Yoga Poses for Migraine Pain

May 4, 2016

Most migraineurs have tried every medication in the book to get rid of their migraines. While migraine medications can be effective at reducing the immediate pain, what most migraine sufferers really want is to prevent the migraines from happening. There are some preventative medications that can help prevent migraine attacks but some people find that lifestyle changes can lessen the frequency and severity of a migraine headache.

Stress is a migraine trigger for many people, so any activity that reduces stress is usually good for migraines. While exercise, in general, is a good stress reliever, yoga shows particular promise for migraine sufferers. Yoga has been shown to reduce both emotional and physical stress. The relaxation you feel after a yoga class not only calms the mind but the body as well. When your muscles and other tissues are relaxed, your blood vessels can also remain open and relaxed, avoiding the tension that can lead to a migraine.

Beginning Yoga to Prevent Headaches

The best way to get started with yoga is to attend a class taught by a trained professional. If you aren’t able to attend a local yoga class, however, yoga can be practiced at home. It’s advisable to watch a video first before you attempt the poses just so you have some guidance. Like most lifestyle therapies, yoga won’t affect your migraines if you practice it once. The migraineurs who have the most success with yoga preventing their migraines generally practice yoga three to four times a week.

Three Yoga Poses for Migraine Pain:

Child’s Pose

childs pose

Kneel on your yoga mat with your knees as wide apart as your hips and rest your bottom down on your heels. Reach the hands forward as if you were reaching toward the opposite end of the room and draw your shoulders forward past your ears. Focus on lowering your heart toward the earth and lengthening your tailbone back and down toward your heels. Gently tuck your chin into your chest. Hold this pose for as long as is comfortable, while breathing in and out gently and deeply so that you can feel the breath enter and leave the stomach.

Legs Up the Wall Pose

legs up the wall pose

Sit next to a solid wall with the entire right side of your body against the wall and your legs out straight along the wall. Roll onto your back and turn your hips so that your bottom is flush against the wall and your legs are up the wall at a 90-degree angle. You may want to put a small pillow or bolster under your bottom for comfort. Stay in this position as long as is comfortable – you are likely to feel the blood flowing down from your toes into your body.

Cat and Cow Pose

cat cow yoga pose

Face the wall as you come to all fours on your yoga mat. With your knees square under your hips and your palms square under your shoulders, inhale and round your spine up to the ceiling as if you were imitating a Halloween cat. When you exhale, dip your spine toward the floor, as if you were trying to touch the floor with your belly button. Repeat this flow about ten times, paying attention as you inhale and exhale through the poses.

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