Yoga Pro Tips for Migraine Headaches

These pro tips were originally shared in the September 2016 newsletter. Sign-up here to get the scoop directly to your inbox once, maybe twice, a month. 

I get migraines. I actually have one right now. Sometimes they last up to 48 hours and Rx meds are no match for the rage inside my brain. My regular yoga practice helps a lot with prevention, but there are handful of poses + pro tips that I find helpful during a migraine. I thought I'd share these because they can also be beneficial for relieving stress and other types of headaches, including hangovers. A friend told me! ;) 

Remember, these are poses that feel good in my body but I am not a doctor or your in-person yoga teacher. I guess we could do FaceTime yoga!? Try them out, but only do them if it feels good in your own body. 

Child's Pose

In this variation I place a block underneath my forehead (you could use a small stack of books or a firm pillow if you don't have a block). This gives me more support in the pose without folding forward too much and the weight of my head on the block allows me to fully release the muscles around my jaw, face, and neck which tense up during a migraine. I get migraines on my right side, so sometimes I like to turn my head to one side for added pressure or release. 

I stay for a few minutes or until my legs get tired. I then move into the next pose. 

Prone Savasana 

I use three blankets for this one. The two folded and placed under my pelvis help to spread out my low back and provide softness for the front of my hips to land on. The blanket under my forehead allows my neck to be long and supported while giving my nose just enough space to breath easily without having to turn my head to one side. I stay here for several minutes before flipping over on my back. 

Eye Pillow

If you don't have one, get one. Blocking out light is a must when trying to recover from a migraine, but reducing visual stimulation is also essential in relaxing the nervous system. Here on my back I place one hand on my belly and one on my chest for physical feedback to the sensations of my body breathing. This helps me to shift my focus deeper into my body and away from the acute pain in my head.