Yoga has been practiced for many years as a way to relieve stress. Through intentional breathing and empowering postures, yoga can put you into a meditative zone. Practice one or all of these poses to release stress and renew your body.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
If you attend a yoga class or practice in the privacy of your own home, typically you will begin in the Corpse Pose. After a long day at work, the Corpse Pose can trigger relaxation and calming. It sounds like an easy position, but if you are fidgety, it may require greater concentration. Practice this pose to stimulate blood circulation, improve mental concentration, and fight fatigue.
- On the floor, lie on your back with arms to sides, palms facing upwards.
- Stretch through your legs as you breathe slowly and deeply from the abdomen.
- Focus on your breathing and body. Let the world melt away.
- Maintain this position for a couple of minutes, or until your feel renewed.
Legs-Up-the-Wall Staff Pose (Viparita Karani)
The yoga experts at YogaWiz recommend the Legs-Up-the-Wall Staff Pose for stress reduction. This pose has been said to impede the aging process and renew the lymphatic system. YogaWiz says, “keep breathing normally and use the rhythm of your breath to keep your legs high up. It is recommended that you leave your legs flat upwards. However, if you find yourself unable to do so, allow your knees to bend a little. Do keep in mind that bending them too much will defeat the purpose of the pose.”
- Lie down on the floor with your bottom against a wall.
- Stretch and elongate your legs up the wall, pointing toes toward. Flex your toes.
- Relax and breathe. Remain in this position for a couple of minutes, or until you feel relaxed and renewed.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Reduce anxiety, backaches, blood pressure, headaches, and fatigue with the Bridge Pose. This gentle pose stretches the back and legs for relief from tension and stress. Do not do this exercise if you experience back strain. The pose has several variations and can be modified to your fitness level. YogaOutlet says, “Bridge Pose can be a great way to counteract the stress of sitting for long periods. It can also be used as preparation for deeper backbends or as a restorative pose for deep relaxation.”
- Lie down on the floor with feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Place arms alongside with palms facing down.
- Pressing arms and feet firmly into the floor, exhale and lift hips toward the ceiling.
- Do not squeeze or flex. Stay relaxed and calm as you lift your bottom up.
- Shoulders back, place them underneath your body. Place hands together on the floor under your pelvis. Stretch arms, gently reaching forward while keeping hands clasped.
- Maintain this pose for a couple of minutes. Gently unclasps hands and place them alongside your body.
- Exhale and gently roll spine, vertebra by vertebra, to the floor and return to start position.
Eagle Pose (Garudasana)
The eagle is recognized as a symbol of empowerment and strengthen. This pose empowers while releasing tension and strife throughout the body. With proper form and technique, this pose can improve balance and concentration. The Eagle Pose requires coordination. Practice this pose often to see calming results.
- Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose).
- Balancing your body, raise your right leg up, crossing your left knee (or thigh).
- As you balance, hook your right foot/toes behind left calf.
- With arms together, cross your left elbow over your right elbow. With fingertips toward ceiling, press palms together. Relax and breathe, holding pose for a couple of minutes.
Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana)
The Puppy Pose is a mild inversion pose that reduces tension in the shoulders and back. Free your mind and stretch your stress away. A playful pose, the Puppy Pose can be restorative and renewing. Use a yoga mat and extra knee support, if needed.
- On the floor on all fours, place your wrists and knees under hips.
- As you walk hands forward, extend hips to ceiling and curl toes under.
- Depending upon your flexibility, rest your forehead/chin on the floor.
- Elongate and stretch spine as you relax neck and back for complete renewal.
Yoga offers many poses to relieve and alleviate stress. Consult with a certified yogi to enhance your yoga experience. Correct posture, form and technique are important to avoid injury. If you suffer from body pain, permission is required from your healthcare professional before practicing any of these poses. Find more stress relieving yoga poses at Yoga Journal.