Many people are not aware of how yoga can be an important tool in reducing stress. With several yoga poses and practices, there are numerous ways in which yoga can be beneficial for people who suffer from stress and anxiety. Stress is something that every man or woman faces daily. Whether you feel stressed from work, school, relationships, or even just the daily rigors of life, you have likely struggled with stress at some point during your lifetime.
Yoga has been used as a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline for thousands of years. And when you practice yoga regularly, you can realize so many benefits. There is a wide variety of yoga poses or asanas that are practiced across the globe which makes it difficult to choose which ones to do (3, 4, 5). So today, I’m going to share with you some common yoga poses which will help to reduce your stress level.
One of the best ways to combat stress is by practicing these 11 yoga poses regularly.
What are the best yoga poses to relieve stress?
Though yoga practice is known to improve the quality of life of every individual however it might be very much helpful for individuals struggling with stress, anxiety, and depression. Certain yoga poses have been known to improve mental health with almost zero side effects if practiced under the guidance of Yoga Gurus. (5, 7)
The camel pose is also known as the dhanurasana or bow pose. In Sanskrit, “Dhanu” indicates bow and arrow, hence the name of the posture. This yoga pose improves blood circulation in the body and brain making us awake and calm. (4, 8, 9)
What are the health benefits of camel pose?
The Camel Pose is a yoga asana, done to stretch the entire body. This pose is great for increasing flexibility in the hips and torso while stimulating blood flow to the abdominal organs and lungs.(10)
Balasana or child pose is the resting pose that provides a sense of calmness, stability and eases stress & fatigue. It very helpful in improving stability and concentration. In addition to this, This yoga pose is very helpful if you have trouble sleeping.(4, 8, 9, 11, 13)
Balasana or child pose is one among the most effective and easiest asanas to do. It can be practiced by people of all ages, sizes, and body types.
What are the health benefits of child pose?
Child Pose is most often done before Savasana, or final relaxation, but can be done anytime during your yoga practice. It is known for bringing calm to the nerves and releases spinal, hamstring, and rotor muscles.(12, 13)
Setu Bandhasana or bridge pose is a powerful inversion that opens up space around the heart. This pose is very much helpful for the nervous system as the head is below the heart provides enhanced blood circulation and oxygen to the brain. This yoga pose has a very soothing and calming effect on our minds.(4, 5, 8, 9)
I must say that this pose is one of my favorites as it opens up the heart and reduces stress levels. If you are a beginner in yoga, it takes time and patience to perform this asana.
What are the health benefits of bridge pose?
Bridge Pose, or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana in Sanskrit, is a backbend that belongs to the standing poses category. It improves blood circulation and oxygen supply to the brain, and as a result, helps relieve anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia, fatigue, headaches, and migraines.(9)
Fish Pose or Matsyasana is another asana that helps in releasing pent-up emotions. It helps in relieving tightness in the chest and back and opens up the area around your heart. The regular practice of this yoga pose helps in building confidence and grow emotionally. (4, 5, 8, 9, 13)
Fish Pose is a balancing asana that requires a lot of precision and patience. If you are not well-versed in Yoga, you are advised to ask your instructor for help in performing this asana. It has a lot of variations that you can try out depending on your comfort level.
What are the health benefits of the fish pose?
Fish pose, or matsyasana, is an effective yoga pose to relieve tightness in the chest and back. This pose also stretches abdominal, hip flexors, and trapezius muscle groups.(13)
Savasana or Corpse Pose is one of the easiest but most powerful asanas. Most of the Yoga sessions end with this asana. Savasana provides you an opportunity to relieves anxiety & stress and recuperate. This yoga pose relaxes and calms the mind and body.(4, 5, 8, 9, 11)
In Corpse Pose, your mind will automatically tune into a high concentration state. The experienced yogies say that they felt lighter due to activation of their higher meditative sensibility in a way that they could tune everything out except their inner self.
In Savasana (corpse pose) students experience a vast expansion depth within which creates a continuous flow of energy throughout one’s whole being which results in realizing our oneness with the world & discovering ourselves
What are the health benefits of corpse pose?
Vriksasana allows the body and mind to find balance. In Sanskrit, Vriksha means a tree and Asana means pose. The tree pose is named so because it looks like a tree when practiced. The body of the practitioner stands straight and firm just like a tree, showing the perfect balance in the pose.(4, 9, 13)
This position requires full concentration while leaving the racing thoughts behind. It is one of the meditative postures and helps in improving concentration, balancing, and strengthening leg and thigh muscles. Since every asana has several health benefits attached to it, this unique pose also has special health benefits for you.
