Yoga poses for stress relief are an essential part of taking care of your mental and physical health. Practicing yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and boost your overall wellbeing. In this blog post, we’ll explore the top 10 yoga poses for stress relief and explain how each pose can help you to relax and reduce tension in your body.
1) Camel Pose
Camel pose is a wonderful yoga pose for reducing stress and increasing flexibility. This posture helps to open up the chest and shoulders, relieving tension in the upper body. It can be practiced in both seated and standing positions.
To begin, start by kneeling on the floor with your knees hip-width apart. Make sure your knees are directly below your hips and your feet are pointing straight ahead. Grab the outside of each heel with your hands and reach behind you. Allow your head to relax and your chest to open.
If you can keep your feet flat on the floor, you can start to lean back, deepening the stretch in your chest and shoulders. If your feet do not reach the floor, use a block or bolster to rest them on. If you feel discomfort in the lower back, you can also place a blanket or block underneath the tailbone.
Stay in the pose for 5–10 breaths, breathing deeply and relaxing into the posture. When you are ready, slowly release and come back up to a seated position.
Camel pose is an excellent way to reduce stress and tension in the body. It can help relax the mind and create a sense of calmness. With regular practice, it will become easier to move into the pose with greater ease and flexibility.
2) Child’s Pose
Child’s Pose is one of the most basic and popular yoga poses. It helps to stretch the lower back, hips, thighs, and ankles while relieving stress and tension in the body. This pose helps to relax the mind and create a sense of calmness.
To begin, start in a kneeling position on your mat with your knees spread hip-width apart. Sit back on your heels, then lean forward and bring your forehead to the mat. Let your arms hang at your sides with your palms facing up. If this is too intense for your lower back, you can place a block or pillow between your back and heels for additional support.
Stay in this pose for anywhere from 5–10 minutes, or as long as you feel comfortable. As you’re in the pose, focus on releasing any built-up tension in the body and take deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. This pose can be done anytime throughout the day as a way to relieve stress and reconnect with yourself.
3) Cat-Cow Pose
Cat-Cow Pose is an excellent yoga pose for relieving stress and tension. This pose will not only help to relax the body, but it will also improve flexibility in the spine.
To begin the pose, start in a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Your wrists should be beneath your shoulders, and your knees should be directly below your hips. Inhale and arch your back, tucking your chin, and let your stomach relax downward. This is the “cat” position. Exhale and lift your head and tailbone up towards the ceiling while dropping your belly down toward the floor. This is the “cow” position. Repeat this sequence several times.
Make sure to keep your breathing even throughout the pose. When you feel ready, come back to the tabletop position and take a few moments to rest and breathe before continuing with your practice.
The cat-cow pose can be a great way to relieve stress and find balance in the body. It helps to open up the chest and bring oxygen-rich blood to the brain, allowing for increased energy and clarity of thought. Give this pose a try if you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed!
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4) Downward Facing Dog
Downward-Facing Dog is a yoga pose that can help relieve stress and tension in many different ways. It is one of the most commonly used poses in yoga and is a great way to release the back and shoulders.
To begin this pose, start by coming onto all fours with your hands and knees on the ground. From there, curl your toes under and slowly raise your hips and legs up toward the sky. Make sure that your hands are shoulder-width apart and your feet are hip-width apart. You should form an inverted V-shape with your body.
The next step is to focus on your breath and start to draw your shoulder blades down your back. As you inhale, push your chest towards the floor, and as you exhale, move your hips even higher toward the sky. Your neck should remain relaxed as you gaze toward your navel.
Stay in this pose for five to ten deep breaths, and then slowly bring your body back down to the floor. Downward Facing Dog is a great way to relieve stress, open up the spine and shoulders, and stretch out the hamstrings and calves. Make sure to practice this pose regularly for maximum benefit!
5) Triangle Pose
Triangle Pose, or Trikonasana, is a standing yoga posture that stretches and strengthens your legs, hips, and spine while also helping to calm your mind and reduce stress. To perform the pose, begin in a standing position with your feet spread apart at hip-width. Reach your right arm up towards the ceiling, then bend your right knee so that your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your right arm extends out over your right foot. Keep your left leg straight and reach your left arm out to the side, parallel to the ground. Hold for 5–10 breaths, then switch sides and repeat.
Triangle Pose can be beneficial for anyone looking to reduce stress. It helps to open up the chest and heart area, allowing for easier breathing and more space for the lungs to expand. The posture also increases circulation throughout the body, which can help with relaxation. Additionally, stretching the legs and hips helps relieve tension in these areas.
6) Half Camel Pose
Ardha Ustrasana, or “Half Camel Pose,” is an intermediate yoga pose that helps the body feel less stressed and more balanced. It’s a deep backbend pose, which opens up your chest and strengthens your spine.
