7 Yoga Poses For Stress Relief – Instant And Effective

If you’re after yoga poses for stress relief- look no further.

Initially yoga wasn’t my thing – but I was proven wrong.

I used to be an active aerobic teacher, a runner and a busy mum while having a full-time job as a consultant.

I led a very active life and I tried yoga once, but at that time found it too slow for my pace of life.

…Until I hit the so-called stress wall.

I developed various symptoms as heart palpitations, exhaustion, and dizziness among others.

One day a friend of mine invited me to a yoga class in the neighbourhood.

It was my second encounter with yoga and it changed my life.

Not only did it relieve me from my stress symptoms, it taught me how to breathe properly and gave me a whole new understanding of the connection of body, mind and spirit.

I fell in love with yoga and eventually became a yoga teacher myself. 

In this article read about:

  • How stress affects your body.
  • How simple it is to relax mind and body.
  • Why yoga is excellent for stress relief.
  • 7 great yoga poses for stress relief.

Ready?

Let’s get into it!

7 Yoga Poses For Stress Relief - Instant And Effective

Stress is common in a modern lifestyle. 

It’s no secret that life can have it’s fair-share of stressors.

From jobs, to family responsibility, commutes and more – sometimes it can feel difficult to schedule in even 5 minutes of time for self-care. 

How stress affects the body.

Stress is the body’s response to a threat – a real or an imaginary threat.

It is an auto response to a series of situations that occurs as a threat or something to overcome. 

It activates the body response known as the fight-or-flight response which activates the body’s sympathetic nervous system by the release of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol.

This speeds the heart rate, slows digestion, shunts blood flow to major muscle groups, and changes various other autonomic nervous functions, giving the body a burst of energy and strength to either fight or flight the situation.

When the perceived threat is gone, systems are designed to return to normal function. But that is not always what happens.

In cases of chronic stress, the relaxation response doesn’t occur often enough, and being in a near-constant state of fight-or-flight causes damage to the body, especially your heart, your digestive system, and your immune system.

7 Yoga Poses For Stress Relief - Instant And Effective

Stress disturbs healthy breathing patterns.

Stress also causes your breathing pattern to change.

An anxious person takes small, shallow breaths, using their shoulders rather than their diaphragm to move air in and out of their lungs.

Shallow over-breathing, or hyperventilation, can prolong feelings of anxiety by making the physical symptoms of stress worse.

Focusing on your breathing can help to improve some of these symptoms. 

How do you relax your mind and body? 

The answer is yoga. There are so many wonderful yoga poses for stress relief.

Practicing a few yoga poses for five to 10 minutes each day is the first step toward reducing stress.

Yoga is known to have a calming effect on the body and many of these poses have a stress relieving effect.

The balance and strength of the body combined with the focus of calming and clearing the mind is reflected in the unity of mind and body.

You can say that yoga is made for stress relief.

Both the poses and the breath work has a direct effect on your nervous system, by activating the parasympathetic response in the body.

This means that by simple yoga poses and breathing techniques you can change your auto response and restore your system to inner peace and a calm mind.

7 Yoga Poses For Stress Relief - Instant And Effective

7 yoga poses for stress relief.

Here are 7 poses that instantly will reduce your stress levels and relieve you  from your symptoms.

You can do them individually or make a little sequence out of them. To make it more comfortable, you can even play some relaxing music.

They are all excellent to do after a long day at work or after any workout.

Do your best and get the immediate benefit of your efforts with these 7 yoga poses for stress relief.

1#  Breathing exercise: 4-2-6 breath 

This breathing technique activates the parasympathetic nervous system. 

7 Yoga Poses For Stress Relief - Instant And Effective

Instructions:

  • As you inhale, place your tongue on the roof of your mouth right behind your teeth.
  • Then breathe in through your nose and slowly count to 4,
  • hold for 2,
  • and exhale on a count of 6.
  • Continue for 3-5 minutes and continue with your natural breath for 1 minute.

Benefits of this pose:

  • Activates parasympathetic nervous system.
  • Lowers the heart rate.
  • Releases body tension.

2# Seated forward bend (Paschimottanasana)

An amazing yoga pose to reduce stress and improve our physical health.

7 Yoga Poses For Stress Relief - Instant And Effective

Instructions: 

  • Begin seated with your legs extended.
  • Take a deep inhalation and on the exhale bend forward and reach for your feet.
  • Let your hands rest on your legs, knees or feet.
  • Once in the position breathe slowly in and out through the nose.
  • Hold this position for 60 seconds or more, and then slowly come out using your exhalation.

