Is stress creating havoc in your life? Well, you are not alone in this battle! Stress is a modern-day epidemic that impacts people of all ages, from toddlers to adults. Even simple events like arguing with your partner or missing your bus can make you feel stressed. Thankfully, there is Yoga to your rescue! There many techniques in Yoga for stress relief that work like a charm, when performed in the right way.

Why Yoga is a Good Stress Reliever?:

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that involves the three main aspects of our body –body, mind and breathing. While performing the Yoga poses, the body stays in sync with the breath. In this process, the different muscle groups in the body loosen up and release tension. Slow breathing lets you focus on the movements instead of random thoughts in your head.

After the session, you will experience a stress-free mind and enjoy the feeling of “being in the moment”!

Benefits of Yoga for Stress Relief:

Yoga is a wonderful therapy for managing stress and anxiety! Even the westerners believe in the power of this practice and follow it in their day-day to lives. Studies also show that practicing Yoga for at least 20-30 minutes a day will free your body and mind from stress.

Let us now look into the top benefits of taking up Yoga for stress management:

  • Yoga helps in balancing the body, mind and soul to tackle physical and mental issues.
  • With regular practice, your sleep cycle gets normalized again. Sleeping well is essential for eliminating stress in your life.
  • The inhale and exhale techniques involved in slow breathing flushes out toxic air from the body and allows more oxygen into it. This leads to better blood circulation, resulting in improved functioning of the body.
  • By focusing on the movements and the breath, you will be able to attain mindfulness and learn how to deal with situations better.
  • Yoga relieves muscle tension, restores calmness of mind, and increases your sense of well-being.

12 Best Yoga Poses For Stress Relief:

This article lists 12 Best Yoga Asanas to try for getting relief from stress:

1. Upward Arm Stretch:

Stress can cause tightness in muscles, which inturn can stress you more! One way to break this ‘dead lock’ is by practicing this simple Yoga asana for stress relief. The pose releases tension from the muscles around the neck, shoulders, spine and arms. By loosening up these muscle groups, the asana offers relief from muscle pain and anxiety issues.

How To Do?:

NOTE: To do this asana, you will need a chair.

  • Sit on the chair and face the wall.
  • Move your hands forward and touch the wall with your fingers
  • Without bending the arms, try to “crawl” upwards on the wall using your fingers
  • Stretch your back and spinal column as much as you can
  • Once you reached the maximum point, hold it for a count of 10
  • Slowly go back to the starting position

How Many Times To Do?:

You can repeat this pose for 10-15 times and slowly increase the count as you go.

2. Right Angle Pose:

This right-angle pose is an excellent Yoga asana to feel relaxed and stress-free quickly. The asana can calm down your mind by releasing the tension from the back muscles. This Yoga asana also regulates your breath and slows down your emotional outflow. This asana works wonders for addressing stress problems in students preparing for exams.

How To Do:

  • To do this asana, you will need to stand close to the wall, a few inches away.
  • Place your hands on the wall with the wrist touching its surface.
  • Make sure the shoulders and wrist at maintained at the same level.
  • Walk backward and keep your torso perpendicular to the wall in a right-angle position.
  • Your feet must be slightly apart and fixed firmly onto the ground.
  • Now extend your arms into the wall, trying to push it back.
  • Put the strength of your body into it and extend your spine to its maximum length.
  • This will straighten out your elbows and knees.
  • Hold that position for 10 seconds
  • Relax and repeat the pose

How Many Times To Do?:

You can repeat this pose 15 times, twice a day.

3. Downward Facing Dog:

Downward facing dog or AdhoMukhaSvanasana is one of the most popular stress relief yoga pose. The asana offers numerous benefits to the body and mind, which inturn address stress issues. It increases blood flow to the brain and improves lung capacity. By massaging the joints in arms and legs, the asana strengthens your body and energizes it.

How To Do?:

  • Spread a Yoga mat on the floor
  • Sit in the diamond pose or Vajrasana with knees bent and hands on the thighs.
  • Breathe In, Move forward and place your hands on the ground
  • Keep your thighs and arms perpendicular to the floor
  • Lift up the hips and push the knees away from the ground
  • Balance your body on the heels and toes
  • Bend your upper body to let your ears touch the inner arms
  • Fix your gaze on your naval
  • Keep breathing and maintain this inverted ‘V’ position for however long you can
  • Breathe out and slowly return to the original position

How Many Times To Do?:

You can do this asana for 2-3 times a day and gradually increase it.

