9 Yoga Poses For Headache Relief: Natural Pain Management

9 Yoga Poses For Headache Relief: Natural Pain Management

Migraine headaches stand as a prevalent neurological condition characterized by intense, debilitating symptoms that can significantly impact daily functioning. These symptoms often include nausea, heightened sensitivity to light, and a piercing pain typically confined to one side of the head. Migraines affect roughly 13% to 15% of the global population, positioning them among the top disabling illnesses worldwide.

While medication remains a common resource for managing severe headaches, an increasing number of individuals are turning towards yoga. This holistic approach offers a natural, therapeutic avenue for not only mitigating the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks but also enhancing overall well-being.

What Should I Do When Headache Starts?

When the headache begins, consider these natural interventions to help soothe the discomfort:

  1. Hydration: Start by drinking a glass of water, as dehydration can often trigger or exacerbate headaches.
  2. Apply Warmth: Place a heat pack on your neck or shoulders to relax muscle tension that contributes to your headache.
  3. Self-Massage: Gently massage your temples, jawline, or the back of your head. 

Safety Tips For Your Yoga Practice

A safe yoga practice is essential, especially for beginners or those venturing into new poses. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Always listen to your physical limitations to prevent injury.
  • Incorporate yoga accessories, such as yoga blocks, yoga straps, meditation cushions, and yoga bolsters, to support and modify poses as needed. These tools can significantly enhance your practice by ensuring alignment and easing into postures.
  • Consultation with a certified yoga instructor can provide personalized guidance and adjustments, ensuring your practice is safe and beneficial.

9 Yoga Poses For Headache

Yoga offers a holistic approach to managing migraines, emphasizing mind, body, and breath symbiosis. Through the practice of these yoga poses for headache, individuals can explore a path toward alleviating migraine discomfort and fostering a deeper sense of peace and well-being.

Adho Mukha Virasana (Child's Pose)

  • Begin by sitting back on your heels, allowing a gentle gap between the knees.
  • Lower your hips towards the heels to maintain contact between the sitting bones and the heels for groundedness.
  • Extend your arms on the yoga mat, reaching out as comfortably as possible.
  • With a tender fold at the hips, bring your rib cage closer to the thighs, culminating in a restful touch of the forehead to the ground. This child’s pose nurtures tranquility, enveloping the practitioner in a cocoon of calm.

Savasana (Corpse Pose)

  • Prepare a soft blanket as a gentle support under your head.
  • Lie flat on your back on a meditation mat, inviting your body to fully engage with the floor beneath you.
  • Release any lingering tension or intrusive thoughts, surrendering them to the earth. This posture is a profound invitation to stillness, guiding the practitioner into deep relaxation.

Chatush Padasana (Bridge Pose Variation)

  • Lying on your back, start by bending your legs so the feet rest flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  • Reach down to grasp your ankles, ensuring alignment and stability.
  • Gently lift the pelvis towards the ceiling, opening the front body and engaging the core. This variation of the Bridge Pose revitalizes the body and stimulates the nervous system.

Halasana (Plow Pose)

  • Begin lying flat on your back.
  • Using your hands for support, lift your lower back and hips, transitioning smoothly into a shoulder stand.
  • With legs extended and toes pointing skyward, gradually lower them over your head, aiming for the feet to touch the floor behind you. This advanced pose requires flexibility and balance but offers profound benefits in stretching and revitalizing the spine and nervous system.

Pranayama (Breathing Techniques)

  • Choose a comfortable seated or lying position to engage in deep breathing exercises.
  • Techniques such as alternate nostril breathing or the "bumblebee" breath, where one hums on the exhale while closing the eyes and ears, can significantly enhance mental clarity and calm.
  • Allow each breath cycle to deepen naturally, promoting a smoother and more serene breathing pattern.

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold Pose)

  • Standing with feet hip-width apart, clasp your elbows.
  • Bend forward from the hips, allowing your upper body to hang freely. This forward pose aids in calming the brain and relieving stress, making it beneficial for hormone-related migraines.

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)

  • Transition from Child's Pose to firmly planting your feet and hands on the ground.
  • Elevate the hips, forming an inverted V-shape. This iconic downward facing dog pose rejuvenates the body by stretching the shoulders, hamstrings, and calves while encouraging blood flow to the brain.

Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall Pose)

  • Lie on the floor, positioning your legs vertically against a wall.
  • This restorative pose is lauded for easing anxiety and headaches and promoting relaxation and balance.

Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand)

  • Lie back on four yoga blocks for elevation and support.
  • Gradually lift your legs straight into the air, using your hands to steady your lower back.
  • This inversion is celebrated for its myriad benefits, including improved circulation and relief from stress.


Yoga provides a holistic method to manage migraines, emphasizing the mind, body, and spirit balance. By combining gentle physical postures, focused breathing, and meditation, yoga offers a natural way to relieve the distressing symptoms of migraines. Using props in your practice can enhance the experience, providing more support, comfort, and accessibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Focus On During Yoga Practice To Help With Migraines?

Focus on maintaining a steady, smooth breath throughout your practice, which can help reduce tension. Also, pay attention to your body's signals and modify poses to ensure comfort and avoid strain.

Can Children Practice Yoga For Migraine Relief?

Yes, children can practice yoga under supervision and with poses appropriate for their age and abilities. Yoga can be a beneficial tool for stress management and physical activity for children, possibly helping with migraines.