.
- Reach the ceiling and lengthen alongside the body
- Hinge at hips and exhale. Begin to fold forward on the extended leg
- Leave your hands free
- Keep shoulders relaxed
- Remain in this pose for ten breath
Precaution: Do not do this pose if you have a knee injury.
6. Standing Forward Bend Pose:
The standing forward bend pose is also called as uttanasana. This helps body muscles and nerves to relax and leads to overall calmness from the mind. One needs to bend down to touch the back of the feet and also helps in body flexibility. This yoga pose works to get rid of headaches through helping in proper blood circulation and leads towards a healthy mind.
- Stand straight on the floor
- Make sure your feet are hip-width apart
- Slowly bend forward
- Place the palms on the ground
- Hold the back of your feet or ankles
- Stay in the position for a minute
Precaution: Those who have a lower back problem should avoid this asana.
7. Dolphin Pose:
The dolphin pose is a variation of the downward-facing dog pose. Also known as Ardha Pincha Mayurasana, the pose helps in relaxing the body, enhancing blood circulation and flexibility, which in turn helps provide ease with stability. The asana works wonders in improving anxiety concerns which may lead to a headache. Here is how to do this pose.
- Sit on table position
- Lower forearms on the floor
- Lift hips upside and tuck toes underneath
- Spread fingers wide apart
- Press forearms and palms on the floor, at the same time, make hips rise upwards
- Keep spine straight
- Feet should be hip-width apart, and legs placed straight
- Let the head be free from the shoulders
- Breathe and release the breath
Precautions: Those who have shoulder and neck injury should avoid this one.
8. Legs Up The Wall Pose:
This gentle inversion of the entire body is also called as Viparita Karani. In this yoga, the whole body is slowly and gently reversed back with the help of the wall. This, in turn, helps to calm the body and mind down, and relax the entire body. It further leads to reducing any pain near the head and migraine areas. It is also a popular yoga for migraine headaches. Here is how to do this easily.
- Lie flat on the ground
- Make sure you are near to a wall
- Lift your legs in a perpendicular manner
- The legs should be straight
- Let legs rest on the wall, with a right angle position
- Place both palms on the floor
- Remain calm and stay in this pose
Precaution: Do not perform this one with a back injury or with eye issues.
9. Big Toe Pose:
Also known as padangusthasana, the big toe pose involves hand bending down towards the toe or vice versa. It helps improve body flexibility and works towards enhancing blood circulation to the head and brain. Thus, the yoga asana helps to reduce issues of regular headaches and pain near the head area. It is good morning time yoga for relieving headaches. Here is how to do this yoga easily.
- Stand straight on the ground
- Raise your big toe as you inhale and exhale
- Do it in a slow manner
- You can use either thumb or index finger to hold the big toe
- Repeat again
Precaution: Do not do this yoga pose with a back injury
10. Seated Forward Bend Pose:
The seated forward bend yoga is also called as paschimottanasana. Those who suffer from issues of concentration, headaches, stress and regular tensions in life are recommended to try this pose, as it significantly helps to get back distracted mind and maintain relaxed feel. This is popular as a migraine treatment yoga pose.
- Sit straight on the floor
- Get arms straight to the sides and up to the head near ceiling
- Inhale and exhale
- Come forward slowly and deepen the forward bend gradually.
- Your belly should be touching near the thighs
- Let your neck relax, and spine remain straight
- Hold ankles
- Remain in the position for a minute or two
Precaution: One must not try this pose with asthma.
With these several yoga poses for headache relief, make sure to let your soul free and get a relaxed state of mind while practising them. Besides these yoga poses, there are also other noted ones such as breathing exercises and pranayama to cure headaches and for migraines. It is essential to always set apart a few minutes in your day for these asanas so that they can have a substantial impact on your mind. Let us know your thoughts!
These are only generic and regular yoga asanas which can help towards seeking relief from headaches. If you are suffering from them every day and do not recede, we suggest you immediately consult your doctor. Further, if you have any health conditions, do these yoga asanas only after doctor’s suggestions.
Q1. Can Yoga Permanently Relieve Headaches, And Will They Work for Migraine Problems?
Ans: Yoga cannot permanently cure these pains. They are only methods to help calm up the mind and not trigger factors leading to cause head pain. One must take caution on body health and mind simultaneously while performing these yogas so that they can have a positive impact on oneself. Further, most of the yogas also work as a treatment for sinus, migraine headache relief
Q2. Can a Beginner Perform These Yoga Asanas Regularly?
Ans: Yes, most of the yogas mentioned above are friendly even to beginners. Try these yogas with the help of the instructor at first until you get used to the same.
Q3. Should I Perform These Yoga Asanas Regularly?
Ans: One can perform these yoga asanas regularly without fail. There are only benefits associated with doing them daily. This is one of the famous yoga tips given by many experts, only to do them every day for relieving headache!
Q4. What is The Dietary Intake to Be Taken a Long side with These Yogas?
Ans: Besides yoga, it is always advised to have healthy and clean food for a healthy and calm body. A balanced diet with proteins, fiber, and minerals are recommended to be taken every day.
Q5. Are There Any Side Effects of These Yogas?
Ans: These yogas do not have any proven side effects. However, care and precaution should be taken while performing these yogas for the first few times. Further, do not do these asanas if you have anybody conditions. Perform them only after you consult your doctor.
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