4. Knees to Chest:

Apanasana or Knees-to-Chest is one of the best Yoga positions to stress relief. The asana involves stretching the pelvis and the lower back to release tension and spasms from these areas. The literal translation of the word Apanasa is “downward-moving life force”. By performing this pose, you can get rid of toxins, including toxic emotions from the body.

How To Do?:

  • To do this asana, lie on your back
  • Pull your knees towards your chest
  • Rock your body from side to side gently while holding this pose.
  • Now inhale and slowly take back the knees away from the chest
  • Extend the arms and legs onto the floor
  • Exhale and bring back the knees towards the chest
  • Hold that position for a while
  • Repeat the steps

How Many Times To Do?

You can do this asana for 5-6 times a day.

5. Easy Pose:

Sukhasana or Easy Pose is one of the best stress relieving exercises for beginners. The word Sukha means “to be at ease”. This comfortable yoga pose involves sitting cross-legged and practicing deep breathing exercises. The pose improves blood circulation to your spine, legs, hips and abdomen. It also calms your mind and leaves you feeling rejuvenated.

How To Do?:

  • Be seated on the floor
  • Fold your left leg and place it inside your right thigh
  • Similarly, fold your right leg and place it inside the left thigh
  • Place your hands on your knees and sit straight
  • Your spine should be in an erect position
  • Inhale and exhale normally and relax your body
  • Hold the position till you can calm down

How Many Times To Do?

You can do this asana for however long you can. Experts suggest performing this asana for a minimum 15-20 minutes to achieve desired results.

6. Child’s Pose:

Child’s pose or Balasana is a Yoga pose for relaxation and stress relief. The asana gets this unique name for its resemblance to the fetal position in a mother’s womb. Along with alleviating stress and nervousness, Balasana improves blood circulation and strengthens your muscles. It also loosens up the muscles in lower back to reduce pain and tightness.

How To Do?:

  • On the floor, kneel down with your buttocks touching the soles of your feet
  • Place your hands on the thighs and let the palms touch the ground.
  • Exhale and bend to bring your chest between the knees
  • Extend your palms on the ground and touch the ground with your forehead
  • Hold the position for 2-3 minutes
  • Breathe normally
  • Inhale slowly and return to the original position

How Many Times To Do?

Perform this asana 5 to 10 times a day.

7. Corpse Pose:

Shavasana or the Corpse pose is a wonderful mind stress relief Yoga asana to relax the mind and the entire body. The asana may look simple but requires intense concentration to “play dead”. When done in the right way, Shavasana can release tension from your muscles and make you feel rested. It can soothe a wrecked nervous system and make you back to normal again.

How To Do?:

  • Lie down on your back with your feet wide apart
  • Close your eyes
  • Place your arms by the sides and your palms open
  • Just breathe normally and let your muscles stay free
  • Retain this position for 10 minutes
  • To get back to the normal position, turn towards your side, fold your knees and slowly balance your body on your palms.

How Many Times To Do?

Perform this asana once or twice, with each session lasting for 20-30 minutes.

8. Reclined Spinal Twist:

Reclined Spinal Twist, also called SuptaMatsyendrasana, is a popular Yoga asana for stress relief. The asana involves stretching the chest muscles and opening the heart to make it more receptive to positivity. It massages the abdominal muscles to stimulate better digestion. The twisting pose also relieves tension from lower back caused due to too much sitting or bending.

How To Do?:

  • Spread a yoga mat on the floor
  • Lie down on the ground
  • Now bend your left knee and slowly shift it towards the right side
  • Maintain your upper body straight, facing the ceiling
  • Hold that position for a count of 10
  • Go back to the original position
  • Now again, bend your right knees and shift it towards your left side
  • Again hold the position for a count of 10

How Many Times To Do?

Repeat the asana for 5-10 times on each side.

9. Cat Pose:

Cat pose or Marjari asana is an effective stress relief Yoga pose that instantly calms your mind. The asana stimulates the digestive system and aids in better absorption of nutrients to feel energetic. It reduces the feelings of stress and fatigue, along with improving blood circulation. The pose also reduces tightness from back muscles and increases flexibility.

How To Do?:

  • Spread the Yoga mat on the floor
  • Sit in the Vajrasana position
  • Raise your upper body with the knees still in contact with the floor
  • Bend your waist and place your palms on the ground in an “all-fours” position
  • Your arms must be perpendicular to the ground, the hands must be close to the shoulders
  • Breathe in and slowly lift up your chin
  • Stretch your head backwards as much as you can
  • Raise your tailbone and push your navel downwards
  • Maintain this position for a count of 5
  • Now, breathe out and bring your head close to the chest
  • Arch your back as high as you can
  • Hold this position for a count of 5

How Many Times To Do?:

Repeat the asana for 5-10 times on each side.

