Yoga for Stress Relief: 10 Poses to Try Now
Did you know that you can use yoga to relieve stress? Many aspects of yoga practice can reduce stress, from breathwork to meditation and, of course, the physical poses.
In this article, we’ll look at ten common yoga poses that are especially helpful for calming your mind and body and de-stressing when you need it.
As humans, we know that stress tends to accumulate. And you probably know, but it might take a little reminding that there are yoga poses that reduce stress.
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When life is busy, busy and stressful, the important thing is to keep moving forward and not let it all get you down. By allowing stress and tension to build up, they overpower your entire state of mind.
When we get overwhelmed, the to-do lists start to seem endless. This leaves little time for self-care. We can agree that the ultimate goal in life is to find peace and joy while being productive, and de-stressing is a big part of that. Lucky for us, yoga is here to help!
Practicing yoga regularly can have an extremely positive effect on your stress levels and overall health. Therefore, remember that it is important to do yoga regularly, especially during times of stress.
Yoga for Stress Relief: Try These 10 Poses
Yoga can instantly relieve stress. It can also reduce the likelihood of stress as well as improve your ability to cope if you exercise regularly. Read Ten Yoga Poses That Will Help You Reduce Stress – Now!
1. Cat-cow pose
Together, these two yoga poses create a nourishing spinal massage that increases blood circulation and relieves tension in the spine and shoulders. When these two movements are combined together, they promote emotional balance and an overall sense of calm.
2. Child’s pose
When in doubt, assume child’s pose. This is a great yoga pose. This relaxing pose can be alternated between challenging asanas, and is a simple yet effective way to calm your mind and body, whether you’re lying on your mat or in the middle of a busy day.
3. Downward-looking dog
We often do this pose during our yoga practice, and for good reason! Down Dog helps awaken the senses. As an added bonus, it also reduces fatigue. This is a great full body stretch and rejuvenates the body by improving overall blood circulation. If you use yoga for stress relief, this is a careful inversion.
4. Headstand with support
you may think How can being upside down reduce stress? Standing on the head calms the brain and restores blood flow. Every time your head is below your heart, you increase blood flow to the brain, releasing endorphins (feel-good chemicals that help reduce stress and anxiety).
If you have neck problems, if headstand is not part of your practice, or if you are looking for a gentler alternative, take 5-10 breaths while bending your legs forward.
5. The reclined butterfly pose is supported
Supta is a fantastic alternative to Savasana, or Child’s Pose. Placing one hand on your belly and the other on your heart, start inhaling and exhaling. You can feel your heart racing as your body melts into the ground and your hips begin to open.
This is where a yoga mat or pillow can add extra support and comfort. Place the roller lengthwise (top down) on the mat – you will lie on your back on it so that your spine is supported under the roller.
Another juicy way to get more tension-relieving support in this pose is to place a yoga block under each knee so you can fully relax your hips without stretching too hard.
6. Half-pigeon pose
For many of us, long periods of sitting at a desk or driving lead to strained hips. Half Pigeon is great for stretching the hips deeper, but it can be uncomfortable, so remember to breathe deeply and never strain to the point where you can’t breathe deeply.
The goal is to use yoga to relieve stress, not create more of it! This pose is another great opportunity for a yoga block. To use the block in half-pigeon pose, get into shape and then slide the block under the thigh of the bent leg.
Remind yourself to let go, surrender, and relax in a pose that’s a great reminder to apply to stressful situations and life in general.
7. Beyond the bridge
Bridge calms the mind and helps relieve stress while stimulating the abdominal organs, lungs and thyroid gland. Strengthens and reduces tension in the back while expanding the front of the body. You can hold this pose for 5 deep breaths, or try raising your hips as you inhale and lower them as you exhale.
8. Bending forward
The front folds are soothing in themselves. The simple act of letting your upper body hang heavy will instantly make you feel less physically and mentally stressed.
Make this stress-relieving yoga pose more pleasant and gentle by bending your knees slightly. The presence of a microbend in the knees will help lengthen the waist. After a few deep breaths, you’ll begin to feel the tension in your neck, shoulders, spine, and hamstrings release.
Shake your head “yes” and “no” several times, and for even more relaxation, cross your arms behind your back and let your arms hang above your head. This is a very simple and affordable way to relieve stress with yoga!
9. Pose of the eagle
This energizing and detoxifying yoga pose can help relieve stress while improving focus and balance. The pose relieves tension in the shoulders, legs and back, working the main joints of the body. You literally squeeze the tension out of your body! Allow yourself to feel that sensation, and then visualize the same thing happening to your stress. 🙂
These yoga poses help improve concentration (photo instructions)
10. Legs up the wall
If you’re looking for more ways yoga can relieve stress, look no further than Legs Up the Wall! It is commonly referred to as the best yoga pose for stress relief because of its ability to calm the nervous system.
When we experience stress, our body goes into fight-or-flight mode, which activates the sympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is what helps your body calm down and relax. Legs Up the Wall activates the parasympathetic nervous system.
This pose can be done anywhere and is a great pose when you need a few minutes to clear your head. Try taking a few breaths – or a few minutes – and see for yourself!
Learn about the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems and how yoga affects each
Prefer guided classes to relieve stress?
YA Classes offers hundreds of online yoga classes, and many are designed to help you de-stress! Check out one of these popular courses or go to YA Classes and browse the entire library. If you’re not yet a member, you can take a short quiz when you sign up for a free trial to get recommendations for classes tailored to your specific needs.
Stress less with these stress-relieving yoga poses
Numerous studies have shown a wide range of benefits that yoga can have in combating stress. Yoga for stress relief is powerful and effective!
These ten yoga poses can relieve stress as soon as it occurs and prevent it from building up if you practice regularly. When stress creeps into your body, turn to yoga instead and create a space of calm for yourself. Breathe deeply and know that stress relief is on the way!
Yoga for Stress Relief: De-stress with this 30-minute restorative yoga sequence
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