10 Yoga Poses To Combat Headaches

A headache once in a while is not a big deal. But if you’re experiencing regular headaches even though you’re medically fit, the reason could be bad posture and lack of oxygen. Poor posture affects your respiratory system and blood circulation to the brain resulting in muscle tension and headaches.

Practicing yoga poses that stretch your muscles and improve circulation can reduce posture related headaches. Yoga also works on your spine, shoulders, back muscles, and core helping you keep your posture right through the day.

Here are 10 yoga poses you should do regularly to get rid of headaches. You can hold the yoga poses for up to one minute but remember not to strain yourself. Slowly build your practice until you’re comfortable holding each pose.

1. Standing Forward Bend

  • Standing with even weight on the feet, or weight very slightly forward into the toes. Big toes should touch, heels are slightly apart.
  • Keep the tailbone tucked under, allow the spine to bend forward. Tuck the chin gently in towards the chest, lengthen the back of the neck.
  • Gently work the palms towards the floor, fingertips in line with the heels. Relax and breathe.

2. Seated Forward Bend

  • Kneel with widened knees apart. Draw the shoulders forward past the ears. Lower the heart towards the earth. Tailbone lengthening back and down.
  • Chin gently tucking in towards the chest, lengthening the back of the neck. If you like you can rest forehead on a cushion.

3. Head to Knee Pose

  • Sit with legs straight in front. Tuck the right heel into the groin, and uncurl the toes out from the left thigh.
  • Press the sitting bones into the earth and lift the spine long into the sky, inhale the arms up above the head, then exhale bend forward to touch the toes of the left foot.
  • Turn the navel gently out towards the left side. Chin gently tucks in towards the chest, lengthen the back of your neck. Forehead towards the shin. Both eyes and jaw relax. Then swap sides.

4. Wide Angle Standing Forward Bend

  • Feet are wide. Press the toes firmly into the mat. Stretch the mat apart with your feet. Tuck the tailbone under, ground the sitting bones, lengthen the lower back.
  • Take your hands to your ankles and bend your elbows, assist gently with your arms to draw the back of the head to touch the earth.
  • Chin tucks in towards the chest. Gaze towards the navel. If you like you can choose to do it with your back to the wall.

5. Downward Dog Pose

  • Come into an inverted V shape. Thighs and spine are at about a 90° angle. Spread the fingers, index finger points forward.
  • Palms flat on the earth, press down firmly with the thumb and index. Armpits roll inward to face each other. Elbows straight.
  • Chin tucks in towards the chest, lengthen the back of the neck, look at the thighs or navel. Tuck the tailbone under, lengthen the whole spine, especially the lower back.
  • The heels should go fully to earth and there is no strain on the neck/shoulders.

6. Bridge Pose

  • Lay on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor. Draw your heels close to your buttocks, your feet are hip width apart or narrower.
  • Toes turn in slightly. Stretch your fingers towards your heels, and shoulders away from your ears. Press the feet firmly into the earth and slowly lift the pelvis into the sky.
  • Tuck the tailbone under. Tuck the chin gently in towards the chest, lengthen the back of the neck. Look gently towards the tip of the nose or close your eyes.
  • Care is required for the lower back, aim to stretch both the abdominal area and the lower back, lengthening the spine away from your head.
  • If you like you can interlace the fingers behind your back and squeeze your palms together, straighten your elbows and wiggle your shoulders and shoulder blades towards each other, opening the front of your heart, create space through the chest.
  • Don’t allow the knees and thighs to drift apart, keep them at one fist width distance.

7. Spinal Twist Pose

  • Sit with both knees bent pointing towards the sky, then sweep the right leg through the left. Then turn the navel out towards the left side, then turn the chest, then turn the head and neck, and then the eyes.
  • Then if you like you can assist with the right elbow against the outside of the left leg, and the left hand on the floor behind your back. Lift your left ears towards the sky slightly and tuck your chin in.

8. Seated Forward Bend

  • Sit with legs stretched straight out in front. Flex your toes back towards you. Big toes touch, heels are slightly apart. Press the sitting bones into the earth, lift the spine taller.
  • Inhale the arms up into the sky, then exhale bend forward reaching the hands towards the toes or past the feet. Chin towards the chest, lengthen the back of the neck.
  • Shoulders forward past the ears, and armpits towards the thighs. Throat relaxes, breath flowing.

9. Upward Facing Dog Pose

  • With the hands back by the hips, fingers spread, index finger pointing forward, extend and lift through the spine. Then press the shoulders downward while straightening the arms and pushing the palms into the earth.
  • Push the groin towards the hands, and pull with the hands towards the hips. Push the tops of the feet into the earth and strengthen through the buttocks and thighs.
  • Without moving the hands roll the biceps and shoulders outward. Keep the front of the abdomen firm, but the sides relaxed. Finally tilt the chin up, throat forward, eyes back.

10. Corpse Pose

  • Lay on your back. Feet and legs are close together. Feet fall out to the sides. Arms are 30° away from your sides.
  • Palms facing upward. Eyes closed. Concentrate on relaxing your entire body and resting on the earth.