Stress is a serious health risk that can be easily eliminated from your life by trying these 13 easy yoga poses. The simplicity of holding a pose while breathing deeply allows the muscles to release stress. The mind is also able to rest through yoga by focusing on breath and position rather than stress.
Why does yoga work to eliminate stress from your body? The gentle stretching of multiple muscle groups paired with the focus on posture and rhythmic breathing help to bring the body to a state of relaxation.
For those who are chronic worriers, yoga allows their mind to focus on the physical sensations of their body and breathing. Eliminating stressful thoughts by replacing them with thoughts about controlled movement is one way that yoga helps people with anxiety.
13 Yoga Poses That Eliminate Stress From Your Body
Some yoga classes are designed to increase metabolism with accelerated breathing and moving through poses more quickly. Although these yoga methods are good for fitness, the better strategy for eliminating stress is slow, controlled movements and breath. Read more about how breathing techniques can help in our article This Ancient Breathing Technique Can Help Relieve Anxiety.
Multiple studies have shown a decrease in anxiety for people who use yoga with as little as one session of doing certain yoga poses. Research has shown that yoga can also help relieve phobias as well as general stress.
Stress and fear are closely related emotions. If you have stress in your life, it is likely that you will feel fearful about the future. When you are worrying about ‘what if,’ your mind is not focused on the present moment.
Yoga helps practitioners to focus their minds on the here and now. Being focused on the present moment is best for our mental well-being. For those who suffer from anxiety and stress, yoga may be the best alternative to taking medication.
Prior to doing yoga exercise, make sure that your physical health can support these activities. If you have any injuries, talk to your medical professional before undertaking a yoga program. For the following yoga poses, hold each for 5 slow breaths or 1-2 minutes.
1. Child’s Pose
For this simple yoga pose, kneel on a yoga mat.
Bend forward with your forehead resting on the mat and your chest resting on your thighs.
Rest hands near your feet, palms up.
2. Head to Knee Forward Bend
Sit with legs extended and feet flexed.
Bend one knee, bringing the foot to the inside of the upper thigh.
Place palms on either side of extended leg.
Bend forward with forehead resting on extended leg.
3. Bridge Pose
Lie on your back with feet flat hip width apart and knees bent.
Palms should be facing down with fingertips toughing heels.
Raise hips and chest off the mat.
You should feel tightness in your thighs, buttocks and abdominal muscles,
4. Cow Pose
Kneel on all fours.
Allow the belly to sag down toward the mat as spine also curves downward.
Lift chin upward.
5. Standing Forward Bend Pose
While standing, bend forward.
Palms should be flat on the floor near feet.
Head should rest against legs.
6. Easy Pose
Sit crossed-legged on the yoga mat.
Both feet should be under the opposite knees.
Rest palms of your hands on your knees.
7. Dolphin Pose
Stand and bend forward, touching palms to floor.
Walk hands forward until you can place your forearms flat on the yoga mat.
Relax your neck and head.
8. Eagle Pose
Bend knees and balance on one foot.
Cross other leg over balancing leg, then wrap foot behind calf of balancing leg.
Cross arms, bend elbows and press palms together.
Repeat on opposite leg.
9. Cat Pose
Kneel on all fours with toes pointed.
Round back into a curve arcing up.
Allow head and neck to relax.
10. Corpse Pose
Lie flat on your back.
Palms should be facing up.
11. Puppy Pose
Kneel on all fours with feet flexed and toes against yoga mat.
Walk hands forward with arms straight and palms against floor.
Allow chest and forehead to touch floor.
12. Extended Triangle Pose
Stand with one foot facing forward and other foot turned out 90 degrees.
Step forward one giant step with the foot that is turned out.
Bend forward placing hand on the ankle of forward foot.
Reach opposite arm upward.
13. Legs Up the Wall Pose
Sit with rear close to a wall.
Put both legs up the vertical surface of the wall with feet flexed.
Arms should be out straight from shoulders with palms down.
These poses help blood flow to muscles and you should feel a gentle warming of your body as you stretch. The release of muscle tension from yoga can result in less pain, including relief of minor tension headaches.