Yoga is known to have a quieting impact on the body and many Yoga for stress relief postures have stress diminishing impact. The equilibrium and strength of the body combined with the focal point of calming and clearing the brain reflects as the main priority among Yoga benefits. Yoga is not just for the body, but for the solidarity of mind, body, and soul. No wonder, many individuals go for this elective treatment or in simple words, ways to relieve stress.
There are umpteen yoga Asanas to keep the mind, body, and soul happy. But do you know which yoga is best for stress relief? Today I am sharing the top 7 yoga poses for stress relief that will go a long run to keep you mentally fit.
1. Standing Forward Bend
One of the top stress-busters in Yoga is stress relief charts. So how do we do this? Simply reach to your tallest posture and exhale as you slowly bend forward. You must bend enough for your palms to be able to be placed on the floor and the head must touch the knees. Once you attain this yoga posture, hold here for 6 to 10 breaths as per your comfort of the lungs and the spine; don’t overdo it because this must be a stress-buster, not a hamstring puller! Alternately, if you have been into yoga for a long, then you can attempt to straighten the legs for a deeper stretch. And once you have held the posture enough, then stretch out your arms, raise them and slowly exhale and come back to the standing position. Come and feel the difference in peace of mind! For great results, you can do this some ten times, but slowly, please.
This yoga benefits not only in reducing stress, fatigue, and mild depression but also works great on your thighs, hips as well as hamstrings, to tone up those sagging, fatty muscles.
2. Easy Pose or The Sukhasana
The Sukhasana as the name suggests, means an Asana done to attain Sukh meaning calm and peace. The alternate name ‘Easy Pose’ comes from the fact that you can do this anywhere any time with abundant ease. This is the most common pose that you will see in an image of meditation – yes, the same one! All you need to do is sit straight and open the legs in front of the body. Then cross the legs slowly to bring them closer to the torso. Keep inhaling and exhaling slowly while you do this, sit up straight so that your spine feels the stretch but the neck, feet, and thighs stay relaxed. Stay in the same position for a minute while deeply inhaling and exhaling while focusing on your breath. Then change the cross of your legs and repeat the same till you find some relaxation of mind.
The Sukhasana yoga benefits in eliminating anxiety and exhaustion. And it also helps relieve the stressed spine and hips due to long work-seating. The most serene yoga form – one of the most sought-after ways to relieve stress.
3. Cat-Cow Pose
This Yoga Asana is actually a combination of two postures – one the Cat Posture and another the Cow one.
Cat Posture – This is the posture when you have to exhale while doing it, I repeat, exhale while doing it. You have to sit on four limbs and then move back towards the ceiling, the way a cat does a stretch while exhaling a yawn. Right next, bring the navel up to the spine and totally exhale. And then move to the neutral position of spine and head aligned in the same line. Now to inhale, move to the cow pose.
Cow Posture – Here you have to slowly Inhale push back your pelvis so that your tailbone rises up high in the air. But ensure that your abdominal muscles are hugging your spine and for this, keep your navel drawn in. You can repeat the Cat-Cow posture as per your comfort level of breath for some 6 to 10 times and see the mental difference.
This yoga benefits the spine that takes the whole day’s stress and helps in releasing happy hormones too. Haven’t you seen a cat meow with relaxation after doing that stretch? The same is the feeling!
4. Head to Knee Forward Bend
Also known as the Paschimottanasana, again this one is the most sought- after way to relieve stress. Extend your legs and sit. Bend one of the legs in a way that the sole of the foot touches the thigh of the opposite leg. The knee of the bent leg must keep touching the floor. Now put your palms on either side of the extended leg and inhale. Now bend towards the extended leg while exhaling. Hold for 4 to 6 breaths in this bent position. And repeat the pose on the other leg. You can do this pose 4 to 5 times as per comfort, don’t forget to deeply inhale and exhale continuously at the right time so as not to lose breath to feel any stress.
These Yoga benefits in relieving anxiety and to some extent even mild depression. It even provides relief in mild headaches, fatigue and to some extent relieves insomnia too.
5. Child Pose
This is my most favorite pose, or rather, this is the way I usually stress out. This is the simplest form of yoga also known as Balasana. It is all about resting your body the way a child does. No wonder, the child is always carefree, stress-free in life. So how do we do this? Simply kneel at a soft surface, in a manner in which your legs are together and you can comfortably sit on them. Then inhale, extend your arms and torso, and bend forward so that hips are lifted in the air, but your torso and forehead rest in front of you on the ground. Relax and exhale, and rest your palms of stretched hands in front of you. Hold this posture for 5 to 6 breaths at ease.
These yoga benefits not only calming down your mind and body but also work great on detoxing the nervous and lymphatic systems by enhancing blood and hormone circulation.
6. Bridge Pose or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
The name comes from the posture you make – The Body Bridge/Setu Bandh. All you need to do is exhale as you lie down on your back in such a manner that your feet are placed flat on the ground and your arms are extended alongside. Then while inhaling slowly, lift your hips and chest off the ground, thereby giving the body a bridge shape between your feet and head. Breathe and hold for 4-6 easy breaths. Don’t overdo it, don’t stress the body.
This yoga benefits those who have anxiety disorders and insomnia. Many like me benefit from it in backaches and for limb relaxation as well.
7. Corpse Pose or Savasana
The easiest and most sought-after stress relief activity among all yoga poses for stress relief is Savasana. All you need to do is lie on your back facing the sky/roof with hands extended and relaxed by your side, at the body’s length. Keep breathing deeply and while doing this, feel the breath in each part of the body from head to toe. You need to continue to repeat this head-to-toe breathing focus for some 5 minutes to feel the mental change. This is the most calming exercise and mostly makes you fall asleep as you do this, if it does, don’t worry. It would then have to actually do the best trick in yoga for stress relief!
This Yoga benefits especially the ones with hypertension as it lowers the blood pressure due to slow breathing and quietens the nervous system. In short, it calms down the whole body in one go.
Mental health is the most neglected among all health forms in the world. Not many know that stress is the main cause of lower body immunity, which in turn attracts so many diseases like hypertension, diabetes, etc. And in this Covid19 post-pandemic world, doctors are suggesting increasing your body immunity. And this can only be done by staying stress-free. I have found my solace in the above-mentioned seven stress relief activities. I hope you also regain your peace through the same.