A blog post on request as I have had many new students asking me what poses they can do for headaches and migraines. So before grabbing the pill bottle, consider a yogic breathing exercise and these four yoga poses to help relieve tension, boost circulation, and calm the mind.
The majority of headaches originate from muscle stiffness and imbalances emanating from the neck and upper back. When headaches set in, using a series of restorative yoga exercises can greatly relieve both the cause and symptoms.
4X4 Breathing Exercise
First of all, take a moment to ground yourself. Sit up with your back as straight as possible. Just observe, don’t change a thing.
Now focus on your breathing, become aware of how and where you breath. Let thoughts come in but don’t react, just let them be.
First take some long deep breaths through your nose.
Then, inhale for a count of four… hold the breath in for a count of four … exhale gently, counting out for four… and finish by holding the breath out for a count of four.
Keep your breathing even and smooth.
Repeat this exercise 4 times.
Lower your knees and shins to the floor and fold your torso forward coming into Child’s Pose. You can keep your knees together or separate them to increase the stretch in your lower back and hips. Either extend your arms out in front of you, or rest them beside your legs. Close your eyes and hold this stretch for ten breaths or longer.
Twists will help to open the chest, shoulders and back, all of which can help to decrease feelings of anxiousness. Begin a twist by slowly inhaling and lengthening your spine. This is important for protecting the spine during the twist.
Begin to twist as you exhale slowly, starting from your pelvis and twisting upwards to the neck. With each breath in, gently lengthen your spine further. Picture the spine stretching upward. With each breath out, gently twist a little deeper into the movement. Again, it is important to never twist beyond comfort.
Downward Facing Dog
Slowly walk your feet back coming into Downward Facing Dog. Lengthen through your spine and relax your head between your shoulders. Close your eyes and allow blood to circulate to your head. Stay for at least five breaths, breathing deeply.
Legs up the Wall
Stand up and walk over to a wall. Place a pillow or folded blanket against the wall, sit down on it, lift your legs up and come into Legs up the Wall. Allow the wall to support the weight of your legs. Stay here for as long as you want, just keep breathing.
Do share your experiences and let me know if you tried these four yoga poses to ease your headache, always interested in hearing your stories!
Take good care of yourself, be nice and listen to your Body!