To begin this pose, start in a kneeling position on your mat with your knees hip-width apart. Bring your arms behind you and place your palms on the mat behind your hips, fingertips pointing towards your feet. Lift up through the chest, engaging your core, and pressing your palms into the mat.
Take a slow, deep breath in, and as you let it out, pull your belly button in and curl your tailbone down. Then, press your palms firmly into the mat and engage your legs as you tilt your torso back and reach for your heels with your hands. Once in this position, keep your torso lifted and avoid collapsing in your shoulders.
Make sure you are still engaging your legs and pressing your palms into the mat as you continue to draw the navel in and tilt the torso back. Try to stay in the pose for 5–10 breaths, feeling the stretch through your chest and abdomen. When you’re ready to come out of the pose, gently release your palms from the mat and press back into Child’s Pose.
Half Camel Pose is an excellent yoga posture for stress relief because it can help to open up your chest while strengthening the spine. Be sure to practice this pose mindfully and slowly to get the most out of it.
7) Seated Forward Bend
A seated forward bend is a great pose for relieving stress. It helps to relax your body and mind by lengthening your spine and stretching your back, neck, and shoulders. Start in a seated position with your legs straight in front of you. As you inhale, reach your arms up over your head, and then, as you exhale, gently fold your torso forward. Rest your hands wherever they feel comfortable—on the floor, on your feet, or on your legs. If you can’t reach the floor with your hands, use a yoga strap to help you. Hold this pose for 5–10 breaths, making sure to keep your back and neck relaxed. To come out of the pose, slowly roll up to a seated position. This pose is calming and can help you reset when feeling overwhelmed.
8) Leg Up the Wall Pose
Leg Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani) is a relaxing and calming restorative yoga pose that can be done anywhere. It helps to reduce stress and fatigue while improving circulation.
To do this pose, begin by lying on your back with your legs together. Then, bring your right hip towards your right shoulder as you lift your legs off the floor and swing them up against the wall. Make sure your legs are straight, your feet are together, and your toes are pointed. Your hips should be close to the wall, and your lower back should be pressed flat against the ground.
Hold this position for at least five minutes while taking deep breaths and letting yourself calm down. You could also support your buttocks with a bolster or a folded blanket. To release from the pose, slowly bring your legs down and take a few moments to rest in Corpse Pose.
Legs Up the Wall Pose is a great way to relieve tension in the body, calm the mind, and give your body the rest it needs. If you are looking for a way to de-stress and relax, this is the perfect yoga pose to add to your practice.
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9) Corpse Pose
Corpse Pose, also known as Savasana, is a restorative yoga pose that is used to calm the body and mind. It involves lying on your back with your legs and arms outstretched. This pose helps to reduce stress, improve digestion, and relax the body.
To do Corpse Pose:
- Lie on your back on a comfortable surface such as a yoga mat.
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
- Allow your body to sink into the ground, feeling any tightness or tension dissipate.
- Relax your arms and legs by allowing them to move freely and naturally.
- Focus on your breathing. As you exhale, feel any tension leaving your body.
- Allow yourself to stay in the pose for as long as you’d like, anywhere from a few minutes to several minutes.
- When you are ready, slowly roll onto your right side, using your hand for support as needed.
- Push yourself up to a seated position when you’re ready to come out of the pose.
Corpse pose is an excellent way to reduce stress and tension throughout the body and mind. This pose can be done anytime during the day or before bed, as it has a calming effect on the nervous system and helps you drift off into a peaceful sleep. With regular practice, corpse pose can help you develop a greater sense of self-awareness and inner peace.
10) Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises can be a great way to reduce stress and relax the body. There are a variety of breathing techniques that can be used to find relief from stress, such as abdominal breathing, 4-7-8 breathing, and alternate nostril breathing.
Abdominal Breathing: This technique can be done anywhere and helps to relax the body and reduce stress levels. To do this type of breathing, sit or lie down in a comfortable position and place one hand on your abdomen. Inhale slowly through your nose, allowing your abdomen to rise as you fill your lungs with air. Exhale slowly through your mouth, and feel your abdomen fall as you empty your lungs. Repeat for several minutes.
4-7-8 Breathing: This type of breathing can be done while sitting in a comfortable position. Begin by inhaling deeply through your nose for a count of 4 seconds. Hold your breath for a count of 7 seconds, then exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds. Repeat this cycle three times, giving yourself time to feel calm and refreshed after each time through.
Alternate Nostril Breathing: Alternate nostril breathing is a form of pranayama, which is an ancient practice of controlling the breath. To do this type of breathing, sit in a comfortable position and use your right thumb to close your right nostril. Inhale slowly through your left nostril for 4 seconds, then use your ring finger to close your left nostril. Exhale through your right nostril for 4 seconds, then repeat the cycle. Continue this for 5–10 minutes and notice the effects of relaxation and stress relief in your body.
Practicing any of these breathing exercises can help relieve stress and calm the mind. When feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, take some time to focus on your breath and practice one of these techniques for some extra relaxation.