If you’ve ever experienced the agony of migraines, you’ve likely sought out any remedy to alleviate the pain. For many, heat exacerbates migraines, making the summer months particularly exhausting and unproductive. Research consistently shows that yoga can offer significant relief for headache and migraine sufferers, making it a valuable addition to their pain management strategies. For instance, a recent study found that migraine sufferers who incorporated a five-day-a-week yoga practice into their management plan experienced more relief and lower levels of physiological stress compared to those who relied solely on conventional care. (Also read: International Day of Yoga 2024: Combat stress with these yoga asanas; tips to cultivate inner peace )

Yoga poses that can help alleviate summer migraines and promote overall well-being.

Yoga can be incredibly effective in not only easing an ongoing migraine but also in preventing frequent occurrences. This practice, which harmonises breath and movement, offers a unique way to synchronise your body and mind, keeping you present and grounded. Therefore, incorporating yoga into your routine might be the solution you’ve been looking for to manage migraines.

Now catch your favourite game on Crickit. Anytime Anywhere. Find out how

Yoga Poses to Alleviate Summer Migraines

Dr Rajeev Rajesh, Chief Yoga Officer at Jindal Naturecure Institute, shared with HT Lifestyle five effective yoga poses to help with summer migraines.

Incorporate these straightforward yoga poses designed to alleviate stress into your daily regimen to proactively ward off summer migraine discomfort. Alternatively, when you sense a headache encroaching, consider taking a brief yoga break. If you’re new to yoga, it’s advisable to seek guidance from your doctor or healthcare provider.

1. Child’s Pose

Begin by kneeling on the mat with your big toes touching and your knees spread apart. Extend your arms forward on the mat, keeping them shoulder-width apart, and gently lower your torso between your thighs. Rest your forehead on the mat and allow your hips to sink back towards your heels. Maintain a long spine and relax your shoulders and upper back. Breathe deeply and hold this Pose for eight to 10 breaths.

Child’s Pose promotes relaxation and relieves tension in the neck, shoulders, and back, areas commonly affected by migraines. The gentle compression of the forehead against the mat can also help soothe headaches and promote mental calmness. Additionally, the elongation of the spine encourages improved circulation, potentially alleviating migraine symptoms associated with poor blood flow.

2. Supine Twist

Begin by lying on your back on a yoga mat. Bring your knees towards your chest and then lower them to one side, keeping your hips stacked and aligned. Extend your arms out to the sides of the mat, palms facing up. Optionally, turn your gaze towards the ceiling or towards the hand opposite your knees for a deeper stretch. Hold this position for six breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Supine Twist helps to release tension in the spine and back muscles, which can often contribute to migraine discomfort. By gently twisting the spine, this Pose promotes spinal mobility and encourages relaxation. The twist also stimulates blood flow and circulation, potentially reducing migraine symptoms associated with poor circulation. Additionally, the gentle compression on the abdomen can aid in digestion, which may indirectly alleviate migraine triggers related to digestive issues.

4. Forward Fold

To practice this yoga pose for headaches, start by standing tall with your feet hip-width apart. Bend forward at the hips, extending the crown of your head straight down towards the floor. Allow your knees to soften to deepen the stretch while keeping your heels grounded on the mat. Fix your gaze on a point towards the back edge of your mat to maintain focus. You can place your hands on the mat or a block, or alternatively, hold onto your elbows. Remain in this position for six to eight breaths.

Forward Fold helps to release tension in the neck, shoulders, and upper back, which are common areas of discomfort during migraines. The gentle inversion of the head encourages blood flow to the brain, potentially alleviating headache symptoms. Additionally, the calming effect of this Pose on the nervous system may help to reduce stress and promote relaxation, which can be beneficial for managing migraine triggers related to tension and anxiety.

5. Legs up the Wall

To practice this soothing yoga pose, begin by lying on your back with your buttocks pressed against a wall. Extend your legs upward, allowing them to rest against the wall’s surface. Keep your upper body relaxed, placing your arms alongside your torso with your palms facing upwards. Remain in this position for a minimum of 10 breaths.

Legs up the Wall pose is highly effective for relieving tension and stress, which are common triggers for migraines. This gentle inversion encourages blood flow from the legs back towards the heart and brain, promoting relaxation and reducing inflammation. Additionally, by calming the nervous system, this Pose can help alleviate the intensity of migraine symptoms and provide relief from associated discomfort.

6. Corpse Pose

To practice the Corpse pose, begin by lying flat on your back, with your legs extended comfortably and arms resting alongside your body, palms facing up. Close your eyes and allow your body to sink into the mat, releasing any tension in your muscles. Take slow, deep breaths, focusing on each inhale and exhale. Let go of any thoughts or worries, allowing your mind to become quiet and still. Remain in this Pose for several minutes, allowing yourself to fully relax and rejuvenate.

Corpse Pose is incredibly beneficial for relieving stress and promoting deep relaxation. By allowing the body and mind to enter a state of complete rest, Corpse pose can help reduce tension in the muscles and alleviate mental fatigue, both of which are common triggers for migraines. Additionally, practising this asana regularly can help improve overall sleep quality, reduce anxiety, and enhance overall well-being, all of which contribute to migraine prevention and management.

“As you become more familiar with yoga techniques for managing migraines, consider incorporating these poses into your routine at the onset of a migraine or as part of your regular practice. Especially if you’re spending more time indoors, yoga provides an excellent option for indoor exercise. These yoga poses designed to alleviate migraines can be comfortably performed inside, promoting relaxation. Furthermore, if you tend to experience migraines during the summer months, opt for light and cooling foods and ensure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water,” says Dr Rajeev.