If you suffer from headaches, you know what a helpless feeling it can be when you feel one start to come on. Headaches can be debilitating and very frustrating as there isn’t always a quick fix. The causes of headaches vary and are sometimes hard to pinpoint. Stress and tension in the body though can be huge contributing factors that lead to headaches. There are many yoga poses that can help alleviate tension that leads to headaches and relieve some of the pain that they cause. Try the following poses next time a headache comes on.
Head and neck rolls
Find a comfortable seat and begin to deepen your breath. Drop your right ear toward your right shoulder. Slowly roll your head through center, then over to the left. Keep your eyes closed and gaze fixed inward toward your third eye center as you move. Keep moving your head in gentle, slow circles for about 5 rounds before switching directions.
Come into a table top position, placing your hands underneath your shoulders and knees underneath your hips. On an inhale arch the spine, tilting the pelvis back and gaze up at the ceiling. On an exhale press the mat away and create a c curve with the spine, gazing at your navel. Continue to move like this at your own pace, breathing deeply for 10-20 rounds.
Neck Stretch With a Bind
Return your head to center. Interlace your hands at the base of your spine. Press your palms away from your body and bring both hands over to your right hip. Drop your head to the left. Breathe deeply into the right side of your neck and hold for 5-10 breaths. Return to center and switch sides.
Bound Angle Pose
Bring the souls of your feet together and allow your knees to reach out wide. Press your feet further away from your body until your legs make a diamond shape. Fold over your legs and let your spine deeply flex (round and relax.) Allow your head to be heavy, letting your chin tuck toward your chest. Relax your arms and breathe into your back body. Hold for 10 breaths.
Standing Forward Bend
Stand up in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with your feet hip width apart and parallel. Hinging at your hips, and keeping a heavy bend in your knees, fold your torso down to transition into a forward fold. Place blocks underneath your elbows and deliberately allow your head and neck to hang heavy. Relax your shoulders. Hold for 10 breaths.
Make your way onto your back. Place the long edge of your block on its lowest setting at the base of your head. You can stay here and let the weight of your head against the block relax any tension. You can also gently roll your head left and right, massaging out your neck. Hold for 10-21 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.