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Yoga for Headache (Migraine)

All of us have experience head ache some time or the other in our lives. You can imagine how miserable life would be if you had to live with headache as a life companion.

The common Psychosomatic causes of head ache include migraine or tension headache. These are characterized by repeated episodes of headache occurring over many years. Migraine head ache (MHA) has a characteristic pattern and periodicity. Usually migraine is a week end phenomenon. After the hectic duties of the week when you want to take rest the head ache begins and takes away the entire holiday mood of the family. The ache occurs typically in one half of the head. It starts with a warning of some form of visual disturbance such as blurring or seeing irregular circles of light round bright lights which could be very irritating. It starts around the eyes and forehead on one side and spreads to the entire half of the head. The intensity goes on increasing making you unable to function or stay in the normally lit room. After a few hours when the pain is at its peak nausea begins followed by vomiting and the decline starts. When the pain is gone exhaustion sets in because of the stress of severe pain you went through. You may need another 12 hours of complete rest and sleep before you become functional.

What triggers migraine?

The pain is triggered by physical or mental tension, hot sun, eating fried food, chocolate, milk products etc. Migraine is known to be a psychosomatic disease. Scientists have demonstrated a clear cut chemical imbalance in the lining of the blood vessels on the surface of the brain that carry pure blood.


Sthiti: Dandasana


  • Bend the head forward trying to touch the chin to the chest.

  • Slowly rotate the head clock wise in as big a circle as possible.

  • Practice ten rounds clockwise and ten rounds anti-clockwise with normal breathing.


  • Allow normal breathing without trying to synchronize the breath and neck movements.

  • Try to keep the eyes closed throughout the practice.

  • Feel the shifting stretch around the neck and loosening up of the joints and muscles of the neck.

  • If there is pain in any position, hold the head in that position. Become aware of the point or area of pain and start breathing consciously and deeply. This will relieve the pain and then you can continue.

  • Can be practiced in cross-legged sitting position, sitting in a chair or in Tadasana.

  • Elderly person and persons with cervical spondylosis may avoid this during acute pain.

This article has been written by Dr. R. Nagarathna, Dean, Division of Yoga & Life-sciences, SVYASA
This article is published online courtesy
and Arogyadhama

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