There are many ways you can use yoga for stress and anxiety relief. If you are feeling overwhelmed or fatigued, practicing yoga regularly will help you calm down, relax and find inner peace.
Oftentimes stress and anxiety lead to overeating and weight gain. We are more inclined to seek comfort foods when feeling anxious or stressed out. An everyday yoga practice helps prevent binge-eating and maintain a healthy weight.
To get rid of stress and anxiety, you can focus on movement (asana), breathing (pranayama) and meditation (dhyana) during your yoga practice. This combination provides a feeling of security, awareness, and relieves from worrying thoughts.
The top 20 poses of yoga for stress and anxiety relief help release any tension and negativity you may have. Focus your attention on the breath, enjoy every moment and free your mind to find peace and not worry too much about the future.
Yoga for stress and anxiety will help you find the strength and positivity to face life challenges. With the following techniques, you will learn how to overcome fear and achieve a happy healthy body and mind.
Yoga for stress and anxiety relief: Beginner poses.
Corpse pose or Savasana
This is a great posture to relax and let go of any tension in the body. The Corpse pose is very rejuvenating and can be done after every yoga practice to free your mind and calm down.
How to: Lie down, close your eyes, let go of everything as long as you need.
Child’s pose or Balasana
The child’s pose can be done by anyone looking to relax and get rid of stress and anxiety. This will quiet your mind and make you feel lighter and safer. It can also be done with the arms alongside the body instead of overhead.
How to: Kneel down with your legs together, rest your chest on your thighs, let the hands rest and hold for 5 breaths.
Puppy pose or Uttana Shishosana
Thank you Adison Briana for this wonderful instructional video.
This will open your chest and increase your energy levels. It is also great to release any tension and stress from the upper body. The longer you stay in the Puppy pose, the more relaxed you will feel.
How to: Kneel down, bring your hips over your knees, walk hands out and lower your chest towards the ground, relax your neck, breath and lengthen your spine.
Mountain pose or Tadasana
The Mountain pose or Tadasana increases focus and concentration in the beginning of a yoga for stress and anxiety practice. It leaves any stress out of your body and mind while working on breathing.
How to: Stand straight, stretch your spine, breath deeply, hands on either side.
Hero pose or Virasana
This is a great meditation pose that stretches the knees and the thighs. It is recommend to practice the Hero pose (Virasana) at the end of the yoga for stress and anxiety session or in the evening at home to relax after a busy day.
How to: Kneel on the floor, sit down between your feet, back straight.
Accomplished pose or Siddhasana
This is a seated pose adequate for beginners looking to practice meditation or breathing exercises. The Accomplished pose is highly recommended to substitute more advanced seated postures.
How to: Seat down, press one heel on the inner thigh, touch the ankle bones together with the other foot.
Easy pose or Sukhasana
The Easy pose has plenty of benefits. It eliminates stress, exhaustion, anxiety and provides inner calm. Plus, it stretches the hips and lengthens the spine.
How to: Sit straight, cross your legs, place the feet beneath the knees.
Cat pose or Marjariasana
Thank you Sirrine Yoga for this amazing video.
This is great to relax and get rid of stress. The Cat pose also relieves from any tension in the back and massages the spine.
How to: On all four, round back toward the ceiling, release your head.
Cow pose or Bitilasana
The Cow pose is a gentle back bend that warms up the spine. It is recommended for beginners to stimulate the back and torso before more engaging postures. The Cat and Cow pose are often practiced together to relieve stress and anxiety.
How to: On all four, drop the belly to the floor, lift the chin.
Staff pose or Dandasana
Thank you Destination Satori for this wonderful experience.
The Staff pose helps you relax and also strengthens the back, the chest, the shoulders.
How to: Sit legs together, ground your thighs, straighten your spine.
Yoga for stress and anxiety relief: Intermediate poses.
