September 19, 2019
Yoga For Headaches

Yoga For Headaches


What’s up my friends? Welcome to Yoga with
Adriene. I’m Adriene. Sorry you have a headache. Let’s do some yoga to try to help you feel
better. All right, so we’re going to begin in a comfortable
seat. I recommend, since we’re going for a nurturing practice here, maybe lifting the
hips up on a blanket here, like so. You can also sit up on a pillow or a block or a book.
It’s not necessary. You can even do this part in a chair. But just take a second to get
into a comfortable seat, because we’re going to begin with my number one headache remedy,
which is a little Pranayama, alternate nostril breathing, which we have a video for as well
that I’ll link you to. But I’ll take you through the steps here, since we’re here now, together.
We’ll take the hand out in front and we’re just going to take the three middle fingers
and draw them in towards the palm. Then I will sit up nice and tall. Take a deep breath
in and a long breath out. I’m going to begin with Nadi Shodhana, alternate nostril breathing.
So, I’ll bring the thumb to the right nostril. You can keep your eyes open to check me out,
and then once you feel like you get the rhythm, we’ll close the eyes and just kind of soften
the skin of the face a little bit here. So Nadi Shodhana, alternate nostril breathing,
we bring the right thumb to the right nostril. I’m going to take a deep breath in through
the left nostril. After the inhale at the top, I’m going to bring my right pinkie now
to plug the left nostril as I breathe out through the right. So, I’m alternating in
and out. Now I’ll inhale in through the right nostril. Pause at the top. Alternate. And
breathe out through the left nostril. Inhale in through the left. Pause at the top, reseal
the left nostril and switch out through the right. So, if this is new to you and you’re
like, “I have a headache, I can’t learn anything new right now. I’m so frustrated,” I understand.
I’m just going to meet you at the pass with that. So, drop the hands for a second, take
a deep breath in and exhale. Shake it out. And we try again. So, each time we’re inhaling,
we’re switching to the alternate nostril and then we’re exhaling. Each time we exhale,
we’ll inhale through that same nostril. This breath, this Pranayama practice, especially
once you get the hang of it, is so calming, so cooling, really great for headaches and
really wonderful particularly for sinus headaches. We’re going to address a couple of different
kinds of headaches, the sinus headaches, tension headaches, stress. But let’s begin again,
a little alternate nostril breathing and we’ll have a separate video for migraines, but if
you’re really already feeling that pounding headache, really splitting your moment in
two, you might just do this alternate nostril breathing and then save the rest of the video
for later. So, here we go. A couple of more passes. I’ll
close the eyes this time maybe. And inhale, in through the left nostril, sealing the right.
Pause and switch. Exhale out through the right. Inhale, in through the right. Switch. Out
through the left. Deep inhale, in through the left. Pause and switch. Long exhale, out
through the right. Sit up nice and tall. Inhale deeply through the right. Pause, switch and
seal out through the left. Inhale in through the left. Pause, switch, seal and out through
the right. Deep inhale in through the right nostril. And switch, and out through the left.
We’ll continue in just a couple of moments on your own. Let’s do one more pass, seeing if we can extend
the inhalation and exhalation a little more. Finish it out wherever you are. Even it out
if you must and then we’ll find what feels good as we release the hands and take a second
to just breathe in and out through both nostrils. Sit up nice and tall. Relax the skin of the
face. Close your eyes, you don’t need to look at the video here. I gotcha. See if you can
align your head over your heart and your heart over the pelvis or the base of the spine here.
So, just bring a little consciousness into the body. Then nice and easy, we’ll draw the
shoulders up towards the ears on a big breath in. And on an exhale, draw the shoulder blades
in and together and down for your release. Two more just like that. Inhale. And exhale.
And inhale, trying to get into the neck and shoulders. Release any tension that might
be creeping up towards the brain. Cool. Draw the palms together at the heart, inhale
in through the nose. This time exhale out through the mouth. You can bat the eyelashes
open. Take a look at the video, at your screen, but keep your energy nice and soft. So, we’re
using the breath to create a little bit of healing here for the head. And for me, people
always kind of furrow their brow, or wonder like how do I send breath to various parts
