5 Relaxing Yoga Postures When You Feel Stressed

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By wupscaleb

Before jumping into which yoga pose or aasana will help you relieve stress, it is necessary to understand how does it help. Read the article below to find out the benefits of yoga to destress. 

Yoga is a powerful practice that offers numerous physical, mental, and emotional benefits, including its effectiveness in reducing stress. Here’s how yoga helps in reducing stress:

1. Stress Hormone Regulation:

Yoga has been shown to regulate the body’s stress response by reducing the production of cortisol, the primary stress hormone. Regular yoga practice helps to lower cortisol levels, leading to a calmer and more relaxed state of mind.

2. Relaxation Response:

Engaging in yoga triggers the relaxation response, which is the body’s natural counterbalance to the stress response. This response leads to a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension, promoting an overall sense of relaxation and well-being.

3. Mind-Body Connection:

Yoga emphasizes the connection between the mind and the body. Through various poses (asanas), breath control (pranayama), and meditation, individuals learn to cultivate awareness of their body sensations, thoughts, and emotions. This heightened awareness helps in identifying and managing stress triggers more effectively.

4. Deep Breathing Techniques:

Yoga incorporates deep breathing exercises that activate the parasympathetic nervous system, responsible for the body’s relaxation response. Practicing controlled, deep breathing calms the nervous system, reduces anxiety, and induces a sense of tranquility.

5. Mindfulness and Meditation:

Yoga often involves mindfulness and meditation practices that encourage living in the present moment and letting go of worries about the past or future. Mindfulness helps in breaking the cycle of chronic stress by shifting focus away from stressful thoughts.

6. Improved Sleep Quality:

Stress can negatively impact sleep quality. Yoga has been shown to improve sleep patterns by reducing stress and promoting relaxation. Certain yoga poses and relaxation techniques can be especially effective in preparing the body for restful sleep.

7. Muscle Relaxation:

Physical tension is often a physical manifestation of stress. Yoga poses involve stretching and relaxation of muscles, releasing built-up tension and alleviating physical discomfort associated with stress.

8. Increased Feel-Good Hormones:

Yoga encourages the release of endorphins, the body’s natural “feel-good” hormones. These hormones create a sense of euphoria and well-being, countering the negative effects of stress.

9. Improved Coping Skills:

Yoga teaches mindfulness, self-compassion, and non-judgmental awareness. These skills enable individuals to face stressors with a more balanced perspective, reducing the emotional impact of stressful situations.

10. Time for Self-Care:

Engaging in regular yoga practice provides dedicated time for self-care. This practice promotes self-nurturing and self-compassion, allowing individuals to prioritize their well-being and reduce stress.

Incorporating yoga into your routine provides a holistic approach to stress reduction, addressing both the physical and mental aspects of stress. By promoting relaxation, mindfulness, and self-awareness, yoga empowers individuals to manage stress more effectively and improve their overall quality of life.

5 Yoga Poses to Relax

1. Sukhasana – Easy Pose

Let’s initiate this sequence with sukhasana, a pose that is incredibly approachable in yoga. This posture provides the opportunity to begin slowing down and establishing a connection with your breath, which guides you towards a more meditative state. It serves as a deliberate relaxation technique, directing your attention towards your breath and facilitating mental clarity.

Here’s how to perform the Easy Pose:

1. Find a comfortable seated position, crossing your legs with your hands resting on your thighs and palms facing upward. Ensure your posture is upright and you feel at ease.

2. Shift your focus to your breath. With each deliberate inhalation and exhalation through your nostrils, direct your awareness towards the sensations in your body.

2. Marjaryasana to Bitilasana

Following conscious breathing, let’s introduce movement to your body with the Cat-Cow pose. Transitioning between Marjaryasana (Cat Pose) and Bitilasana (Cow Pose) will create a flowing sequence, enabling you to synchronize your movements with your breath.

