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Yoga for Headache Relief

Posted by Kedron Walsh on 11/28/2016


When you have a headache, you’d probably rather lie down than do yoga. But what if we told you yoga can actually help relieve your pain? It’s true. Whether that headache is from tension, due to eye strain or even from a painful migraine, there are yoga poses that can help get rid of the pain, quickly.


Yogic Breathing



Your yogic breathing can help relieve tension, boost your circulation, and calm your mind, which can all be a wonderful natural remedy for headaches.

These specific poses can help target the underlying causes of your headache and provide you with quick relief.


Child’s Pose



A child’s pose helps to calm your nervous system, which can reduce your headache pain. To practice this pose, kneel with your knees wide apart. Reach your arms forward along your mat and lower your heart to the earth. The tailbone should lengthen down and back. Tuck your chin to your chest to lengthen the back of your neck. You can put your forehead on the mat or on a bolster. Stay still, or sway your lower back gently from side to side to ease any lower back tension. Stay in the pose as long as feels comfortable.


Bridge Pose



A bridge pose will help reduce anxiety, which can help reduce your headache pain, too. For bridge, lay on your back and bend your knees, placing your feet on the floor hips’ width apart. Draw your heels in close to your glutes, draw your shoulders down away from your ears. Press through your heels to lift your pelvis towards the sky, slowly. Tuck your tailbone under. Tuck your chin towards your chest. If you would like more of a shoulder stretch, walk the shoulders under and clasp your hands on the mat, interlacing your fingers and pressing into the ground. Keep your knees facing forward, don’t allow them to splay out. Hold the pose for a few breaths, release and repeat.


Standing Forward Bend



A standing forward bend allows the blood to rush to the head, which calms the mind and invigorates your nervous system. For a standing forward bend, stand with your big toes touching, heels slightly apart. Tailbone tucked, bend forward. Your hands can be on the floor, or you can grab your ankles to pull in a bit deeper. Tuck the chin towards the chest. Relax and breathe. Again, stay as long as is comfortable.


Cat Cow



A cat cow pose will release tension in the back, improve circulation and calm the mind. Start on all fours, wrists under shoulders, knees under hips. Neutral spine. On your exhale, round your spine towards the ceiling and pull your abdominal muscles in, towards your spine. Tuck your chin to your chest. On the inhale, arch your back and let the belly relax. Lift the head and tailbone to the sky (but gently, don’t overdo it). Repeat for several iterations.


Forward Fold



A two-legged forward fold calms the mind, relieves stress, engages the parasympathetic nervous system and will really help relieve that headache. Sit with your legs stretched straight out in front of you, moving any flesh out from under the sitting bones. Flex all ten toys back towards your face. Sit up tall and on your inhale, extend the arms to the sky. Exhale and bend forward, reaching your hands towards your toes (grab onto whatever you can reach, toes, ankles, calves) and tuck your chin to lengthen your neck. Stay here as long as you’d like.



These poses should help relieve your headache quickly. Try putting them all together for a flow, or just practice your favorites for a few minutes at a time and see if the headache doesn’t start to ease up as you practice.