5 Excellent Yoga Poses for Stress Relief

Yoga for Stress Management

Yoga Postures for Stress and Anxiety

Yoga is quickly becoming the default prescription for those suffering from stress, tension, high blood pressure and anxiety.  Even if you were to visit your medical doctor and he diagnosed you with stress, there is a high probability that he is going to suggest you take up some yoga and meditation .  And why not?  It is well established now that yoga is excellent to relieve stress and is an excellent system for achieving physical, mental and emotional peace and harmony.

Previously I have provided several excellent yoga breathing exercises and meditation techniques to help you relax and reduce stress.  Examples of these are, Sheetali Yoga Breathing for Reducing Stress, Relaxation Meditation for Immediate Stress Reduction and the Best Relaxation Technique and Stress Relief Exercise – Corpse Pose.  Furthermore, I have given other great tips and techniques for anxiety and stress reduction in the article, Treatments for Stress and Anxiety Disorder.  But what I am going to provide today are the best yoga poses you can do for stress relief.  This set of 5 poses I call Yoga Set for Stress Relief.

Guideline for Yoga Practice:

As will all yoga practice, please follow the guidelines outlined in the 2 document below…

Beginner’s Guide to Yoga Practice

Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice

Also, you will find many more poses and exercises in our 2 ongoing and online e-books here on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga.  The Free Online Hatha Yoga Book and the Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises e-book.  This particular set will become part of the Free Online Yoga Sets E-book.  This set will soon become part of a Yoga and Meditation Stress Reduction Program, which will be part of the Free Online Yoga and Meditation Classes I offer, so be on the lookout for that.

Best Yoga Poses for Stress Reduction Set: 

Please note that some of the poses in this set are a little advanced and if you are new to yoga, you should use the modifications detailed in each article.  Work your way up to the full pose and duration slowly over time.  The full article link with all the details for that particular pose is given in the instructions below.

For all the poses below you should use Yogic Breathing Technique.  This way of breathing, in and of itself, will go a long way to helping you achieve peace and tranquility.

Yoga Pose #1 – Forward Bend – Paschimothan Asana

You start the stress reduction set with the Best Hatha Yoga Pose for Healing.  This exercise is great for healing, flexibility, longevity and relaxation.

It’s important to stretch only as far forward as you can comfortable doing.  If you practice this pose consistently you will see your flexibility improve steadily for sure.  You can do 2-4 rounds of this pose, holding each time for about 1 minute.

Illustration of the Paschimothan Yoga Asana


Yoga Posture #2 – Hatha Yoga Locust Pose:

The Classical Hatha Yoga Pose – Locust Pose article will give you all the details for this excellent posture.  It will help counterbalance the previous pose and is excellent for combating stress.

To modify this pose, use the single leg variation and for this Yoga for Stress Relief Set try to do 4 rounds, holding each round for 10-15 seconds each.  Build up from there.

Locust Pose Illustration

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Yoga Pose #3 –  Yoga Spinal Twists

After completing the 2 poses above, sit up in easy pose and do the Yoga Spinal Twists.  These are not just good for promoting relaxation, but will also help you back, spine and help you tone your abs.  You will find the details for this exercise in the article, Lower Back Exercise – Yoga Spinal Twists.  

1-3 minutes of this exercise with breaks as required will be very useful.  For the purpose of this set, do the twists slowly, pausing on each side.

Picture of Yoga Spinal Twist (Twist Left)

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Picture of Yoga Spinal Twist (Twist Right)

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Yoga Pose for Stress Relief #4 – Yoga Plough Pose

The next pose is quite advanced, so please use caution when practicing it.  Do not over strain and just bring the legs over as far as comfortable.  Full details in the article Yoga Plough Pose for Multi Chakra Activation.  

Hold the pose for 15 seconds to 2 minutes.  Take breaks whenever necessary.

Picture of Yoga Plough Pose

 

 

Yoga Pose for Stress Relief #5 – Shoulder Stand

The final pose of this set is the wonderful shoulder stand.  This is a great posture for promoting mental peace, clarity and tranquility.  Full details in the article, Hatha Yoga Pose for Brain Fitness.  Please follow all the safety guidelines I have given in that article for this pose.  Start with 15 seconds and build up to 3 minutes.

Picture of Shoulder Stand

 

After completing the above 5 exercises, I suggest to relax is corpse pose (Best Relaxation Technique and Stress Relief Exercise).  After all if you are looking for stress relief, that is the number one exercise for relaxation.  Stay in that pose for as long as you like.  Research time and again has proven corpse pose to be excellent for stress and anxiety relief, so be sure to include that into your routine.  Again remember to use the Simple Yogic Breathing for all these exercises.

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12 replies
  1. annette
    annette says:

    Hi Anmol,

    I just tried doing the forward bend and can’t do it without bending my knees. Practice makes perfect – I will keep trying. Illustrations and videos really help.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  2. Carl
    Carl says:

    You are absolutely right. Yoga is fast becoming a solution to aiding people in dealing with stress. Definitely a way to help people increase relaxation overall flexibility and strength.

    However, I have come to appreciate that proper nutrition and stress go hand in hand and one must ensure that they are eating a balanced diet as well, as that too will help in ensuring that the benefits of yoga are realized.

    Reply
  3. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Dear Kata,

    Great to hear you are enjoying the website and even better that you have started practicing yoga and pranayama. Meditation will also be very helpful for stress, you can check out the Free Beginner’s Meditation Class offered on the Free Online Classes page as well.

    Best,
    Anmol

    Reply
  4. Kata
    Kata says:

    Hello Anmol,

    Thank you for this website, I find these information here very useful and interesting. Especially the above article is very helpful for me because I suffer from hypertension caused definitely by stress and recently I started to fight against it with yoga and pranayama.

    Best regards from Hungary. :-)

    Reply
  5. Dr. Isaac Eliaz
    Dr. Isaac Eliaz says:

    Emotional distress is an increasing public health problem and yoga has been claimed to induce stress reduction and empowerment in practicing subjects. I value the practice of yoga. Its unique blend of meditation, breathing, and stretching perfectly reflects the integrative approach to healing on which I’ve built my clinical practice. In fact, next to walking, yoga is easily my most-recommended form of exercise for anyone looking for a healthier, happier life.

    Why? Well, for one, it’s one of the most effective natural stress-relievers you can find—offering your mind and your body a quiet break from the worries of daily life. But more than that, yoga has also revealed itself as a clinically proven therapy for a wide range of modern disorders, including the all-too-common struggle with debilitating chronic pain.

    Reply
  6. Matthew
    Matthew says:

    Hey Anhol,

    Great explanations. As you say, the combination of appropriate breathing is vital to optimisation of the exercises. Great post Anhol! : ))

    Reply

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