Here’s how to perform the Cat-Cow pose:

1. Begin in a tabletop position, aligning your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Your shoulders and wrists should be in one line, and your hips in line with your knees.

2. On an inhalation, arch your back gently by dropping your belly towards the floor. Lift your tailbone and head, directing your gaze upwards towards the ceiling.

3. As you exhale, round your spine by drawing your belly button towards your spine. Tuck your chin towards your chest, creating a gentle stretch in your upper back.

Repeat this fluid movement, coordinating each motion with your breath.

3. Adho Mukha Svanasana

The downward-facing dog, also known as Adho Mukha Svanasana, is a gentle inversion pose that facilitates blood circulation to the brain and various parts of the body. Additionally, it offers a stretch to the hamstrings and calves while alleviating tension from the back and neck.

Here’s how to perform the Downward Dog pose:

1. Transition from the Cat-Cow pose. Begin by positioning your hands firmly on the ground, spreading your fingers wide. Lift your knees off the floor, straightening your legs, and gently elevate your pelvis towards the ceiling. Your body forms an inverted “V” shape.

2. Focus your gaze between your legs, ensuring your neck remains relaxed. As you press the floor with your hands, draw your shoulders away from your ears. This action creates space between your neck and shoulders.

3. Emphasize pressing your heels towards the floor while maintaining a gentle bend in your knees. This elongates your spine and enhances the stretch in your hamstrings and calves.

Hold this pose for a few breaths, feeling the extension and release it offers to your body.

4. Balasana

Balasana, commonly known as Child’s Pose, serves as a sanctuary within your yoga practice, offering solace when your body feels overwhelmed and your breath becomes disjointed from your movements.

Child’s Pose is designed to stretch the muscles along the posterior side of your body, which often tighten during periods of stress. This asana serves as a rejuvenating pose that induces relaxation, melting away stiffness and strain.

Here’s how to perform the Child’s Pose:

1. Begin by kneeling on the floor. Lower your hips onto your heels, creating a comfortable foundation.

2. Spread your knees gently wide, forming a soft “V” shape with your thighs. Your big toes should touch each other.

3. Extend your arms forward, aligning them with your shoulders. As you lengthen your spine, gradually lower your torso between your thighs.

4. Rest your forehead and chin gently on the floor, embracing the soothing sensation of this posture. Sink your hips toward your heels while maintaining a gentle stretch along your spine.

5. Engage in deep, mindful breathing. Inhale slowly through your nose, feeling your ribcage expand, and exhale fully to release any tension.

Allow your body to surrender to this pose, experiencing the release of tension and the calming connection between your breath and movements. Stay in the Child’s Pose for as long as you find comfort and ease.

5. Savasana

Savasana, also known as the Corpse Pose, serves as the quintessential final posture for every yoga session. It’s a moment to release any lingering tension or stress, redirect your focus to your breath, and fully immerse yourself in a state of restorative tranquility. This pose enables your body to absorb the myriad benefits of your practice as you recline on the floor.

Here’s how to perform the Corpse Pose:

1. Begin by lying down on the ground. Extend your legs slightly wider than hip-width apart, allowing your feet to naturally fall outward.

2. Extend your arms out to the sides, forming a gentle 45-degree angle with your body. Your palms should face upward, embracing an open and receptive posture.

3. Close your eyes gently, fostering a serene connection with your inner self. Shift your focus to your breath, allowing it to flow naturally and rhythmically.

4. Surrender your body to the ground beneath you. Feel the earth’s support cradling you, and intentionally release any lingering tension from each muscle group.

5. Embrace the stillness and tranquility of this pose. Let go of the need to control or direct your thoughts. Instead, focus solely on your breath, allowing it to guide you into a state of deep relaxation.

In this state of restful repose, your body has the opportunity to fully assimilate the benefits of your yoga practice. The simplicity of Savasana belies its incredible effectiveness in rejuvenating your body and mind.

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