Yoga Rx: 2 Poses to Relieve Headaches

By Timothy McCall, MD

Yoga can help prevent a pounding head by lowering stress levels, improving posture, and reducing muscle tension in the upper back and neck. But if you’re experiencing pain, your normal practice can make things worse. Here are three poses to help relieve a headache. Close your eyes, and breathe slowly and deeply through your nose. Hold each pose for five minutes or for as long as you are comfortable.

1. Supported Cobbler’s pose. Sit, and place the soles of your feet together. Loop a strap around your sacrum and under your feet (run it between your legs), and lie back over a bolster with a blanket under your head. Place blocks or pillows under your thighs to relieve tension in the groin area.

2. Seated Forward Bend with the forehead supported. Sit on the edge of a chair in front of a table. Hold each elbow with the opposite hand, bend forward at the hips, and place your forehead on your folded arms. Create slight traction between your head and arms so that the skin on the forehead is tugged gently down toward your cheeks.

3. Deep Relaxation pose. Lie on your mat with your head supported and arms and legs gently splayed to the side, palms up. Breathe normally.