What is the best yoga for migraines and headaches?

Jul 31, 2020

A migraineur’s journey is not easy and on top of the excruciating pain, and psychological effects, the road to recovery and finding relief could be an unpredictable one. Those who battle with migraine attacks are extremely resilient and they need to deal with multiple side effects from the various types of medications they're prescribed. This is additionally one of the explanations why many would go for non-medical methods of reliefs, to avoid the horrible side effects.

What is a migraine?

Migraine is a neurological disease that can cause recurring headaches starting from moderate to high intensity. However, it affects just one half of the head and might last from 2 hours to up to 2 days. When a person is under a migraine attack, the sufferer may become extremely sensitive towards the noise and light. Other common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and pain aggravation because of physical activity.

Why should people with migraines try Yoga? 

If you're one among the various people who experience migraine attacks then you'd know that when you’re handling something so crippling, sometimes even moving a limb to get a drink could look like climbing up to the Everest. You'd also know that sometimes even all the medication in the world can’t even make the slightest change to the big explosion in your head. Doctors often recommend exercising for those with less intense and frequent attacks. Thus this makes yoga, an honest alternative for migraineurs.

What are the best yoga poses for migraine pain relief?

Yoga is an ancient technique that promotes holistic living through a combination of breathing techniques and postures. It is a side effect free method to fight for migraines. Practicing these simple yoga exercises for migraines for a couple of minutes a day will help prepare you better for a future migraine attack.

  • Downward facing dog 

The downward-facing dog increases the blood circulation to the brain and also relieves headaches.




  • It rejuvenates the whole body.

  • It helps to stretch your hamstrings, calves, and spine.

  • Builds strength in your shoulders and legs.

  • Improves your memory and concentration and also relieves stress.

Steps to do it:

  • Start on your hands and knees. Then align your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. The fold of your wrists should be parallel with the top fringe of your mat.

  • Now stretch your elbows and relax your upper back.

  • Then, spread your fingers wide and press firmly through your palms and knuckles. Distribute your weight evenly across your hands.

  • Now, exhale as you tuck your toes and lift your knees off the ground. Gently begin to straighten your legs, but don't lock your knees. Bring your body into the form of an "A." Don’t walk your feet closer to your hands.

  • Now move equally through your heels and therefore the palms of your hands. Then firm the outer muscles of your arms and press your index fingers into the ground. Lift from the inner muscles of your arms to the highest of both shoulders.

  • Engage your quadriceps. Rotate your thighs inward as you lift your sit bones high. Sink your heels toward the ground.

  • Align your ears together with your upper arms. Gaze between your legs or toward your navel.

  • Hold for 5-100 breaths. Lastly, exhale as you gently bend your knees and come back to your hands and knees.


Don’t practice if you are in your late pregnancy. This exercise should be avoided by people with injury in the back, arms, or shoulders, and people with high blood pressure, eye, or internal ear infections. If you've got any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing this yoga.

  • Setu Bandhasana

The setu bandhasana pose calms the brain and also helps to reduce anxiety. This pose is also named as bridge pose, as it connects your practice to other poses as well - namely Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose) and Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulderstand).





  • It opens the chest, heart, and shoulders. 

  • It helps to stretch the spine, the thighs, and the front hip joints.

  • Reduces stress.

  • Relief from insomnia, stress, fatigue, anxiety, headaches, and mild depression.

Steps to do it:

  • First, lie down on your back together with your knees bent and feet on the bottom. Your legs should be hip-width aside from one another.

  • Your arms should be resting at the sides of your body with the palms facing downwards.

  • Then press the feet into the ground, take a deep breath, and gently lift your hips, rolling the spine off the ground.

  • Now press your arms and shoulders on the bottom to lift your chest. 

  • Attempt to engage your legs, buttocks to lift your hips higher. 

  • Lastly, hold this position for 4-8 breaths, then return to the normal position.


Do not perform this pose if you've got any kind of a neck or shoulder injury. Do not cross your range of limits and skills. If you've got any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing this yoga.

  • Corpse pose

The Corpse Pose rejuvenates the whole body by bringing it into a deep state of meditative rest. You can end the yoga routine by lying down in corpse pose for a couple of minutes. Corpse pose is considered one of the best yoga pose for people with migraine disease.




