I started practicing yoga about a year ago. I was always interested in it, but never took the leap to try it, until I was absolutely stressed out to the max. People always suggest it for stress, anxiety, among so many different ailments and problems. It wasn’t until I actually tried it, and kept showing up, that I believed them and could feel the stress lift off of me after leaving the mat.
Here are some of my favorite asanas for relieving stress. I’ve also included some tutorials for any beginners out there who may be new to yoga, but want to feel some of those stress relieving benefits.
1. Seated Forward Bend
This one is great for stress relief, as you’re letting your body just fall over your legs and relaxing. It also gives your legs a good stretch and helps relieve lower back pain.
2. Standing Forward Bend
If you keep a lot of tension in your neck and shoulder area, this one is for you. I personally get a tight neck and shoulders when I’m under stress, and this feels really good. It also helps improve circulation.
3. Lotus Pose
Lotus Pose is great for stress relief, anxiety, improving focus. It’s also often used in mediation alone. For beginners, please don’t feel the need to push yourself too hard to get your feet in perfect position. Practice makes perfect, and it isn’t about the pose, it’s about feeling good. You’ll get there with time and practice.
4. Thread The Needle Pose
This is one of my favorites on the list. It feels so good on your back, and I always feel more calm after staying in Thread The Needle for a bit. Make sure to repeat on both right and left sides.
5. Melting Heart Pose
Melting Heart Pose is a great way to let go. It’s very relaxing, improves circulation, and this is another one that helps stretch your back muscles very well.
6. Child’s Pose
Of course I had to include Child’s Pose. This is one of my personal favorites. It’s relaxing, restful, and calming. It helps improve digestion as well.
7. Crocodile Pose
This really helps with relieving physical, and therefore mental, tension all over the body. I have personally started to almost fall asleep in Crocodile pose.
8. Happy Baby Pose
This one is very relaxing and stress relieving, and helps to bring happiness and promote good moods. I don’t think I could see anyone being grumpy or stressed out while in Happy Baby.
9. Reclining Bound Angle Pose
This is a very relaxing asana that I enjoy quite a bit. It helps stretch the inner thighs and brings a peaceful state. If you’re stressed, this would be a good pose to stay in for a while longer.
10. Eye of the Needle Pose
Eye of the Needle was one of the first Asanas I learned, as when I did, I immediately loved it. It’s very calming and peaceful.
BONUS: Yoga For When You’re Angry
I love this sequence for when I’m stressed out. It is one of my absolute favorites out there, and I highly recommend it if you’re stressed out, frustrated, overwhelmed. I always feel much better afterwards. Also, Adrienne is a great teacher and her videos are my favorite.
I hope some of the Asanas I listed here will help you decompress and relax if you’ve been feeling stressed out lately. If there are any that I missed or if you have any that have helped you, please feel free to comment and add your thoughts!