Benefits of this pose:

  • Release tension in lower back and hamstrings.
  • Relaxes your mind.
  • Provides relief in kidney, liver and ovaries.

3# Bridge pose (Setubandha Sarvangasana)

A great pose to release any tension in your lower back. One of the more engaged yoga poses for stress relief.

7 Yoga Poses For Stress Relief - Instant And Effective

Instructions: 

  • Lie flat on back and bend both knees, place the feet flat on the floor at hip width apart.
  • Slide arms alongside the body with palms facing down.
  • Inhale and lift the hips up, rolling your spine off the floor.
  • Keep the knees hip width apart.
  • Press down into the arms and shoulders to open the chest upwards.
  • Engage legs and buttocks to lift the hips higher.
  • Breathe deeply into your belly.
  • Hold this pose for 60 seconds or more and then slowly come out using your exhalation.

Benefits of this pose:

  • Reduces anxiety, fatigue, and insomnia.
  • Provides gentle stretching of the legs and back.
  • Releases backaches.

#4 Sphinx pose (Baby Bhjuangasana)

A relaxing pose for shoulders and neck while strengthening the upper back.

7 Yoga Poses For Stress Relief - Instant And Effective

Instructions:

  • Lay down on your belly and place your forearms in front of you, palms facing down and arms shoulder width apart.
  • Bring your elbows directly under your shoulders and your hands in line with your elbows.
  • Separate your feet to hip-width and press the tops of your feet down into the mat as you spread your toes wide.
  • Slide your chest forward and up while allowing the tops of your shoulders to soften down away from your ears as you relax your neck and jaw.
  • Hold the pose for 60 seconds or more and then slowly come out using your exhalation.

Benefits of this pose:  

  • Opens chest and lungs.
  • Stimulates abdominal organs.
  • Helps relieve stress.

5# Childs pose (Balasana)

One of the easiest yoga poses for stress relief that can be practiced by everyone.

7 Yoga Poses For Stress Relief - Instant And Effective

Instructions:

  • Sit back on your heels, you can use a blanket between your heels and buttocks if it’s difficult to come down fully.
  • Bring your knees close together and bend forward.
  • Have your chest touch your thighs, feel the shoulders melt around your knees, head touches the floor and let your arms rest on the side or in the mat in front of you.
  • Breathe into your back.
  • Hold this pose for 60 seconds or more and then slowly come out using your exhalation.

Benefits of this pose:

  • Eases stress and soothes the mind.
  • Support your lymphatic system.
  • Quietens the nervous system.

#6 Legs up the wall (Viparita Karani)

It is one of the best yoga poses for stress relief as it quickly cools your mind and body.

A perfect way to relax after a long day, allowing your hips and low back to take a break is something your body needs. 

7 Yoga Poses For Stress Relief - Instant And Effective

Instructions:

  • Find a space on a wall and lay down with your head facing away from the wall.
  • Swing your legs up the wall and add a blanket or pillow if you need support under your lower back.
  • Micro bend your knees and make yourself as comfortable as possible.
  • Allow your whole body and mind to let go of any stressful thoughts or worries. 
  • Stay here for as long as you like.

Benefits of this pose:

  • This pose boosts blood circulation.
  • It improves our sleep and regulates our mood effectively.
  • This yoga pose helps in stress reduction.

Related article: Yoga Inversions: How To, Benefits + 9 Best Inversion Yoga Poses

#7 Savasana – Corpse pose

The ultimate relaxing pose, the final pose of your practice if you do a full sequence.

This is everyones favourite of the yoga poses for stress relief.

7 Yoga Poses For Stress Relief - Instant And Effective

Instructions:

  • Lie flat on your back with legs close together.
  • Bring your chin towards your chest for a long and relaxed neck.
  • Shoulder blades flat in the mat and arms a long side your body with palms facing up.
  • Let your eyes and face soften, release your jaws and close your eyes.
  • Deep belly breathing. Follow your breath in and out of your nose.
  • Stay here for 5 minutes, or for as long as you like.

Benefits of this pose:

  • Full body relaxation by putting body at ease.
  • Slows breathing, lowers blood pressure and quietens the nervous system.
  • Lower the heart rate.

You should now have tool kit full of wonderful yoga poses for stress relief.

However, if you’re still not yet comfortable with taking yourself through your own sequence, don’t worry!

There are plenty of amazing follow along yoga routines out there.

Check out this one for a routine full of yoga poses for stress relief:

Chalotte Fruergaard

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