of the body. So, think of it as energy today. For me, that’s what restorative yoga is all
about. That’s where the real power of yoga and its healing approach comes from energy.
So think of the breath as energy. So, we’ll send breath, we’ll send energy to the neck
and shoulders here with this next move by practicing Garudasana Arms. We’re going to send the fingertips out, also
known as Eagle Arms, and we sit up nice and tall. This is where, again, lifting the hips
can help a little bit. So, if you feel like the Mr. Burns thing going on, give yourself
a little support, a little lift so you can sit up nice and tall. So, you send the fingertips
out. Keep it soft. Shoulders are relaxed. You might even start to go, “Oh yeah, now
I’m starting to realize why I have a headache.” So, we’ll relax. The shoulders down and find
a gentle lift up through the heart through the sternum. Then nice and easy, we’re going to cross the
right arm underneath the left. Then we bend the elbows. Kind of come to a “Hi-ya.” No
more headache. Then we’ll continue the wrap around, maybe the palms come together or maybe
not, it doesn’t really matter. We can just let the fingertips come wherever they naturally
arrive and if it’s here, that’s fine too. So, we’re just finding this cross and we’re
wanting to find a broadness through the upper back body and this lift in the heart as I
inhale, reach the fingertips and elbows up, exhale, fingertips out. Again, inhale. Fingertips
and elbows up. We reach. Exhale, fingertips out. Don’t push. Breathe into the upper back
body. Close your eyes now. Deepen your breath and again, think of the breath as energy.
So, we find a couple of nice, long, smooth, deep breaths here. Breathing into the upper
back body, breathing into the neck and shoulders, sitting up nice and tall. So, this is wonderful for circulation in the
upper body. We’re going to keep moving here, but again, if you’re already to the point
of borderline migraine or headache, so you might just stay here in Eagle Arms on both
sides. So, let’s just see how far we get together. All that to say just stay in the moment, stay
with the sensations. And again, use that breath as energy. A couple more breaths here. Inhaling,
elbows up. Exhaling, fingertips out. Then slowly we’ll unravel and release. Bring the
palms to the tops of the thighs or the knees, whatever feels best and just take a moment
to notice how you feel. Notice the energy in the upper body. Relax your shoulders, keep
the heart soft and open. Then dropping the chin to the chest, breathe into the back of
the neck. Nice and slow, you can keep the eyes closed here. We’re going to draw circles
with the nose. So, if you practiced with me before, you know that I love this little move.
This is a great and simple tension buster. Really great to just work out the kinks in
the neck and make sure that the energy is flowing, the Prana, so that your stuff doesn’t
get too clogged up. So, take it in the opposite direction if you
haven’t already. And then when you feel satisfied, we’ll come back to center and we’ll send the
fingertips out. This time, drop the left arm underneath. Nice and slow, big long smooth
breaths as we come into Eagle Arms on the other side. So, maybe the palms come together,
maybe not. We inhale, fingertips up, elbows up. Exhale, fingertips out. Breathe. Shoulder
blades get a lot of love here as we breathe up into the upper back body. It’s kind of
redundant, “Up into the upper back body.” Keep it soft and sweet here, drop into your
breath. Relax your jaw. Let’s take on more full breath in and out. And then we softly
and slowly unravel and again, bring the palms to the tops of the thighs of the knees and
loop the shoulders a couple of times here. Just notice how you feel. Now, go a little freestyle on me. We can return
to the circles or maybe it’s just a back and forth in the neck, finding a softness and
a suppleness. It may seem kind of obvious, but it’s like sometimes you have a headache,
it’s just much easier to go pop that Advil or that ibuprofen and heal it that way. But
really, a little neck rolls, sorry, I was thinking about a memory. I always used to
say i-be-pro-fren, it’s i-byu-pro-fen. Anyway, my dad does it too. A little neck hygiene goes a long way for
headaches, so take a couple of freestyle moments here. Stick with your breath. Resist the urge
to clench. Keep it soft. Then we’ll come back to center, and we’re going to move into a
forward fold. So, we have a couple of options here, you can stay on your lift. This is really
great for the heart, so we want to get the blood flowing in the opposite direction and
we’ll talk about going upside down later. But this is just a nice way to start. So,
I’m going to send the legs out long. Nice and easy, maybe the hips stay lifted here,