  • This posture rejuvenates the mind, spirit, and body.

  • Reduces stress and tension.

Steps to do it:

  • First, lie flat on your back. Use a small pillow below your neck if required. Close your eyes.

  • Now keep your legs comfortable apart and let your feet and knees relax completely, toes facing towards the sides.

  • Then place your arms alongside, yet a little spread aside from your body. Leave your palms open, facing upward.

  • Now begin with bringing your awareness to the right foot, move on to the right knee, and then slowly move upwards to your head, relaxing each part of the body.

  • Keep breathing slowly, and permit your breath to relax you more and more. The incoming breath energizes the body and the outgoing breath brings relaxation. 

  • Now drop all sense of hurry or urgency or any need to attend to anything else. Just be with the body and the breath. Surrender the entire body to the ground and let go. confirm you don’t fall asleep! After about 10-20minutes once you feel fully relaxed, keeping your eyes closed, slowly roll onto your right side. 

  • Then lie in that position for a moment or so. Then, taking the support of your right hand, gently sit up into a seated pose like Sukhasana (Easy Pose).

  • Now keep your eyes closed and take a couple of deep breaths in and out as you gradually become conscious of your environment and the body. Lastly, when you feel complete, slowly, and gently open your eyes.


If you have any kind of lower back pain or stiffness then do not practice this yoga. If you're pregnant, use a rolled blanket to support your head and chest.

  • Child pose

The child pose helps to calm down your nervous system and effectively reduces the pain.

This exercise is good for people who are suffering from migraines.





  • Alleviate stress and anxiety.

  • Helps to flex the body's internal organs.

  • It also lengthens and stretches the spine.

  • Relief from dizziness and fatigue.

 Steps to do it:

  • First, come to your hands and knees on the mat. 

  • Then spread your knees as wide as your mat, keeping your feet on the ground.

  • There's an energy point at the middle of the forehead in between the eyebrows that stimulate the vagus and supports a "rest and digest" response.

  • Finding a comfortable place for the forehead is essential for gaining this soothing benefit.

  • Now stretch your arms forward with palms facing up, for a shoulder release or try bending the elbows and rest the thumbs at the back of your neck.

  • Stay as long as you can. Then eventually reconnect with the steady inhales and exhales of your breath.


Avoid in case of a knee injury. If you are pregnant do not practice this pose without consulting the doctor. If you experience any pain during the pose then ease out of the pose.

  • Triangle pose

Triangle pose is also known as utthita trikonasana. You will almost certainly encounter it within your first few yoga classes and for years to return. It helps to get rid of headaches and beneficial for people with migraines.





  • This helps to strengthen the legs and back.

  • It also stretches inner thighs, hamstrings, calves, spine, shoulders, chest, and opens hips. 

  • This energizes the body and improves focus.

  • This stimulates abdominal organs.

Steps to do it:

  • First, stand straight on the mat together with your feet wide apart. 

  • Now turn your left foot out and switch your right foot slightly inward.

  • Then face forward and take a deep breath while raising your arms bent the sides so that they form a triangle together with your torso.

  • Now exhale and reach your left hand down to your shin as close to the ankle. Bend as far as you'll and at an equivalent time lift your right arm so that the tips of your fingers are pointing to the ceiling.

  • Then bring the sides of your torso parallel to the ground. Your neck should be in line together with your torso.

  • Now look up at your right hand and take 2-3 deep breaths. Then repeat an equivalent on the opposite side.


Avoid this pose if you've got an injury to your back, neck, hips, or shoulders. You'll wish to avoid it if you've got a headache or migraine.

A study of trusted sources found that headache frequency and intensity was reduced in people that practiced yoga for migraine,  additionally to their regular treatment regimen. These participants also experienced an improvement in vagal tone, which refers to the number of actors in the PNS (peripheral nervous system). Overall, yoga improved cardiac autonomic balance. Disturbances in the autonomic nervous system and the regulation of the cardiovascular system are related to migraines. If the balance is restored, the likelihood of a migraine is reduced. Thus here the yoga asanas for migraine which will help relieve your symptoms and balance your physical, mental, and emotional states.

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