Yoga is an ancient practice with different styles and poses (asanas) that can provide numerous health benefits, including stress reduction and relaxation. Blending the physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation in Yoga can help improve mental well-being. Here are eight yoga asanas that are typically recommended for stress relief. Each pose calms the mind and reduces the stress response in the body.

Introduction to Yoga for Stress Relief

Benefits of Yoga for Stress Relief

It is necessary to understand the underlying mechanisms of stress. For every human, stress is actually a ‘fight or flight’ response which will activate the sympathetic nervous system, which will make us angry, depressed and anxious. 

However, persistent activation of this system, without proper relaxation and recovery, can result in adverse health consequences. These include an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, depression, and various other ailments.

How Yoga Poses Can Alleviate Mental Tension?

Yoga, an ancient practice, originated from Indian philosophy. This includes various physical postures, breath control, and meditation, which will help to alleviate mental tension. Different yoga poses, called ‘asanas,’ can be particularly effective for relieving mental stress because they enhance mindfulness, promote relaxation, and stimulate the body’s relaxation response. 

Essential Yoga Poses for Calming the Mind 

Performing Yoga will help you combine the physical postures, breath control, meditation, and ethical principles that will help you achieve overall well-being, including calming the mind and keeping your body healthy.

Happy Baby Pose: 

Ananda Balasana, familiarly called Happy Baby Pose, is a widely practised restorative yoga posture. It effectively stretches the hips, thighs, and lower back. The pose is based on the carefree position of a baby playing with its feet.

Physical and Mental Benefits

      • Enhances flexibility and opens up tight hips, especially for individuals who sit for long hours.
      • Alleviates lower back and sacral discomfort.
      • Promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and gets rid of fatigue by calming the mind.
      • Stretches the hamstrings and spine, improving overall flexibility.

The regular and the more deeply you meditate, the more you will always be at the center of inner peace.

Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose: 

In this pose, one sits with one side of their body against a wall. Next, they pivot their body to bring their legs up along the wall as they simultaneously lower their back to the ground, assuming a flat position. The back can either touch the wall or be a few inches away, and the arms usually rest by the sides or on the belly. It is expected to hold this pose for 5 to 15 minutes.

How to Perform and Relaxation Effects 

      • This pose also calms the mind, potentially alleviating mild anxiety or stress due to its calming effect on the nervous system. 
      • In addition, this position supports the reduction of stress hormones called cortisol, which aligns with the holistic practice of managing stress through various yoga postures.

Bridge Pose:

The bridge pose is one of the more accessible poses, which is done by the backbend that stretches and strengthens the spine. It helps reduce anxiety, stress, and depression by promoting relaxation. 

This Yoga pose not only strengthens the legs, glutes, and core but also promotes stress relief and improves body alignment. The lifted chest aids in breathing, alleviating stress-related breathing patterns.

Stress-Relief and Body Alignment 

      • Bridge pose involves a mild backbend that opens the chest, enhancing breathing capacity and promoting relaxation. 
      • The controlled breathing during the posture activates the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing stress.
      • The bridge pose engages and strengthens the muscles in the body, aiding in the correction of postural imbalances, especially those brought on by prolonged sitting. 
      • It effectively counteracts weak gluteal muscles and tight hip flexors. 
      • By properly aligning the spine and hips, the bridge pose enhances and promotes overall better posture.

Seated Forward Bend:

The Seated Forward Bend pose is a fundamental yoga posture classified as a forward bend. In this pose, the person sits on the floor with legs stretched out in front and bends forward at the hips towards the feet or as far as their flexibility allows, aiming to lay their arms over their thighs.

This posture allows you to turn inward, away from external stimuli, which naturally helps to soothe the nervous system. The act of bending every exhale can aid in releasing tension, encouraging a meditative state that calms the mind. It also creates a gentle compression in the 

abdominal area, which might improve the efficiency of the digestive process. 

Cow-Cat Pose:

These poses are typically done together and involve moving the spine from a circular position (Cat) to an arched one (Cow). This flow helps release stress in the torso, shoulders, and neck and calms the mind through proper breathing.

Assuming a ‘tabletop’ position, start by positioning yourself on your hands and knees. Ensure that your knees are placed directly below your hips while your wrists, elbows, and shoulders are aligned and perpendicular to the floor. Keep your head in a neutral position, with your eyes looking at the bottom.

A group of people doing yoga in a yoga studio.