we bring the heels hip width apart for this, no need to keep it all tight and peanut butter
and jelly and all that silliness. Keep it soft here, point and flex the feet even. Then
inhale. Lift up the fingertips, lift up through the armpit, chest, lift your heart, and exhale
nice and easy. We forward fold, bending the knees. Belly comes to the tops of the thighs
and we rest the weight of the head over and out. It is really nice to bring the head between
the legs, and I should mention that this is also quite nice in a chair, which we do in
our “Dorm Room Yoga” or “Yoga for Tight Spaces.” So, this is great if you’re staring at a computer
all day and you start to get that headache at your office or your desk from working on
your computer too long, or from just being inundated with stuff. This is a nice place
to come in your chair, or here now on your mat. We fold over and we breathe here, nice
long smooth deep breaths. Breathe into the back body. Relax your shoulders
down. If you’re a little more flexible, you have that space available, you might begin
to slide the heels out a little bit. But keep a softness, a buoyancy in the knees. So, we’re
wanting to create space and relieve tension. This alleviates some of the pressure in the
head as we bring the heart forward and the head down. Really wonderful for circulation
as well. Shoulders relaxed. Let’s take one more breath. And to come out, don’t rush it.
Nice and slow, we release the arms, tuck the chin into the chest, and slowly roll up through
the spine. Inhale in. And exhale out. Janu Sirsasana, taking the heart forward again.
This time, we’re going to bring the left heel in towards the center. Traditionally, we teach
about a fist’s worth of space between the heel and the thigh. I think for a restorative
practice like this, it’s whatever feels good. We draw a little bit of energy up through
the right hip crease, and the same thing. We inhale in. Head to knee pose is what this
is called, Janu Sirsasana, but I think for this we can keep a soft bend in the knee or
even a generous bend. So, we can come here. So, to each his own here. Breathing in the
side body, bringing the heart forward and letting the weight of the head relax over.
Let’s take three nice, long, smooth breaths here. So, come out of the posture, release the arms.
Again, tuck the chin into the chest and roll up slowly through the spine. So, often we
get headaches right from the compression in the spine, you can visualize all those disks
getting a little crowded and compressed and that affects our nerves, right? Which, of
course, brings on the pain. So, here in yoga, we’re just slowly working out the kinks, creating
a little space. So, it may seem like you’re not doing a lot, but I think this is quite
healing. So, now we’re going to bring the left foot
in. The left knee in to hug. Wrap your right elbow around that left knee and swim the fingertips
behind for a little love in the spine here. So, we’re not going for a cranking of a twist
here. You don’t even need to go here although you can. But again you can close your eyes
and visualize those disks. Visualize the spine as you sit up nice and tall and breathe nice,
long, smooth, sweeping breaths up and down the spine. Then we’ll gently release, and
switch and take that same little sequence on the other side. So, I draw my right heel
in. Janu Sirsasana, head to knee pose, nice and soft though as I reach the fingertips
up and exhale. Take it forward. The weight of the head relaxes over. And if your head
comes nowhere close to your knee, if you’re like, “Head to knee pose? What?” That’s okay.
Still allow a softness to come through the neck and shoulders and the weight of the head
to relax. It might just be here. Let’s take three breaths. Release the fingers,
the arms. We slowly roll up and take our twist on the other side. So, hug that right foot,
right knee in. Left elbow comes to hook the right knee. You sit up nice and tall, and
again, resist the urge to kind of crank into the posture here. We’re wanting to create
space nice and softly today. Let the nervous system chill out as we inhale. Think up. Exhale
into your twist. And then we gently release back to center. Awesome. Go ahead and hike that left heel up. We’re
going to cross the ankles and come to all fours. Continue with this little love for
the spine by coming into cat-cow. So, especially arching the back like a black Halloween cat
here as you come to all fours. Really great again for visualizing space between those
disks. Breathing in and out here and then you might find a little flow. So, you can
take your eyes off the video here for sure as you explore a little spinal flex. Also,
bringing just a little more blood to the upper body in this black Halloween cat pose as we
arch the spine and draw the navel up. Then we’ll transition to an extended child’s
