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3 Yoga Poses to Help Headaches

Posted Jun 04 2012 7:54am


Headaches are a common health issue that can range from a mild annoyance to a debilitating migraine. Yoga can help to ease your discomfort through the stretching of your back, neck and shoulders and calming breathing techniques. Perform the three simple poses below to help prevent your headaches or rid yourself of them once they occur.

Child’s Pose

The child’s pose is a relaxing position that allows you to become in-tune with your body and focus on your breathing. This pose is ideal for meditation and healing and can be especially effective in addressing head and neck pain. Kneel on the floor sitting back on your heels. Touch your toes together and keep your knees parted so they are not touching. Curl your back so you can press your forehead to the floor. You can opt to extend your arms in front of you, palms to the floor, deepening the stretch or to extend them behind you, alongside your legs. Experiment with both positions to find the one most comfortable for you. Remain in this pose for several minutes, concentrating on taking deep, even breaths.

Cat Pose

The cat pose envelops a series of movements that help to elongate your back muscles and loosen your shoulders and neck, which can be the sources of tension that are causing your headache. By stretching these muscles and joints you can help to release stress and tension and rid yourself of a persistent headache. Begin this pose on the ground, with your weight distributed between your knees and hands. Your arms are fully extended and your thighs and calves form 90 degree angles. Your back should be a straight line between your hips and your shoulders. Breathe deeply in this position for several minutes until you find your center. Exhale and bend into your shoulders so your back forms a downward arch between your hips and shoulders. Inhale and return to your starting position. Do this for a few minutes. Incorporate the final pose into the stretch. When you inhale, round your back so it forms an upward arch and drop your head between your shoulders so you are looking towards your knees. When you exhale, return to your starting position. Repeat for several minutes.

Hands to Feet Pose

The hands to feet pose stretches your back, elongates your torso and loosens your neck and shoulders, which can help to release the tension that causes your headaches. This pose is done standing so it can be easily performed virtually anywhere, such as your home, office or outdoors. Stand upright with your feet slightly apart. Reach your hands over your head toward the sky, extending your arms. Bend at the waist, touching your hands to your shins, your body forming a 45 degree angle. Continue rounding your back so your head is as close to your legs as possible. Your arms should be bent at the elbow, your hands gripping the back of your heels. Keep your head down and your neck long, releasing your neck tension. Breathe deeply in this pose for a few minutes, then slowly return yourself to standing upright.

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