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A throbbing headache can keep you from falling asleep at night or worse, skip an important meeting. It may stem from stress, tension or even a hangover. But when you feel a headache or migraine coming on, all you want to do is zap the pain away - and fast. We've got good news: Yoga can help. So don't pop that pill just yet, and roll out your mat instead.
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Uttanasana invigorates the nervous system by increasing blood supply and also calms the mind. It is perhaps one of the most basic ways to get rid of a headache. All you need to do is bend forward, with feet hip-width apart. Grab opposite elbows, soften knees, and just relax your head and neck towards the floor.
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Seated Neck Release
The neck is often the culprit of tension headache, so it is important to stretch it out with this simple exercise. Sit in a comfortable position while ensuring that your spine is straight and your neck lengthened. Then place your left hand on the right side of your head and gently tilt your head to the left. Hold for a few breaths and then slowly switch sides. Repeat a few times on both sides to reduce the intensity of the headache.
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This yoga pose is often referred to as 'Legs Up The Wall' and can actually ease your throbbing headache in just a few minutes. Sit on one end of a mat with your right hip touching a wall. Lean back, turn to lie flat on the mat, and extend your legs up the wall. Make sure your butt is nearly touching the wall and your legs are placed together. Put your hands on your belly or rest them on the mat, then close your eyes, relax your jaw and drop your chin slightly. Breathe slowly and deeply in this position for 3 to 10 minutes.
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Adho Mukho Svanasana
Also known as the 'Downward Facing Dog Pose', this is one of yoga's most widely recognised asanas. Take deep breaths while practicing this pose, and just let your head hang between your shoulders. It helps get rid of fatigue, back pain and stiffness from sitting all day by stretching the hamstrings, chest and lengthening the spine. It also helps provide additional blood flow to the head which helps relieve your headache.
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Happy Baby Pose
If you feel like you're getting a headache due to the pain in your back that's radiating up your spine, try the Happy Baby Pose. Lie on your back with your knees bent, and hold on to your thighs or the outside edges of your feet. You can slowly rock from side to side to increase the stretch in your hips and lower back, and to gently lull your mind into a state of relaxation.