Yoga for Headaches

13 Oct

There are so many reasons behind headache. Some are physiological and some others are psychological. And Yoga is the only way which can work on both. Let’s find the physiological causes of headache. Headaches can be caused by a variety of reasons like tension in your neck, tight shoulders, or back pain. Now let’s see the psychological causes. Stress and depression are the two most common psychological causes behind headache. There are some specific yoga poses which are very effective in fighting headache. Let’s explore one by one.

Seated Neck Release

Sit comfortably anywhere you like. Now inhale and slowly lift your arms up and fold them over your head. Then, stretch your neck to the right while stretching your left hand out and moving your wrist into circles. Now, come out of the position and twist your head into circles. Do the same move except leaning your head to the left and stretching out your right arm. Come out of the position and then keep repeating until you start to feel the neck and shoulders starting to relax.

Chest Openers like Yoga Mudra Arms

Much of the tension in the back body is a result of muscle dominance from the front body (called Upper Cross Syndrome). Expanding the chest and front shoulder muscles helps break down muscular imbalances and frees the tension coming from the neck.

Garudasana Arms: Opening Between the Shoulder Blades

This pose is helpful for relieving pain between the shoulder blades. It reminds us to keep that area open in the process of stretching the upper back. Wrap your arms around your torso, right arm under the left arm, hugging yourself. Exhale and bring the hands up, the left elbow resting in the right elbow, with the hands rotated palms towards each other. Breathe and feel the stretch; after a few breaths, raise the elbows up higher, to the level of the shoulder. Remain grounded in the feet, centered in the area below the navel. Relax the eyes, jaw, and tongue. Feel the expansion of the inhalation between the shoulder blades and the release on the exhalation. Lower the arms on the exhalation and repeat with the left arm under the right.

Child’s Pose: Resting the Upper Back and Releasing the Neck

Sit on a folded blanket with your knees bent and your feet under your buttocks. Separate your knees more than hip-width apart and bring your feet together. Bring your torso forward, resting it on a stair-stepped arrangement of blankets or a bolster, adjusted to a comfortable height. Pull the support into your belly. Drop your chin towards your chest as you rest your head. You may want an additional blanket to support your forehead, but continue to lengthen the neck. Dropping the chin to the chest provides a gentle stretch to the back of the neck, right below the skull. The arms should rest on the floor, palms down, elbows bent, hands near the head.

There are some other yoga poses that can help prevent headache.

  • Downward Facing Dog Pose
  • Half Shoulder Stand
  • Bridge Pose

Do not do these poses while you have a headache. Instead practice them as a preventative measure.


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