10. Legs up the Wall Pose:

Legs-up-the-wall pose or Viparita Karani is a relaxing asana for tension and stress relief. The asana involves putting up legs on the wall to release swelling and pain from ankles, knees, pelvis and calf muscles. Additionally, the asana also promotes better blood circulation to the head to release stress and anxiety. It also offers instant relief from jet-lag and fatigue!

How To Do?:

NOTE: If you are a beginner, use a wall for support. Place a soft cushion under your buttock for comfort.

  • Lie down on your back. Bend your knees with legs together
  • Slowly raise your legs and place them vertically against the wall
  • Support the rest of the body with your hands on the floor
  • Maintain the position for some time and keep breathing normally
  • Slowly bring your legs back and try to get back to your original position

How Many Times To Do?:

Once a day. Maintain the position for 5-20 minutes, depending on your level.

11. Eagle Pose:

Eagle pose or Garudasana is another best stress relief Yoga pose. It is a medium-difficult pose that involves twisting the arms and legs to form an eagle-like posture. The asana improves your balance and removes tension from arms, thighs, hips, calves and shoulders. It also removes negative thoughts and emotions from the body, giving you quick relief from stress.

How To Do?

  • Stand straight with your feet firmly on the ground
  • Look straight, place the right thigh on the left thigh and wrap it around
  • Make sure that the upper side of the right foot touch the calf of the left leg
  • Now bend the elbows and bring them forward
  • Place the right elbow on to the left arm and twist it around the hand
  • The fingers of both the hands must touch each other
  • The twisted fingers must touch your nose to resemble an eagle’s beak
  • Hold this position for 15-20 seconds
  • Now release the position
  • Repeat it with opposite hands and legs

How Many Times To Do?:

Experts recommend performing this asana 2-3 times a day!

12. Standing Forward Bend:

Standing forward bend or Uttanasa is an excellent yoga pose for anxiety and stress relief. It boosts oxygen supply to the brain, which instantly calms down your nerves. The pose also treats mild-depression and anxiety disorders. Along with having calming effects on the mind, Uttanasana also strengthens your hips, calves and neck muscles.

How To Do?:

  • Stand straight with your legs close to each other
  • Inhale deeply
  • While exhaling, bend your torso from the hips
  • Stretch until your maximum capacity
  • Place the palms on the sides of the feet
  • Bring the forehead towards your knees
  • Taking deep breaths, close your eyes and relax
  • Maintain the position for 15-20 seconds
  • Slowly get back to the original state

How Many Times To Do?:

You can perform this asana for 3 times a day and slowly increase the frequency.

Those are some of the best Yoga poses for stress relief. If you a beginner, we strongly recommend you to speak to an expert before practicing them on your own. If you are suffering from chronic stress, please consult a doctor and seek the right course of treatment.

Disclaimer: The information written in this article is purely for informational and educational purpose(s) only. Do not treat it as an alternative for the advice of a medical practitioner or a health expert. The reader must consult a physician before performing Yoga, as with any physical exercise.

FAQs:

1. Can Yoga Also Treat Depression?

Ans: Yes! There is plenty of evidence to show that Yoga is effective in treating depression and other mental disorders. Yoga comprises of self-help techniques to manage stress and anxiety. By combining deep breathing with physical asanas, Yoga reduces stress response in people suffering from physical or mental ailments.

2. How Do I know I have Chronic Stress?

Ans: Chronic stress is a condition where people experience symptoms of stress for a prolonged period of time. It could last for a few weeks to up to a few years. Common signs of chronic stress are frequent headaches, racing heart, sweaty palms, sleeplessness, loss or increased appetite etc.

3. Can Stress Affect Your Body in the Long Run?

Ans: Stress, when left untreated, can lead to depression, a serious mental disorder. Elevated stress levels can disrupt hormonal functionality and lead to weight gain or weight loss. Stress can also increase the risk of hypertension, diabetes and heart problems.

About Saanvi

Saanvi Sharma is an excellent web content writer in health and nutrition. Her expertise in the subject stems from in-depth research and knowledge that she gained over the years. Her interest in science coupled with a bachelor's degree in biotechnology proves as an added advantage and further adds value to her writing. She is highly interested in science, thus writing quality content became her virtue.
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