What are the health benefits of tree pose?
Tree pose, also known as Vrksasana (vriksha-sana), is a balance posture. It improves balance, concentration, and stress management. It also relieves back pain and abdominal discomfort. Tree pose stretches the abdominals, quadriceps, and tibialis anterior muscles.(9, 13, 14)
Dhanurasana is also known as the bow pose. It is a yoga asana practiced by both beginner and advanced level yoga practitioners. It might seem complicated to perform this asana for a beginner, but once you get hold of the technique, you’ll find it quite simple and easy to perform.(4, 5, 8)
This yoga pose opens up the shoulder, chest, neck and helps in relieving tension from this area.
What are the health benefits of bow pose?
It helps in relieving stress and fatigue. In addition to these, it helps in relaxing and strengthening different muscles and improves the digestion and flexibility of the back.(15)
The actual Sanskrit name of this Yoga posture is Adho-Mukha Savasana. Savasana means the final resting pose. This Yoga motion is commonly referred to as the Downward-Facing Dog, in English. The term ‘dog’ has been used instead of the dog’s name and this is because the shape of this posture resembles a dog standing on its hind legs.(4, 5, 12, 16)
This asana can be practiced by any age group starting from teenagers to old people including people undergoing medical treatment.
What are the health benefits of downward-facing dog pose?
Downward Facing Dog is a great yoga pose for beginners because it helps build strength in the arms, shoulders, legs, and back. It’s the most active restorative pose as it increases circulation in our brain without making us feel tired. When we have better circulation, it also relieves stress and anxiety.(12, 16)
Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend Pose is frequently chosen to get a taste for the power of yoga. This posture is also a very useful way to work with tight hamstrings and shortness in the lower back. It increases the energy flow in the body and can be practiced by anyone who feels tired or a lack of energy. (4, 5, 9, 13, 17)
This asana is suggested to be practiced at least twice a day for 30 seconds to 1 minute. But before attempting this asana, one must make sure that there are no back problems or injuries.
What are the health benefits of standing forward bend pose?
The Standing Forward Bend (or Pada Hasthasana in Sanskrit) is an excellent pose to start your yoga practice with, but many people skip it because of its simplicity. However, this poses brings several benefits including stress relief, anxiety, and depression reduction, and increased blood circulation. Furthermore, it stretches the back and hamstring muscles while also working the core strength as you hold the position. (9, 13, 17)
Paschimottanasana or Seated Forward Bend pose is called as seated forward bend, not because of its common name but because of its action. The name of the pose is related to its purpose as it encourages the forward bend. Paschimottanasana means the stretch towards the west, this phrase is commonly used in this posture as it helps in stretching your shin muscles.(4, 9, 13, 18)
If you’re not practicing yoga, then it’s time you start. Yoga poses like Seated Forward Bend can make a major difference in your life. This pose can help reduce stress and anxiety along with its many painful symptoms.
What are the health benefits of seated forward bend pose?
Seated Forward Bend, also known as Paschimottanasana, is one of the asanas in Hatha yoga. This posture stretches muscles in the back body, which includes the gluteus maximus, gastrocnemius, erector spinae, and pelvic muscles.(13, 18)
The Plow pose is also known as Halasana in Sanskrit. It is a graceful inverted pose. The Plow pose stretches the entire back of the body, including the hamstrings, which makes it excellent preparation for more complicated backbends like Upward Facing Dog.(4, 9)
Plow pose is an incredible and challenging stretch for the back. If you’re sitting at your desk too much, it can be incredibly difficult to get down into Plow with a straight back. You might have to work into the pose by lowering your knees or head to the mat first. Eventually, you’ll build up the flexibility and strength required for what is pretty much a yoga push-up.
What are the health benefits of plow pose?
The Plow pose is not just a simple yoga position, but it helps you improve your energy level as well as your health. It tones the abdominal muscles and strengthens the arms and legs by pulling them closer to the core. It helps develop posture and weight distribution.
Interesting facts about Yoga
- Yoga practice is over 5000 years old
- The word “Yoga” comes from the Sanskrit root “yuj”, which means unity
- Yoga practice is mainly dominated by women
- A male practitioner is known as yogis and female as yoginis
- There are more than 100 poses of yoga
- Yoga can delay the ageing process
- Regular yoga practice boosts immunity
- Yoga is effective in relieving stress
- Yoga is a holistic exercise
- Yoga can increase productivity at the workplace
- It can help lose weight