Yoga can lower your stress and calm your mind, but did you know that it is also a natural remedy for a variety of different physical ailments? So before you pop a pill for your next headache, you may want to try a pose like Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Fold).
The pose is a mild inversion (meaning your head is lower than your heart) and it not only stretches the hamstrings, calves, and hips, but it also increases circulation, sending a fresh supply of blood and oxygen to your brain.
There are four versions of the pose (A,B,C, and D). This video covers A and C.
A. Palms are flat on the floor, shoulder distance apart and parallel, with the elbows stacked over the wrists
B. Hands stay on hips; the crown of the head rests on the floor or releases toward the floor.
C. Hands are interlaced behind the back with the arms straight, arms and knuckles reaching toward the ceiling and forward as the shoulders lift away from the ears
D. Thumbs and index and middle fingers hook around the big toes; elbows bend out to the sides.
Descriptions of variations from: YogaWorks, Teacher Training Asana Manual
Other poses that may help relieve tension headaches include:
-Corpse Pose (Savasana)
-Plow Pose (Halasana)
-Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
-Big Toe Pose (Padangusthasana)
-Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
-Extended Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana)
-Fire Log Pose (Agnistambhasana)
-Head-to-Knee Forward Bend (Janu Sirsasana)
-Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
-Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose (Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana)
-Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)