6 Best Yoga Poses For Stress Relief

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woman in yoga pose on deck
Health And Wellness

Today’s busy world can have a lot of negative side effects on us, both physically and mentally. Stress and anxiety are all too common in our lives and it can be hard to know what you can do to relieve it.

Stress eventually accumulates and actually causes physical health issues. One of the greatest and easiest ways to find some stress relief is through yoga, and there are even some great yoga poses for stress relief designed to relax your body and mind.

Yoga Poses for Stress Relief

You don't have to be a yoga expert and you don't need to devote a bunch of time or energy to these poses either, which is great.

Do a few of these in your free time and see what yoga can do for you!

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1. Cat/Cow: Bitilasana Marjaryasana

This yoga flow between two poses can help even your breathing and relieve the tension built in the spine and back.

On all fours, alternate between rounding your spine up toward the ceiling and coming down lower as you open your chest and flare your hips back behind you. Your spine should be rounding and dropping rhythmically with your breathing.

Timing your breath to this pose is key for stress relief as this timed breath is what helps calm an overly active mind and keep you centered.

Try it next time you need some focus and relief!

2. Forward Fold: Uttanasana

This pose is all about balance and stabilizing an anxious mind.

When done often, it promotes feelings of peace and can help relax you. It also helps balance out the sacral chakra which can lead to excessive energy when overstimulated, leading to stress.

Start by standing straight. Bend the knees slightly as you lean forward, letting your head drop toward your feet. Then, when you're "folded over," straighten out your legs with your weight focused on your feet.

Grab onto each elbow with the opposite hand and breathe. Stay in this position as long as you can, and you can sway side to side if you want, which may help alleviate tightness in your hamstrings.

3. Eagle: Gardudasana

Perfect for anyone with a busy mind that needs quieting, the Eagle pose is all about focusing your mind wholeheartedly on a single point, which leaves little room for worry and stress. It also relieves stress in the hips and shoulders which are common areas tension builds up.

Start by standing straight up and bring your feet hip-width apart. Then, you're going to cross your right arm over your left. Bend your elbows to bring palms together so they're pointing upward.

When you've completed that, lift your left thigh up and over the right. Sink your hips a little lower and fix your gaze on a single point in front of you.

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4. Child's Pose: Balasana

There’s a reason this pose is considered a great resting pose and where you go when you need a break in any yoga class.

This pose is not only great for releasing tension in the hips and lower back, it also helps relax your entire body by relaxing your adrenal glands.

When you stress out, it puts pressure on your adrenal glands, which leads to burnout. This pose is incredibly soothing for those glands, making it a must-try for anyone needing some instant stress relief.

Start on all fours with your feet turned toward each other and your big toes touching, spread your knees to the sides and bring your hips back between them. Stretch your hands out long on the ground in front of you and rest your head on the floor.

5. Happy Baby: Ananda Balasana

A great pose for anyone needing a moment of relaxation and calm, this pose will have you feeling like a baby without a care in the world by the end!

Lying flat on your back, bend your knees into your chest and grab your feet with both hands. Then spread your knees out wide in the air and continue to hold them. Rocking side-to-side is an option!

The pose reduces stress and overall fatigue that can help you sleep better and enhance your mood by allowing a pose that stretches different parts of your body, but is complicated enough to keep your minds focused on the task at hand.

Give it a try!

6. Extended Puppy: Uttana Shishosana

Just 30-60 seconds of extended puppy can help increase your mood, calm your mind, and stretch a number of your muscles.

This great pose is a combination of two classic yoga favorites, downward dog and child’s pose, so it’s bound to be your new favorite.

Come to all fours and move your butt halfway back toward your heels, bring your forehead to the ground, stretch your arms forward, and breathe.

This pose allows you to take a moment to yourself as your stretch your body and focus your mind on holding the position; it’s hard to worry when you’ve got your butt that high in the air!

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Erin Watson is an editorial intern. Her main focuses are entertainment, relationships, and horoscopes.