Cure Headaches With These Yoga Poses
If you're not a fan of heading to the medicine cabinet when you feel a headache coming on, then head straight to your yoga mat. Headaches can be caused by a variety of reasons such as tension in your neck, tight shoulders, or back pain, and these yoga poses are designed to gently stretch and open those areas, while circulating blood to your head. You can do one pose, a few, or follow the entire sequence.
Seated Neck Release
Sometimes headaches can be caused by neck pain, so stretch out this tight area with a Seated Neck Release. Sitting in a comfortable position, place your left hand on the right side of your head and gently tilt your head to the left. Hold for a few breaths and then slowly switch sides. Repeat on both sides a few times.
Relaxed Quarter Dog
Here is a more relaxed version of Downward Facing Dog called Quarter Dog. It takes the pressure off your hands and wrists by having you rest on your forearms. Take deep breaths while in this pose, and just let your head hang between your shoulders. Circulating blood to your head can often be just the thing to relieve your headache.
Grounded Tipover Tuck
Here's another forward bend that's perfect if your headache is caused by tight shoulders. Sit on the floor so your shins are parallel and hip distance apart. Interlace your hands behind you in a double fist and lean forward, coming into a variation of Child's Pose. Stay here if this feels good, or lift your hips into the air so you're now resting on the top of your head in Grounded Tipover Tuck. Lower your hands as much as you need to feel a stretch in your chest, shoulders, and the back of your neck. Stay for five or more breaths.
Seated Heart Opener
The Grounded Tipover Tuck stretches the back of your neck, so do this counterpose to target the front of your neck and chest. It'll also reduce tension in your back, which is one cause for headaches. Sitting on your heels, place your hands behind your feet about 10 inches or so and arch your head back. This Seated Heart Opener makes your head feel light and open, so stay for five breaths or more if you love it.
If you think your headache might be caused by back pain that's radiating up your spine, or you just need to take a few minutes to relax, give Happy Baby a try. Lie on your back with your knees bent, holding on to your thighs or the outside edges of your feet. You can slowly rock from side to side to increase the stretch in your hips and lower back, and to gently lull your mind into a state of relaxation.
Legs Up the Wall
This restorative yoga pose will instill a sense of calmness. All you need is a wall. Sit as close as you can to the wall. If this is uncomfortable, prop your bum and lower back on a folded blanket. Keep the legs together or spread them wide in a straddle. Just close your eyes and breathe, staying as long as you'd like.