A yoga sequence for relieving migraines

If you’ve experienced migraines, you know how debilitating and frustrating they can be. It’s often hard to treat a migraine and stop it in its tracks, but there are some things that you can do to alleviate some of the symptoms and prevent them from worsening. Try this yoga sequence to relieve some of the discomfort of migraines. 


Seated meditation and temple massage

Start in a comfortable seat with your sit bones firmly rooted and spine long and upright. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and take a few long, deep inhales through the nose and sighs out of the mouth. Slow down the breath and take your index and middle finger to your temples and gently start making small circles. After a minute or so, switch directions and massage until you feel a sense of relief. 


Head rolls with arm variation

Drop your right ear toward your right shoulder. Extend your left arm out to the left and flex the hand. Begin to roll out your neck, creating small movements forward and backward with the head until you find a tender area, then hold and breathe. Do the same on the other side for however long you need to feel a sense of relief. 


Child's pose variation (balasana) 

Come into a childs pose with your knees together and the arms back by your sides. Let your spine round and plant your forehead on the mat, taking deep breaths in and out of the nose and letting your head and neck relax fully. Hold for up to a minute. 


Forward fold (uttanasana)

Come to stand at the top of your mat with your feet hips width apart. Allow your knees to be soft and fold over your legs with a round and relaxed spine. Allow your stomach to rest on your thighs as you release any tension from the head and neck, letting the crown of your head melt toward the floor as you breathe. Hold for around a minute.  


Seat fold (paschimottanasana) 

Come down to the mat and into a seated position, legs extended out long in front of you. Invite a gentle bend into the knees and flex the toes toward your face. Take a deep breath in, and on an exhale slowly fold over your legs. Allow your spine to round and the body to be soft as you breathe slowly, relaxing into the pose. Hold for 10-15 breaths.


Supported fish (matsyasana)

Move onto your back and place a block lengthwise on its lowest setting along your spine, starting at the base of your shoulder blades. Allow your head to relax behind you, releasing the crown of your head toward the mat. Hold and breathe for 10 breaths.  



Remove the block and lie on your back. Extend your arms and legs away from your body. Release any control of your breath and let your body become heavy. Relax deeply, staying here for 5-7 minutes. Ease out of this pose gently when you are ready.


Gabrielle Marchese is a certified yoga instructor. 

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