Try Downward Dog Pose to Combat Migraine

According to a study published in the May 6, 2020, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, yoga may help people with migraine and headaches to happen less often, don’t last as long and are less painful.

The study showed people improved in both the medication-only group as well as the yoga group, but the benefit was higher in the yoga group in all areas, including headache frequency, pain intensity, use of medications as well as how much migraine interfered with daily life. Also, the average number of pills participants in the yoga group used decreased by 47% after three months.

Before you begin to Practice Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward Dog Yoga Pose make sure to consult your doctor and watch the instructions and your body signals. Do not push yourself if you are a beginner.

Instructions for Downward Dog Pose

  • Start with Tadasana facing a wall, about 1m (3.5 ft) away from it. Place 2 of the blocks on their broad sides, shoulder- width apart, against the wall. Place the third block on its long side, 45cm (18in) away from the wall. Separate your feet to a distance of 45cm(18in). Kneel, and place your palms on the two blocks against the wall.
  • Press your palms down on the blocks and walk your feet back, until they are 1.2m (4ft) away from your hands. Make sure that your feet are in line with your hands and the same distance apart. Raise both heels, stretch your legs, then lower your heels to the floor. Stretch your arms fully.
  • Consciously stretch each leg from heel to buttock, and from the front of the ankle to the top of the thigh. Raise your buttocks, stretch your chest, and push your sternum toward your hands. Exhale, then rest your head on the third block.
  • Press your hands down on the blocks,extending your arms fully. Stretch your spine and expand your chest. Keep your throat soft and elongated. Relax your eyes and keep your brain passive.


To make the most of downward-facing dog, your best guides are:

  • Your breath: If you can’t breathe comfortably (slowly and evenly) in a pose, you are not ready for it.
  • Your body: If you feel pain, come out of the pose. Don’t suffer in silence. You should try modifications when you feel the pain.


  • Yoga therapy enhances the vagal tone and decreases the sympathetic drive, hence improving the cardiac autonomic balance. Thus, Yoga therapy can be effectively incorporated as an adjuvant therapy in migraine patients. Migraine frequency and intensity is also reduced.
  • Yoga being, a slow non-exertional aerobic exercise is more beneficial than pure aerobic exercise. Studies have shown that Yoga – type of mindful slow exercise is better than aerobic exercise or non-aerobic mindful exercise in enhancing mood and alleviating stress and depression.


The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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