Standing Forward Bend or Uttanasana
Uttanasana posture helps reduce a great deal of stress. It improves blood supply to the brain and upper torso, and overall circulation throughout the body. It tones a lot of muscles and promotes weight loss and anxiety relief.
How to: Stand with your feet together, bend forward, keep your legs and back straight.
Seated Forward Bend or Paschimottanasana
The Seated Forward Bend is the seated version of Uttanasana. It stretches the legs and the lower back while allowing the practitioner to calm down and breath.
How to: Keep your legs together, bring forehead to knees, hands as far as possible, the chest rest on the thighs.
Head to Knee Forward Bend or Janu Sirsasana
Thank you The Yoga Sanctuary for this very educational video.
Another great pose to relax, the Head to Knee Forward Bend prevents fatigue, depression, and insomnia. Plus, it stretches the legs and the back in preparation for more advanced asanas.
How to: Seat down, extend one leg, bring the other foot to the inner thigh, fold forward, back straight.
Reclined Hero pose or Supta Virasana
This is a more difficult version the Hero pose that requires more flexibility from the legs.
How to: Begin with the Hero pose, rest the back and arms on the floor, palms facing up.
Bound Angle pose or Baddha Konasana
Thank you Doron Hanoch for the fantastic video.
This will make you rest and find inner peace. The Bound Angle pose is great to open the hips and stretch the thighs. It is known to release from stress and tension in the back.
How to: Sit down, touch the soles of the feet together, knees on the ground, bring the heels to the perineum.
Yoga for stress and anxiety relief: Advanced poses.
Lotus pose or Padmasana
This is used in meditation but reserved for more advanced practitioners. A high mount of flexibility in the hips and knees are recommended to avoid any injury. The Lotus pose increases awareness and inner peace while stretching.
How to: Sit down, cross your legs, bring your left foot on your right thigh and vice versa, soles face up, lengthen the spine.
Tortoise pose or Kurmasana
Thank you Garth Hewitt for this tutorial video.
With steady deep breaths, the Tortoise pose increases focus and liberates the mind from stress and anxiety. It is great to let go and find peace within.
How to: Sit down, legs wide open, bend forward, slide the arms under the knees, shoulders and forehead on the floor.
Reclined Bound Angle pose or Supta Baddha Konasana
Thank you Paula Kaminska for these techniques.
This is the more advanced version of the Bound Angle pose. It helps stress reduction and provides a deep relaxed state of mind at the end of any yoga practice.
How to: Begin with the Bound Angle pose, rest the back and arms on the floor, palms facing up.
Ear Pressure pose or Karnapidasana
Thank you Sante Women’s Coaching for the pose tutorial.
This stretches the spine, shoulders and stimulates the torso. The Ear Pressure pose is wonderful at relieving from stress and fighting fatigue. It also cures back pain, insomnia and headache.
How to: Lie on your back, raise your legs behind your head, bend your legs and touch the floor with your knees, head behind the knees, join your hands behind your back.
Sleeping Tortoise pose or Supta Kurmasana
This will calm you down and make you have fun during your yoga practice. The Sleeping Tortoise pose is very intense and will bring you a deep state of relaxation.
How to: Sit down, bend forward, bring your legs behind your neck and knees under your shoulders, join your hands behind your back.
Yoga should have a very important place in every healthy weight loss program. It is beneficial for self healing by bringing harmony between the body, mind and soul. It is very effective at relieving from stress and anxiety and avoiding weight gain.
A regular practice of the top 20 poses of yoga for stress and anxiety relief has powerful restorative and healing effects. It allows practitioners to calm down, relax and get rid of worrying thoughts.
It promotes overall health and well being by clearing the mind and providing the body with the attention it deserves. When practiced in the morning, yoga helps start the day fearless with positive energy.
Restorative seated poses and gentle standing poses are great in the evening to calm down, find inner peace and sleep better. Focus your attention on the breath and free your mind.
About the Author: Alex Assoune
Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks four languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.