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Yoga For Headache

Stress is the most common trigger for headaches, migraines and tension headaches. Yoga can help reduce the frequency and severity of headaches!

Whether you experience headaches every so often or on a regular basis, headaches can be quite debilitating. Headaches can affect your enjoyment of all the amazing things that life has to offer.

The most common reason why we experience headaches and/or migraines is due to our response to daily stressors. Many physiological changes take place in the body when we are experiencing feelings of overwhelm and stress. The sympathetic nervous system (fight-or-flight system) becomes activated. The mind and body are preparing to either fight or flee. Muscles become tense, respiratory rate increases, breathing becomes more shallow, blood vessels constrict, heart races, teeth clench, and the senses are heightened. The body may begin to shake or tremble. This fight-or-flight response does not only apply to dangerous situations, like a lion chasing after you. This response can become activated when something is perceived to be dangerous, such as a work deadline, driving on the highway, speaking to your boss, and so on. Basically, if the nervous system feels unsafe for whatever reason, the sympathetic response can become triggered. Tension headaches and migraines can be a physical symptom of the stress response.


Sending messages of nourishment, compassion and safety to the mind and body can reduce the frequency and severity of headaches. This is where yoga comes in. The tools of yoga can help move stuck feelings and emotions felt in the body (like stress, anger, frustration, hurt, sadness, overwhelm, anxiety, and so on), allowing them to be recognized, expressed and released. Certain yoga practices can help us tap into the healing power of the vagus nerve. Stimulating the vagus nerve elicits a relaxation response within the body. This is known as the parasympathetic nervous system (rest-and-digest system). We can accomplish this through breathwork practices, certain yoga poses, massage, humming, chanting, body scans, and so on. The tools of yoga can be so useful in pain management, including headaches.

I invite you to explore the following yoga practices for migraines, headaches, tension headaches and sinus headaches. I also included a practice for when you are feeling sick, as one symptom might be a headache.

Shower yourself in love and compassion with these free headache relief yoga practices.

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