pose by bringing the two big toes together and the knees nice and wide. Then send the
sit bones back and if you only have time for one kind of restorative pose a day, this might
be it, right? This is often a common resting posture in most active classes and just fantastic
for headaches. So, we keep the knees wide, fingertips reach out. We melt the heart down
and this is so awesome for headaches. Melting the heart and maybe even, got so relaxed there,
maybe even massaging the brow bones, that third eye center by rocking and rolling gently
from side to side. If you want to get real fancy, you can put a little tissue of lavender
oil on your mat or even on a block at this point. If you feel a headache coming on, this
is a great place to come beat it, and beat it, and beat it. Take a couple of quiet moments
to rest here, breathing into the back body. If the shoulders are tight, you can walk the
palms out a little bit wider. Choose to surrender here. Whatever gave you the headache, no need
to focus on it anymore. Choose to let go. Take one more deep breath here and then slowly
use your exhale to transition back to all fours. We’ll curl the toes under, stretch
the soles of the feet, and nice and easy roll up. So, we’re going to move into a handstand
prep which might seem a little counter-intuitive. And again, if you’re already kind of meeting
your migraine zone or everyone’s different right, you might skip this. Turn the lights
off, turn the video off and come into a Shavasana or even stay in that extended child’s pose
for your rest. Otherwise, we’re going to bring a little blood
to the brain. Our bodies are always moving in the same direction of gravity, so of course
we’re going to flip it and nourish and revitalize the upper body with an inversion. So, this
may not be in your practice yet. We have a video for handstand and I just love the handstand
prep. It’s just so awesome. Kicking your legs up in the air has its benefits for sure, but
we can start by dropping the elbows in line with the shoulders, interlacing the fingertips
and bringing the top of the head, the tip tops of the crown of the head to the earth,
cradling the back of the head with the hands. Please check out the foundations of this pose
for proper alignment and action if you want to grow a handstand practice. For now, we’ll
press into the elbows and just be here. Breathing, maybe closing the eyes, using the toes for
a little stability here. There’s a tendency to collapse the shoulders here, so press away
from the earth, almost as if you’re wanting to lift your head up. You can stay here or
you can begin to walk the knees out there and lift the sit bones up high. Breathing
here. And then like I said, if you have a handstand practice, you might begin to squeeze
one knee in towards the center. Did I say handstand, I meant headstand. Shoot. And then
the other, and then maybe lift up, or maybe you don’t. Again, it’s not really about the
fancy headstand here, it’s about getting a little nourishment to the brain. Take two
more breaths wherever you are. And then we’ll send the sit bones back, rest
the forehead down, and reach the fingertips around for Balasana. Take a breath or two
here, relax your shoulders. Then we’re going to slither into Shavasana from here. So, I
say, you can turn to look at me if you like, I say, slide the palms up, come on to your
belly. Keep a nice softness, stay low. No need to roll up here. And then check out this
fancy yoga move. It’s called turn right on to your side. Hug the knees into the chest,
take a moment here. Napasana. Also really great for circulation. If you feel like the
spine could use a little more love, you could peel the nose up to the knees for breath.
And then in your own time, find your release. So you can choreograph your own way to Shavasana.
You might take that blanket you had earlier and pillow the head or cover the eyes. In
fact, we’ll do this in our migraine specific video, but you might even bring the palms
together, just create a little bit of heat. Find your breath, that Prana, that energy.
Deep breath in. And on an exhale, bring the hands to the eyes. Thumbs to the temples.
And choose to let go of any stress, any tension, knowing the breath is a tool. The breath is
Prana, is energy to keep things moving and flowing. Shining a little light into the dark
places unclogging out any of those energy meridians that might have gotten a little
stuffed up. Perhaps you feel a little emotion here or
not. Just notice how you feel. You can stay here, hands on the head, or you can slowly
release the arms out to your Shavasana. So, there’s no outro video for this one today,
it’s all you. If time allows, stay here and breathe, giving yourself permission to do
absolutely nothing. Keeping the eyes closed for a little bit, replenishing and restoring.
Take good care. Namaste.

