When you feel a headache approaching, the only thing that matters is finding relief – especially if you’re only halfway through a busy day at the office. While painkillers may work effectively for some individuals, others prefer to find a solution outside of the medicine cabinet. Thankfully, yoga may be just the thing. Through a series of simple postures, you can not only find relief from a throbbing head, but you can also prevent a headache from reoccurring. In this article, we explore exactly how to use yoga to get rid of a headache. To get the most from each pose, it’s important to wear a pair of flexible yoga pants.
To begin, find a comfortable position either on the floor or on a chair. Sit tall with your spine straight and your neck lengthened. Ensuring your shoulders are relaxed, reach your right arm out in front of you before bringing it across your chest, toward the left-hand side of your chest. Finally, gently turn your head to look over your right shoulder. You are in Arm Across Chest Pose. Hold the pose for around 30 seconds before repeating on the opposite side. Working to stretch both the neck and shoulders, this posture is a beneficial, simple yoga exercise to relieve a headache.
For many people, a headache often stems from pain in the back. Happy Baby Pose is ideal to prevent discomfort from radiating up the spine. Restorative in nature, this posture helps the muscles to relax. To begin, lie down on your back with your knees bent. Next, gently take hold of your feet and begin to rock from side to side. This motion will increase the stretch in your lower back. Additionally, the rocking move-ment is great for relaxing the mind.
Start on all fours, ensuring that your knees are aligned with your hips. Next, slowly walk your left hand forward until you can comfortably thread the right arm underneath it. You should be able to gently rest your right cheek and shoulder onto the mat. You are in Thread the Needle Pose. Hold the pose for approximately 30 seconds, taking time to feel the gentle stretch across the shoulders, arms, neck, and upper back. When you feel ready, repeat the technique on the opposite side.
Discrete and simple, this posture is ideal to practice while sitting at your desk. To begin, sit comfortably in your chair, ensuring you keep your shoulders relaxed and your spine straight. When you’re comfortable, begin to move your chin toward your chest, then gently draw your right ear toward your right shoulder. To deepen the stretch, place your right hand on your left ear and apply gentle pressure. After around 5 breaths, switch to the opposite side. Working to stretch both the neck and shoulder muscles, ear to shoulder rolls are a quick and simple way to relieve a headache.
Starting on all fours, ensure that your wrists are aligned with your shoulders and your knees are aligned with your hips. Next, inhale deeply, arching your back toward the ground as you do so. You are now in the Cow position. Hold the position for 15 seconds, breathing deeply. As you exhale, tuck your chin toward your chest, and arch your back toward the ceiling. You are in Cat position. The combination of the two stretches is ideal for stretching the neck, chest, shoulders, and lower back.
Another simple posture, Legs Up The Wall Pose works to stretch the muscles in your neck. Better still, the pose is great for relieving a throbbing headache. To begin, place the shortest side of your yoga mat against a wall. When your mat is in place, sit down facing the wall. Gently lie back on the mat and extend both legs up the wall. Make sure that your bottom is almost touching the wall and that your legs are close together. You can either rest your hands on your stomach or on the mat – whichever feels most comfortable. You are in Legs Up The Wall Pose. Close your eyes and relax, holding the pose for around 5 minutes.
To start, sit or stand tall keeping your spine straight. Gently draw both shoulders up toward your ears, before pushing them back and bringing them back down toward to ground. Bring them back forward before repeating the rotation as many times as you feel comfortable. To mix up the exercise, try rotating your shoulder in the opposite direction, so instead of drawing your shoulders backward, bring them forward.
One of the most renowned postures of all time, Downward Facing Dog is a favorite of many yogis. Better still, the pose helps to relieve, and even prevent, headaches. Additionally, the posture improves blood flow to the head which helps to relieve a headache. To begin, stand tall with your feet should-width apart. Bending at the waist, slowly lower your torso forward until your body forms a triangle. Your hands and feet should now be securely on the ground. If your shoulders or hamstrings feel too tight for the pose, try bending your knees slightly to make the posture easier. Spreading your fingers for additional balance, move your head forward until it is in-between your upper arms. You are in Downward Dog. For best results, breathe deeply whilst practicing the pose and hang your head gently between your shoulders.
Whether the culprit is tightness in your back or a tension headache resulting from a stressful week at work, practice these yoga poses to relieve a headache. For best results, it’s a good idea to pick up some good-quality yoga gear before starting your new routine.