Yoga for Migraine

Yoga for Migraine

Posted on Jan 23, 2023

Migraine is characterised by severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Commonly, people utilise medicine to alleviate their problems. However, yoga may be an effective strategy for reducing the frequency and intensity of migraine headaches.
Yoga reduces blood pressure and slows the pulse rate, helping the body to recuperate from stressful situations like migraine attacks.
Migraine is a prevalent condition, affecting 15.3%Trusted Source of adults in the United States. Migraine headaches may be incapacitating, and specialists consider them to be one of the main causes of disability globally. Migraine headaches typically begin in early adulthood, with some individuals suffering from them many times per week and others only on rare occasions.
This article examines the data supporting yoga for migraine, the most effective yoga positions, the outlook for migraine, and general advice for preventing migraine attacks.

Can yoga aid migraine sufferers?

Yoga helps reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines.
Yoga is a traditional Indian remedy for the mind and body. It is currently a widespread practice. It includes physical postures, meditation, and breathing techniques. According to studies, it can relieve stress, anxiety, and sadness.
Stress is a common and substantial migraine trigger. Yoga can help prevent migraines or alleviate their symptoms by releasing tension from tight regions such as the neck, head, and shoulders.
Yoga may be a supplemental treatment for migraines and migraine-associated impairment, according to research. Migraine sufferers should avoid yoga sessions that are intense or entail heat, such as Bikram yoga, as well as positions that strain the neck.

Documentation and evidence

A recent study confirms that yoga helps alleviate migraine symptoms, generally in conjunction with conventional medical therapy.

A 2021 research

A 61-participant study indicated that yoga therapy combined with conventional medical treatment might enhance people's quality of life and decrease migraine symptoms.
Previous 2020 studies supported this finding. In a study including 161 participants, researchers discovered that yoga as an adjunct therapy is superior to medical treatment alone and maybe a cost-effective and safe strategy to treat migraine.
Yoga combined with Ayurveda, a comprehensive style of treatment originating in India, decreases migraine symptoms and pain severity and enhances the quality of life, according to 2018 research.
An earlier 2014 study with sixty participants found that a yoga intervention significantly reduced headache frequency and intensity. In terms of the connection between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, it was discovered that yoga treatment enhanced cardiac autonomic balance.

Which postures to attempt

According to research on the effects of yoga on migraine, the following yoga positions helped reduce headache frequency and intensity:

Sukshma Vyayama

This style of yoga incorporates neck, face, and head exercises that release and relax these areas. Consider the following
Move the first, middle, and ring fingers from the chin to the jawline while massaging the cheeks. The mouth is left to stay open. Concentrate on removing knots with gentle kneading.
8 to 10 repetitions of mouth opening and closing. Eight to ten times, shift the jaw from side to side.
Turn the neck. While inhaling, move the head backward. Exhaling, bring the chin to the chest. Repeat five to six times.
Turn the head first anticlockwise, then clockwise. Inhale as the head rises and exhale as it returns to the starting position. Repeat five to six times clockwise, then in the reverse direction.

Pada Sanchalanasana or cycle yoga position

Begin by lying on your back with your legs straight and close together. Arms should be at the sides, palms down. The Head, neck, and spine should be in alignment.
Raise the right leg and pull the knee closer to the chest by bending it. The thigh must be in contact with the chest.
In this posture, raise and fully extend the right leg, then drop the right leg forward. While elevating the leg, inhale.
When the knee returns to the chest from this forward posture, a cycle is completed. When bringing the knee nearer the chest, exhale.
Ensure that the right leg's heel does not touch the ground throughout the cycling movement.
Perform the cycling motion ten times in the forward direction and ten times in the reverse direction.
Repeat the steps with your left leg.
Hand stretch respiration
Begin by standing upright with your feet together and your hands at your sides.
Place the palms of the hands on the chest with the fingers interlaced.
Reduce shoulder tension.
Straighten the arms in front of the torso while maintaining interlaced fingers. Maintain arms at shoulder height. To breathe in
Concurrently, rotate the hands such that the palms face outward.
Instead of straining the arms, stretch them.
Reverse the action and return the palms to the chest while exhaling.
Reduce shoulder tension.
Repeat while extending the arms over the head.
Repeat the same motions while extending the arms vertically toward the ceiling.

Shashankasana or rabbit posture

Start by sitting on the ground.
Extend the legs in front of you while maintaining a straight spine.
The right leg is bent at the knee. Bring it back slowly until the right buttock rests on the right foot.
Repeat the process with the left leg.
Adjust to a comfortable position and place the hands on the thighs.
While inhaling, straighten the hands and stretch.
Exhale and bend forward. Extend the arms forward and place the palms on the ground.
Attempt to touch the ground with the nose or chin.
Keep the arms out in front of you.
five to ten times.

Savasana with yoga Nidra or deep relaxation technique

Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation for deep relaxation that may be listened to in class or as an internet recording. It can facilitate relaxation.
Begin by lying flat on your back with relaxed, straight legs and arms at your sides.
Relax the muscles gradually, one at a time, with each thought.


Migraine is currently incurable, however, therapies can help alleviate its symptoms. A person may need to attempt many treatments and drugs before discovering the one or combination that is effective.
If over-the-counter migraine treatments are ineffective, a person should consult a physician regarding prescription drugs.
When paired with established medical therapies, regular yoga practice can reduce the severity and frequency of migraine headaches.
General analgesics, such as ibuprofen. These drugs should be used at the earliest symptom of a migraine attack.
Medication for the alleviation of migraine pain, such as Triptan, constricts the blood vessels around the brain. The dilation of these blood arteries may be associated with migraines.
Antiemetics aid in the treatment of nausea and vomiting.
Acupuncture. Research indicates that 10 sessions over 5–8 weeks may reduce migraine symptoms.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) involves delivering magnetic pulses through the skin and into the skull using a tiny electronic device.
If a person requires assistance with migraine management, they can contact a professional, such as at a migraine clinic, for additional evaluation and therapy.

Migraine preventive tips

Certain meals, dehydration, and sleep deprivation are all migraine triggers. People should identify their migraine triggers and keep a journal to recall what precipitated past attacks.
Certain drugs, such as the anticonvulsant topiramate, may be prescribed to treat migraines by a doctor. In addition, they may prescribe drugs such as the blood pressure medication propranolol and the antidepressant amitriptyline to avoid migraines.
Botulinum toxin type A (Botox), a nerve toxin that paralyses muscles, and acupuncture are other migraine treatments.
There is no treatment for migraines. However, migraines can be prevented by avoiding migraine triggers and taking medicines that may alleviate symptoms. These include over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, acupuncture, botulinum toxin type A, specialised therapies, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
Yoga can reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine headaches, according to research, when it is used in conjunction with other medical therapies.
The most effective yoga positions are those that promote relaxation and gradually extend the neck, head, and shoulders.