I just happen to know a thing or two about yoga and a LOT about headaches as I’ve suffered them most of my life. It was actually my headaches that got me started with yoga. I’ve gone from having chronic daily headaches to maybe just one or two a month and I attribute it all to yoga. For all those headache sufferers out there who are tired and fed up, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Gentle yoga, relaxation and meditation can be really natural cures to chronic tension headaches.
Learn how to relax
My biggest piece of advice is learning how to relax. It sounds so easy but for someone in pain or with chronic tension it is frustratingly hard to do, but it can be done. Start with being aware of your body and where the tension resides. Consciously relax your jaw, this is a biggie for TemporoMandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) sufferers. You also need to be aware of your shoulders rising up towards your ears and make a conscious effort to draw your shoulder blades down your back. Posture is another biggie, if you’re constantly slouching, you’re constantly straining your back muscles which will create tension headaches.
Ditch the painkillers and roll out your yoga mat
These poses are more for prevention and should be done daily if you get daily headaches. If you need to take pain killers, go for it (they’ve certainly been a lifesaver for me) but they’re just a band-aid, prevention is much better.
1. Get upside down either in Uttanasana or Wide-leg standing forward fold. The leg position is just a personal preference, but the goal here is to decompress your upper back and neck. Do this for 20 deep breaths and really let your head hand and your neck relax. This is not recommended for pregnant people and if you feel dizzy, come out sooner.