Yoga for Tension Headaches: 7 Best Poses

Headaches are the most common problem all over the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Although there are many causes of headaches, stress or tension is a major contributor. This is commonly called a tension headache. This type of headache can be debilitating and painful, interfering with daily activities and productivity. According to a yoga expert, yoga for tension headaches is one of the best ways to manage them. Yoga helps relieve muscle tension, increase blood circulation and promote relaxation. These benefits of yoga help manage tension headaches.

What is a tension headache?

There are several types of headaches, ranging from migraines to sinus headaches. The most common types are tension headaches or stress headaches. It usually causes mild to moderate pain, described as a tight feeling around the head. Muscle tension is most visible around the head, scalp, neck and shoulders. It can be caused by stress, depression, anxiety and other factors.

Like any type of headache, with a tension headache you may experience fatigue, eye strain, sensitivity to light and sound, and sensation in the forehead.

Yoga Poses for Stress-Related Headaches

Himalayan yoga expert Siddhaa Akshar, founder of Akshar Yoga Research and Development Center, says, “Headaches can be caused by several factors, but stress and tension are one of the major causes these days. . To relieve tension headaches, consider incorporating yoga asanas into your daily routine. Yoga helps calm your mind and make you feel relaxed, thereby reducing worry and tension.

Here are 7 best yoga poses to relieve headaches caused by stress and tension:

1. Padottanasana (legs against the wall pose)

This gentle pose is a great yoga pose for stress relief because it helps calm your mind and reduce muscle tension.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Start by lying on your back with your legs straight and aligned above your hips.
  • Relax, close your eyes and breathe deeply.
  • Hold this posture for at least 30 seconds or as long as you are comfortable.
Don’t forget to elevate your legs for the sake of your health! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Vajrasana (lightning bolt pose)

This is a simple but effective yoga pose for relieving tension. It also relieves digestive discomfort.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Kneel on the floor with your knees together and sit back on your heels.
  • Place your pelvis on your heels and point your toes outwards.
  • Place your palms on your knees, face up.
  • Straighten your back and look ahead.

3. Malasana (Garland Pose)

This pose is a forward-leaning yoga posture that stretches the hamstrings and lower back while promoting relaxation.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Squat down and lower your pelvis, placing it on your heels.
  • Make sure your feet stay flat on the ground.
  • You can place your palms on the floor next to your feet or bring them together in front of your chest in a prayer gesture.
  • Keep your spine straight.
malasana for headaches
This yoga asana can help you manage headaches. Image provided by: Shutterstock

4. Balasana (child’s pose)

This is a restful and calming yoga pose that relieves stress and tension throughout the body.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Kneel on the floor and sit back on your heels.
  • Extend your arms forward, lowering your chest toward the floor.
  • Your forehead should rest on the floor or a cushion.
  • Breathe deeply in this pose, focusing on releasing tension from your neck, shoulders, and back.

5. Setu bandhasana (bridge pose)

This is a gentle bend that can help relieve stress and tension headaches by opening the chest and stretching the spine.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart.
  • Place your hands alongside your body, palms down.
  • Lift your hips off the floor, creating a bridge shape with your body.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute while breathing deeply.
  • This pose can also help improve blood circulation.

6. Savithri asana (kneeling back bend)

This is another effective yoga posture for reducing stress and tension.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Gently place your knees on the floor.
  • Keep your pelvis away from your heels.
  • Stretch your arms shoulder distance apart, palms facing each other.
  • Keep your gaze forward.
  • Align your arms, spine, hips and thighs.

7. Bhramari pranayama (humming breath)

Apart from yoga poses, practicing this breathing exercise can be extremely helpful in managing stress and tension headaches.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Place your thumbs on the tragus, the outer flap on the outside of your ear.
  • Place your index finger on your forehead, your middle finger on the medial canthus and your ring finger on the corner of your nostrils.
  • Inhale deeply, filling your lungs with air.
  • As you exhale, make a buzzing sound similar to that of a bee.
  • Keep your mouth closed and feel the vibrations throughout your body.
ways to relax the body
Pranayama has several benefits if you practice it daily. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Practice these yoga poses regularly to reduce tension headaches and manage stress levels.

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