yoga for migraine


When it comes to migraine, an ounce of prevention is definitely worth way more than several pounds of cure. Treating all the symptoms of migraine while in the throes of it isn’t always that effective–and is never pleasant.

So over the years I’ve developed quite the arsenal of prevention techniques. So far I’ve seen the biggest impact from daily doses of magnesium (500 milligrams) and riboflavin (400 milligrams) and from regular yoga practice.

One day I wondered if anyone had ever done a specific yoga routine for migraine. I had run across yoga for back pain relief and a few other specific conditions; why not migraine as well?

I did some searching. I found dozens of routines.

So I sat down with pen and paper (I’m old-fashioned that way) and made notes on the poses each recommended sequence mentioned. When I finished, I realized that some poses showed up over and over again.

I marked how often each pose showed up. I studied the sequence orders given. And I noted which poses were ones I already liked or was familiar with or at least thought I could do.

And I created my own yoga for migraine routine.

I won’t pretend that I do the sequence every day. And I won’t pretend it’s the only yoga routine I follow. But if I’m consistent about including it in my rotation on a regular basis (my goal is at least a couple of times a week), I do find myself having to reach for my migraine remedy less often.

Maybe it will help someone else as well.

Yoga for migraine practice:

  1. Cat pose
  2. Mountain pose
  3. Mountain pose with upward stretch
  4. Side stretch right and left
  5. Standing forward bend or an easier version
  6. Wide-legged forward bend
  7. Triangle right and left
  8. Tree pose right and left
  9. Downward facing dog
  10. Upward facing dog or cobra
  11. Child’s pose
  12. Seated spinal twist right and left
  13. Seated neck release (first pose shown on this list–which is a great list, by the way!)
  14. Seated side stretch (number 5 on the same list as above)
  15. Seated forward bend
  16. Bridge
  17. Happy baby
  18. Knees to chest
  19. Reclined butterfly/supine bound angle (my all-time favorite! I basically can’t do yoga without doing this pose)
  20. Legs against the wall (this was the very first pose I found recommended for migraine. Highly recommended)
  21. Straddle against the wall (basically just how it sounds–stay against the wall, but move legs to a straddle position–at this site, scroll down to find “wall straddle”. Again, feel free to browse here–it has a whole routine of poses done against the wall. Kind of different)
  22. Corpse

If you decide to try this, please let me know how you like it. I’d love to learn that it helped someone else! I’m also open to suggestions–poses to add, things to change around, whatever.

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