These 5 Yoga Poses Will Help Relieve Your Headaches Naturally

Headaches are pesky. And they often get in the way of accomplishing simple daily tasks. How many of us reach straight for some Advil as soon as we feel that dull ache coming on?

But wait! Put that Advil down. Thankfully, yoga offers us an alternative – some natural headache relief.

Often when we get a headache it’s classified as a tension headache, which can become quite painful. Our tension headaches are caused by stress or tightness as we cut off circulation and blood flow throughout the body.

Try These 5 Yoga Poses For Natural Headache Relief

If you would like to find natural headache relief, it is important to begin relieving pressure as soon as you feel the headache begin to form. Yoga is a great practice to invite more oxygen to the brain to help release the tension. Try poses that increase circulation and release tension in the muscles.

1. Fish Pose

Fish Pose opens and stretches your chest, neck, and shoulders, relieving any tension you may have stored there. By releasing the crown of your head to the mat, you also allow a slight inversion to bring blood flow to your cranium.
Fish Pose
How to Practice Fish Pose:

  • Lie on your back and slide your hands under your tailbone
  • Squeeze your elbows in close to your body to lift your chest toward the sky
  • Drop your head back so the crown of your head rests on your mat
  • When you’re ready to release, lift your head and slowly release your spine to the mat


2. Seated Forward Bend

This pose is a gentle stretch to release tension primarily in your back and hips and secondarily in your hamstrings. Breathe deep in this pose and try to visualize any stress or tension melting off of you.
How to Practice Seated Forward Bend:

  • Find a comfortable seat with your legs extended in front of you
  • Sit up tall, stacking your shoulders over your hips
  • Inhale to bring your arms overhead
  • Exhale as you fold over you extended legs
  • Imagine that you’re aiming your chest for your toes to keep length in your spine



3. Restorative Child’s Pose

Adding a bolster or pillow to your Child’s Pose takes relaxation to the next level. It invites a gentle stretch in your hips and back, allowing you to breathe deep and de-stress.
How to Practice Restorative Child’s Pose:

  • Find a Tabletop position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and your hips stacked over your knees
  • Bring your big toes together and slide your bolster or pillow between your knees
  • Gently sit your hips towards your heels, allowing your torso to rest on your bolster and your arms to rest wherever is comfortable
  • Rest for several breaths on one cheek and then switch to the other cheek


4. Cat Pose

Cat Pose is our last pose to help release tension in your neck, shoulders, and upper spine to offer you some natural headache relief. The arch in your upper spine in this pose counteracts the hunched forward motion many of us find ourselves in daily.
How to Practice Cat Pose:

  • Find a Tabletop position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and your hips stacked over your knees
  • Lengthen your spine by drawing the crown of your head forward and your tailbone back
  • On an exhale, press the mat away from you as you round the top of your spine and look toward your belly button
  • Squeeze your belly button as close to your spine as possible


5. Legs Up the Wall

This gentle inversion helps you relax by lowering your blood pressure and calming your central nervous system.
How to Practice Legs Up the Wall:

  • Find a blank wall and bring the short edge of your mat to butt up against the baseboard
  • Sit with your right hip touching the wall, your legs extended like they were for Seated Forward Bend
  • Bring your fingertips behind your hips for support as you lean back
  • Simultaneously swing your legs up the wall as you bring your spine to your mat – you should now be lying parallel to the long edge of your mat
  • Relax your legs and feet and hold for several deep breaths


Finally, Some Natural Headache Relief!

Next time you feel a headache coming on, take a few moments for yourself to slow down, relieve stress, and breathe with these yoga poses. They’ll take that ache away and leave you with a sense of calm so you can take on the rest of your day.
If you would like more information about natural headache relief with yoga, this article will help.

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Michelle Stanger

Michelle Stanger is a 200-RYT yoga instructor with years of teaching experience. She specializes in Power Vinyasa, Buti Yoga and handstands and is best known as a teacher for her fun, light-hearted attitude and classes that are as challenging as they are welcoming.


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