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These 7 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 Advil as soon as we feel that dull ache coming on? But wait! Put the Advil down. Thankfully, yoga offers us an alternative – 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.

The yoga poses and techniques in this article work to stretch and open the muscles of the neck, shoulders and back and help increase circulation and specifically blood supply to the brain. Read on for seven yoga poses that will help you relieve your headaches – naturally.

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Try These 7 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 these seven yoga 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

Looking for more yoga tutorials and yoga tips? Check out our full library of Yoga articles here

3. Restorative Child’s Pose (On a Yoga Bolster)

Adding a yoga 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 yoga bolster or pillow between your knees
  • Gently sit your hips towards your heels, allowing your torso to rest on your yoga 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 Cow Pose

The combination of Cat/Cow extends and contracts the spine, hydrating and increasing flexibility in the spine. Practicing this pose helps increase the blood circulation and oxygen between the head and the lower areas of the body, offering you natural headache relief. They’re also a great pose duo to practice linking breath with motion in a natural rhythm, which helps calm the mind and facilitate deep, conscious breathing.
How to Practice Cat Cow 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
  • As you inhale, lift your gaze and your tailbone skyward as you drop your belly towards the mat for Cow
  • Draw your shoulder blades together on your back and lift your sternum up towards the sky
  • 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
  • Repeat this simple flow for five full breath cycles


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


6. Neck Stretches

Any pain, tension, or tightness in the neck can also lead to a headache, which is why it’s important to give your neck love and spend time gently stretching it to provide relief from tension headaches. This is particularly crucial for the many of us who spend hours hunched over a computer each day.
How to Practice Neck Stretches:

  • Sit comfortably, and keep your spine straight and neck lengthened
  • Bring your left hand to the right side of your head and gently tilt your head toward your left shoulder
  • Stay here for a few breaths and then slowly come back to center and switch sides
  • Repeat this gentle stretch several times per side


7. Reverse Prayer in Easy Seated Pose

Reverse Prayer mudra has many unexpected benefits. It opens the chest and abdomen to allow for deeper breathing. It also creates space in the shoulders, neck, and upper back and improves blood circulation.
How to Practice Reverse Prayer in Easy Seated Pose:

  • For Easy Seated Pose, sit on your mat with your legs crossed, one in front of the other; you may find it more supportive to sit on a yoga block to elevate your hips above your knees
  • Lengthen your spine and relax your shoulders and bring your palms toward one another behind you, working to join them together at the center of your spine with fingertips facing downwards
  • As you inhale, turn the fingertips upward in a prayer (Namaskar) position (this will mean rotating your fingertips inwards and towards your spine)
  • Try to push the pinky edge of your hands into your spine and press the palms together (or towards each other if that’s not yet available)
  • Take ten deep breaths here


Finally, 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.

The next time you have a headache, try a few of these yoga poses before turning to the medicine cabinet. You’ll be surprised just how effective this holistic approach to relieving headaches can be.

If you would like more information about natural headache relief with yoga, this article will help.

Feeling Stressed? Check Out This Free Full Length 30-Minute Yoga Class with YouAligned Founder Ashton August



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