Yoga for Headaches: How to Relieve Tension

Yoga for Headaches

A long day at the desk, worries, stress, or a bad posture can trigger them: headaches. The cause usually lies in the tense shoulder and neck area. The good news: Yoga helps – and naturally. How you can relieve your tension with yoga for headaches, you will find out in this article.

Almost everyone is familiar with headaches, although the type, duration, and severity can vary greatly. There are over 200 types of headaches. But 80 – 90% of them have one thing in common: increased tension in muscles and especially in the fascia tissue on the back of the body. That sounds sobering, but it is also a great opportunity: Because we can counteract this independently and effectively – with yoga.

Headaches arise when the body is out of balance

On the muscular and fascial level, we need a constant balance between tension and relaxation. Only in this way can the musculoskeletal system run harmoniously and freely on all levels. If increased tension acts briefly, the body can of course easily compensate for this. However: permanent bad posture, one-sided stress over a long period of time and recurring unhealthy movement patterns can no longer be compensated from a certain point in time. The body reacts in its own language: pain! This alarm pain is an important reaction to protect yourself from major damage. 

The tension must now spread into the environment and this usually happens upwards in the case of shoulder and neck tension. The pain runs along typical lines over the neck into the head and can lead to very different symptoms there, including migraines, tension and cluster headaches. Then at the latest, meaningful support is required.

How you can help yourself against headaches with yoga

In addition to classic medical measures, in the long term it is essential to reduce the tension on the back of the body. From therapeutic yoga, we mainly have stretching exercises at our disposal. And this is how you do it:

Stretching exercise to loosen up the muscles

1. Find tight muscles

First, find the muscles in the shoulder and neck area that are suffering from increased tension. By bending your head forward, to the side and forward at an angle, you can perceive the individual stretching pains. The more intense the pain, the more important it is to release the tension there. Usually there are several angles in which you can trigger intense stretching or pain. Often only minimal differences in the flexion angle are sufficient to reach other muscle and fascia areas. 

2. Stretch the muscle by contracting and relaxing

The ideal exercise principle consists of a combination of short tension and longer relaxation. After you have found a suitable angle, place one hand on the stretched side of your head and create a slight counterpressure by pressing your head gently into the hand. Hold this tension for three breaths. Then relax and go a little deeper into the stretches without pressing with your hand. Stay there for ten breaths. You can repeat this cycle once or twice.

3.  Repeat as often as necessary and at different angles

You can use these simple stretches for any flexion angle on either side. They also help during headache episodes, but should be carried out preventively in between .

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