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Yoga poses for migraine: How to get relief from that pounding pain

Migraine: Simple yoga poses to head off the pounding pain

Anyone who's ever suffered from a migraine knows all too well that it's much more than a bad headache. Try these yoga poses to get rid of the pounding pain.

Written by Satata Karmakar |Published : December 11, 2020 12:03 PM IST

Dealing with a headache is not easy. It can mess around with your everyday routine, and to make things worse, that debilitating pain doesn't easily subside even when your body is in need of taking rest. Such is the pain of migraine. It is a neurological disorder that causes recurring headaches ranging from moderate to high intensity. Typically, it affects only one half of the head and can last from 2 hours to up to more than 2 days. When under a migraine attack, the sufferer may become extremely sensitive towards light or noise. Other common symptoms include vomiting, nausea, and pain aggravation due to physical activity.


Ever wondered how you can get rid of such a pounding pain? It is simply by deriving ways to supply extra oxygen to the brain. It, therefore, calls for practices that involve inhalation - hence yoga becomes an important tool in tackling migraine. Here are some yoga asanas to treat migraine headaches without side effects.

#Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) to treat migraine

Adho Mukha Svanasana

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Adho mukha svanasana or the downward-facing dog pose increases blood circulation to the brain and thus relieves headache. The asana stretches your body, clears your mind, and also helps in strengthening your bones.

How to do it:

  1. Start by coming on to all fours. Form a table such that your back forms the tabletop and your hands and feet form the legs of the table.
  2. As you breathe out lift the hips up, straightening the knees and elbows, form an inverted V-shape with the body.
  3. Hands are shoulder-width apart, feet are hip-width apart and parallel to each other. Toes point straight ahead.
  4. Press your hands into the ground. Widen through the shoulder blades. Keep the neck lengthened by touching the ears to the inner arms.
  5. Hold the downward dog pose and take long deep breaths. Look towards the navel.
  6. Exhale. Bend the knees, return to table pose. Relax.

#Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose) to treat migraine

Setu Bandhasana

Setu Bandhaasana is an excellent yoga pose that helps in melting stomach fat as it stretches the stomach muscles. This asana also helps in treating migraines. The Bridge Pose calms the brain and reduces anxiety.

How to do it:

1. Lying on your back, place your feet flat on the floor, a comfortable distance away from the hips. Now, place your arms next to the ribcage. You can either bend your elbows 90 degrees so that your fingers are pointing to the ceiling or hold onto the outer edges of your mat

2. On an inhalation, press the back of your shoulders and your feet into the floor and lift your hips up. Press the inner feet down actively and keep the knees from spreading out wide, by engaging the inner thighs

3. Lengthen your tailbone, slide your shoulder blades down your back and keep your neck neutral. You can clasp your hands behind your back. Stay for 5 to 15 breaths.

4. To come out of the pose, release the arms and roll your spine down on an out-breath

#Hastapadasana (Standing forward bend pose) to treat migraine


Hastapadasana or the standing forward bend pose increases the blood circulation to refresh your nervous system. It also calms your mind.

How to do it:

  1. Stand straight with your feet together and your hands at your side.
  2. Inhale and lift up your hands above your head.
  3. Exhale and bend forward from your hips bringing your hands towards your feet. Try to touch the floor.
  4. Hold this position for half a minute and return to the original position.

#Ustrasana (Camel Pose)


Another one in the backward bending series, this asana gives a nice stretch to your stomach and thighs while strengthening your back and relieving you from headache.

How to do it:

1. Begin the asana by kneeling on your mat and placing your hands on your hips.

2. You must ensure that your knees and shoulders are in the same line, and the soles of your feet are facing the ceiling.

3. Inhale, and draw your tailbone in towards your pubis. You must feel the pull at the navel.

4. While you are doing that, arch your back. Gently slide your palms over your feet and straighten your arms.

5. Keep your neck in a neutral position. It should not be strained.

6. Hold the position for about 30 to 60 seconds before you release the pose.

#Shishuasana (Child pose)


Shishuasana or the child pose calms your mind and body. This pose also stretches your body.

How to do it:

  1. Start by kneeling down on the floor.
  2. Now, sit back on your heels and then bend forward.
  3. Try to touch your forehead on the floor and stretch your hands forward. Hold this position for a couple of minutes and return to the original position.

Yoga is a means to make your resistance against migraines better and should not be used as an alternative to medication. It's recommended to continue your medication until your doctor advises otherwise.

Practicing these simple yoga postures will lessen the impact of a migraine attack and may eventually stop them permanently. So, roll out the yoga mat, repose for some time every day, and shut migraine out of your life for good.

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