100 thoughts on “Yoga For Headaches

  1. Thank you for this great video! I had a bad headache and this totally relieved my headache. ๐Ÿค“โค๏ธ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป

  2. Thank you for doing videos like this one! I get headaches very easily and they are very hard to get rid of and your videos like this one help the pain decrees. If you can, could you do more videos like this one?

  3. one question do u get headaches coz when u lean u head down to ur knees i get more pain in my head and i get headches after yoga

  4. Thank you! needed to do both this and the migraine video plus drugs plus white tiger balm but FINALLY beginning to feel human again ๐Ÿ™

  5. Today I woke up with a headache wich only got worse with every step i took , but after going along with the video its almost completely gone and i feel sooo relaxed, thank you very much ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. Nearly 4 years later and still good. Someone recommended your channel to me several months ago, but Iโ€™m only just giving it a proper look. I love the balance (no pun intended) of compassion, gentle and genuine humour, good teaching and relaxed approach.

  7. I've used this video probably 500 times since it's release and it literally is the greatest thing. Thank you!!

  8. Adrienne thank you so much. The sequence with the elbows and hands clasped made me feel so much better. I cried after letting all that tension go. I'm still feeling a little of my headache but not as much. Thank you for your videos!

  9. Struggling majorly with tension headache and man did this help. Still some temple pain but markedly less painful than before. Also I noticed this vid brought up a lot if emotions crom me which surprised me? I kept finding myself on the verge of tears for no explainable reason.

  10. I used the wall to sit up straight in all of the poses in the first part of this video. It took a lot of pressure off my back, and I didn't focus on holding myself up. This allowed me to focus on healing and releasing stress. It really helped me a lot. Maybe it can help you with more severe headaches. This video is really helpful for me to control my heart rate which is the cause of my chronic migraines. Tomorrow I am excited to try the migraine practice. Happy healing! <3

  11. Adriene, you are a lifesaver! I got a headache at work today, and took painkillers several hours ago, but they didn't help my headache at all. I just finished this yoga sequence, and I am now pain-free!! Thank you so much, I feel so much better ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’•

  12. Thank you Adriene. Fell asleep sitting up in bed and woke with neck headache.
    You are Wonderful. Will never tire saying that.
    ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜˜โค๏ธ

  13. I love that I can find a class that fits my needs exactly on any given day. I had a terrible headache today, so I just searched for Yoga for Headaches. I love "Yoga With Adriene." She is such a positive instructor, she keeps you informed about what you are doing at all times, and explains the purpose of each pose. I can tell she genuinely cares about the people following her yoga practice. The quality of her classes is impeccable and I really like her. That is very important to me in a yoga instructor.

  14. Thanks for kicking my horrible headache away! I actually felt so much better already when I heard your voice knowing that you care about our well-being.

  15. This is a wonderful routine to do while waiting for painkillers to kick in…sometimes waiting for relief is the most difficult part and this sequence helps give me back the patience that my pain takes away!

  16. This really did help my headache go away. I am thankful that you are taking the time to help others feel better again. I plan on watching the rest of your yoga videos now that I"ve found you. Much love.

  17. Thank you so much. This relieved a major part of my headache and I am able to go ahead with my day!

    I did the first part of this sequence in a seat.

  18. I chose this practice today over rushing myself and my rituals and rushing to a community class. Not only did I show up for myself by committing to my daily practice, I also showed up for my productivity after work by getting the dishes done and floor swept before heading out for my day ๐Ÿ˜Š thank you ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’š

  19. I did have a headache ironically enough and this most definitely relieved it Jai Namaste ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿค—

  20. Thank you so much for this whole December playlist ๐Ÿ™ always reminding us to circle it back to ourselves, to love, self love. Even in triggering seasons like this, always from a place of connect and honouring where we are in the journey ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿค— much love to you an Benjito! From my open heart to yours ๐Ÿ’œ Namaste ๐Ÿ™

  21. this was such a great soft practice to get around to doing late at night when my hormones were keeping me up. No headache, but yummy prana breathing always soothes <3

  22. This yoga practice is also good for after you carried a super heavy bag of Christmas grocery shopping. It released the tension in my shoulders, back pain, leg muscles pain… it released me! Thank you so much, Adriene!

