Hatha Yoga for Headaches - Yoga Practice Blog

Hatha Yoga for Headaches

yoga teacher trainingBy Bhavan Kumar

Does Hatha Yoga for headaches work? Yes, but we can be sure that Hatha Yoga is useful for reducing many types of pain. Yoga is an ancient philosophy, science, health maintenance system, and way of life. Yoga is often associated with ancient Indian thought. Its global appeal and practice are universal, widespread, and timeless. Yoga’s popularity is largely due to its many benefits, such as toning muscles, increasing flexibility, gaining peace of mind through meditation, and even fighting off illness.


Hatha Yoga On the World Stage

Outside of India, Hatha yoga is the front-runner of all forms of Yoga. Hatha yoga incorporates every branch or “limb” of Patanjali’s yoga, even though it is often mistakenly referred to as exercise or physical movement. Hatha Yoga’s physical side is practiced through slow stretches or poses (asanas), meditation, and breathing (pranayama) or relaxation procedures. This type of Yoga focuses on clearing the mind in preparation for more intense meditation.

Coping with Pain

One of the many benefits of practicing Hatha Yoga for headaches is prevention. About 65 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches, and approximately 20% of the US budget goes to fund over-the-counter painkillers. One theory for migraines and headaches states that intense pain results from stress and muscular tension, causing blood vessels in the brain to widen and dilate, thus causing increased blood flow. Also, arteries leading to the brain tighten due to increased muscle tension, which causes pressure in the head. Hatha Yoga is an ideal way to relieve the pain of severe headaches because it emphasizes a balance between opposing forces, relaxing the mind and purifying the body through slow poses. It relieves head, neck, shoulders, and entire body tension, which lessens anxiety.


Balanced Lifestyle

Hatha means “sun” and “moon” and has a greater meaning of bringing balance to opposing forces. This form of Yoga is a style that can be therapeutic through the practice of postures, purifying the body, meditation, balance, and training the mind. This goes hand-in-hand with relieving a headache’s different muscle and vascular tensions. While there are many possible causes of headaches, meditation effectively reduces the frequency and intensity of headaches. A study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience found that regular meditation can significantly reduce the severity and frequency of headaches. Another study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that people who meditated regularly had fewer headaches than those who didn’t meditate at all.

Can Music Help?

When it comes to managing headache pain, many people turn to yoga. Yoga can help improve your overall health and well-being and can also be used as a tool to help reduce headaches. There are various yoga poses that can help reduce headache pain, and adding in some calming yoga music can further help ease your pain. There are several different yoga music albums available that are specifically designed to help reduce headache pain. These albums typically feature soothing and relaxing sounds that can help to ease your tension and pain. Headache sufferers can simply put on some yoga music and let it play in the background as they perform their regular yoga routine. The music can help take your mind off your pain and allow you to focus on your breathing and movements. If you suffer from frequent or severe headaches, adding some yoga music to your headache management plan can be a valuable addition.


Yoga Poses to Relax

There are a large number of Hatha Yoga poses that can relieve headache pain. There are a few specific yoga poses that can help relax the muscles and ease tension headaches. Here are a few of the most effective:

1. Child’s Pose: This pose is incredibly calming and can help to release any built-up tension in the back, neck, and head.

2. Downward Facing Dog: Although this pose may seem counterintuitive for those with headaches, it can help increase circulation and stretch out the head and neck muscles.

3. Corpse Pose: This pose is the centerpiece of relaxation. It lets your entire body let go, releasing residual stress or tension.

4. Seated Forward Bend: This pose helps to calm the nervous system and ease any tightness in the shoulders or neck.

5. Legs Up the Wall: This final pose is extremely restorative and helps reduce inflammation throughout the body, including the head and neck.


Is Yoga Nidra Effective?

Yoga Nidra, or yogic sleep, is a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping. The relaxation techniques used in Yoga Nidra can help to release tension and relieve pain. Several medical studies support the use of Yoga Nidra for headaches. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that Yoga Nidra effectively reduced headache intensity and frequency in a group of people with chronic headaches. Another study published in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy found that Yoga Nidra helped reduce tension headaches. You can try Yoga Nidra by following a simple guided relaxation practice.

© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division


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0 thoughts on “Hatha Yoga for Headaches”

  1. I began my yoga practice because of chronic migraines! Needless to say, not only do I rarely get a migraine, Hatha yoga has greatly improved so many aspects of my life/health!
    Thank you for sharing.

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