Cow Pose:

As you inhale, lift your sitting bones and chest towards top and allowing your belly to sink towards the floor. Lift your head to look forward or slightly upward, but be careful not to strain your neck.

Here are the benefits of doing this posture.

      • Cat Pose stretches the spine.
      • Cat-cow poses enhance breath awareness.
      • Cat-cow poses stimulate organs and relieve tension by Rhythmic Breathing and providing Spinal Flexibility.

Child’s Pose:

Child’s pose, also known as Balasana, is a gentle resting posture in Yoga that offers both mental and physical benefits. It resembles the natural fetal position of a child and is known for its calming and soothing effects.

There are several advantages to performing Child Pose.

      • The child’s pose encourages relaxation by promoting deep breathing and a sense of surrender. 
      • The position allows for a release of tension in the neck, shoulders, and back, making it an excellent stress-relief pose. 
      • The resting position and forward fold create a sense of containment and security, making it a calming pose. A child’s pose can help reduce anxiety and quiet the mind.

Easy Pose:

A basic seated posture that induces relaxation. It is generally performed with a straight spine, open chest, and a gentle hands-on knee position. It encourages a peaceful state of mind and helps reduce mental stress through deep breathing.

Performing the Easy Pose has several advantages. 

      • It increases hip flexibility and promotes good posture for our body.
      • It enhances calmness, encourages proper breathing, helps develop focus, cultivates serenity, and helps ground and Center the mind.

Corpse Pose:

Corpse pose is often used for relaxation at the end of a yoga practice, allowing for complete peace of body and mind. Lying on one’s back with arms and legs apart can lead to deep relaxation and is excellent for managing stress.

By performing the corpse pose at the end of every session, you will have several benefits. 

      • Savasana allows the body to enter a state of deep rest, which reduces stress, fatigue, and anxiety and calms the central nervous system.
      • It provides an opportunity for the mind to process the yoga practice, encourages mindfulness, and can lead to mental clarity and calmness.

Breathing Techniques for Enhanced Calm

Breathing techniques are vital for managing stress and promoting calmness. Multiple breathing techniques can help you calm your mind and improve your mental health. Before trying any of these techniques, it’s important to adjust the counts to your comfort level. If you have any respiratory issues, it’s recommended to consult a healthcare professional before practicing these techniques.

Breathing helps manage stress, activating the body’s relaxation response, slowing heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and releasing endorphins, promoting well-being. Mindful breathing increases present-moment awareness, redirecting attention from stressors. Utilizing the breathwork into routines empowers individuals to balance physical and mental well-being.

Incorporating Mindfulness into Your Yoga Practice

Incorporating mindfulness into Yoga to enhance the mind-body connection. Focus on sensations, breath, and alignment. Practice mindful breathing and redirect attention to the present. This mindful approach transforms Yoga into a meditative experience, fostering a deeper understanding of the body and thoughts.

Advanced Yoga Poses for Stress Relief

A forward bend sequence in Yoga helps with flexibility and relaxation. It starts with a standing forward fold and moves to a seated or kneeling forward bend. These poses release tension and stretch the spine. Mindful breathing while performing this forward bend sequence improves relaxation.

Performing shoulder opener and neck release helps relieve neck tension and expand shoulder motion. Start with Neck Tilts, then Shoulder Rolls, Eagle Arms, Thread the Needle Pose, and Neck Stretches. Move slowly, modify as needed, and enjoy the improved flexibility and relaxation.


Stress is becoming a common term in the modern age because of work stress and personal problems from people. This is becoming more common for every modern-age person. If you are facing stress and want relief, Ojas Yoga and Wellness is the perfect choice for your needs. Our staff are well professional and friendly, observe the needs of the clients and provide better training to transform you into a new human.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best yoga poses for beginners to reduce stress?

For stress reduction in beginners, start with easy poses: Child’s Pose, Downward-Facing Dog, and Cat-Cow. Forward Fold and Warrior I are good, too. Finish with a Corpse Pose while focusing on breath awareness.

How often should I practice Yoga for stress relief?

To alleviate stress:

      1. Strive for a consistent yoga practice of at least 2-3 sessions per week.
      2. Prioritize regularity over the length of your sessions.
      3. Find a manageable routine that fits your schedule and allows you to reap the benefits gradually.

Can Yoga replace other forms of stress management?

Yoga can effectively manage stress but may complement rather than replace other strategies. Combining Yoga with various practices, including proper nutrition, sleep, and additional stress management techniques, can optimize overall well-being.


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