  23. omg this video is way too loud to listen to when I have a headache. ๐Ÿ™ If you do another in the future please speak quietly and have either no music or very subtle music. The moment the loud music came on my headache got worse ๐Ÿ™

  24. THIS is MAGIC! as I was finishing this practice, listening to my body with no headaches I started weaping with tears of appreciation for you, Adriene, and everything else that I have in my life. You are a hero!!! Thank you so much.

  25. Love this video!! Finished it crying and laughing at the same time. It feels amazing! I Thank you adriene!! ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜

  26. This truly worked!!! My headache is GONE! I felt the headache massively while I was doing the exercises and could feel the tension being addressed. I normally am out for two days once I get to this point of my headache and it is GONE. THANK YOU!

  27. sorry , but you talk so much and explaining many things while I'm trying to relax , i would really suggest if you write in the description box about the benefit of each step and just say inhale and exhale

  28. Wow I just out of no where started sobbing at the end of this video…. but i guess โ€œu May feel some emotionโ€ hahaha wasnโ€™t expecting that

  29. Thank you SO much! Like all your other videos, this totally worked. The headache I've had for literally the last 24 hours is gone. <3

  30. I just searched for a vid and my phone autocorrect to "Yoga With Afriend"… How true is that!? Lol…. K, now to get rid of this headache.

  31. Had a tension headache so hopped on the mat and tried this video. Really helped me to relax and enjoy the rest of my day thank you. x

  32. Your videos not just relax the body but also the mind! As you say it's all connected and I always find what makes me feel good ๐Ÿ˜Š

  33. I was surprised to see how bowing your head to heart or simply getting it down helped my headache. At first, it seemed like it was only getting worse because of so much head movement but in the end it did its magic. Thank you!

  34. "Go ahead and just let go here of whatever it was that may have cause your headache." Just forget my whole life real quick?

  35. I seriously can't believe that completely cleared my headache! I love yoga so much, I'm becoming a true true believer! I used to do it because I'm flexible and decent at it–now it gets me going every day and is changing my life and body! I love you so much thanks Adriene!

  36. I love this video, Adriane!! It's so nourishing and lovely :). I felt as if you were with me in my living room face to face, Thank you so much!

  37. Thank you so much for all of your time, love and warm personality. You make everyone feel extremely at ease. I love that there are videos out there for however or whatever I may be feeling. This headache video took my nasty headache and sent it to another world. Thank you again for sharing with all of us.

  38. I love the way you speak and explain. You say: 'lift your heart up' or 'choose to let go of any stress'. For me it feels like you're not forcing anything on us, you create space for us to do what we feel comfortable with. I realised that i feel forced a lot of times and not always comfortable with the way i do things. So your nurturing practices are always an eye opener and they make me feel like the world isn't so bad haha. Thank you for teaching your vision.

  39. Thank you, Adriene! I feel night and day better after this practice. No more headache! Eagle pose felt so juicy… never thought to do that pose when I had a headache. You're the best!

  40. Thank you so much Adrienne, I really needed that and I feel so much better. Your kindness truly heals too.Thank you, beautiful soul <3

  41. This is life changing. Between these videos and my new Apple watch, Im actually looking forward to doing healthy movement. โค๏ธ

  42. Adrienne, I have been addicted to your yoga for 6 months. It's changed my life. This practice helped my headache that had been persisting all day!

  43. Adrienne, you are magic. Thank you for being born! Love all your videos, and I especially love this one.

  44. Definitely had a chuckle at the Advil comment. You mean the Advil I popped before searching for "yoga for headaches"? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜… I really liked the video though. The alternate nostril breathing helped more than anything since I'm pretty sure my headache was sinus related. Thank you for your gentle nature and soft video. It was what I needed today.

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