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Yoga for Stress Relief - Top 5 Yoga Poses

Yoga for Stress Relief - Top 5 Yoga Poses

Curious if Yoga works for stress relief? According to multiple sources, including Mayoclinic, Psychology Today, and Yoga Journal, yoga can be very effective in reducing stress. 

In this article, we'll show you the top 5 yoga poses for stress relief, how to do them, and why they work!

Why Yoga for Stress Relief?

You ever notice how many medical conditions result from stress, but doctors don't often give you strategies to reduce it? Yoga is a mind-body practice that can help you cope with stress and improve your overall health. 

Over 85% of participants in a study reported that yoga helped them relax, and 69% reported that it helped with stress relief. 

According to mayoclinic.org, "Yoga may help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and lower your heart rate."

Psychology Today suggests that "Over time you will start to retrain your automatic stress reaction, and replace it with one more conducive to happiness and overall well-being."

Yoga Journal recommends a variety of yoga poses to help with stress and anxiety.

Yoga has many styles, but Hatha yoga has been found to be one of the best forms of yoga for stress. It is one of the most common types of Yoga, and beginners will appreciate the ability to start slow. 

Here are the top 5 yoga poses for stress-relief: 

Child's Pose

childs yoga pose

The child's pose helps stretch thighs, hips, and ankles while also helping to reduce stress and fatigue. It also provides relief for back and neck pain. 

Instructions: 

1. Get into a kneeling position on the floor. Make your big toes touch and sit on your heels. Separate your knees slightly, and rest your buttocks on your heels. 

2. Sit up straight and breathe out as you lay your torso between your thighs. Your chest should be on top of or between your thighs. 

3. Allow your arms to extend with your palms facing down. You can press yourself back with your hands to keep your heels in contact with your buttocks. 

4. While allowing your back to stretch, soften and relax your back. Allow the tension in your arms to fade away. 

5. Since this pose is a resting pose, you can stay in the pose for a few minutes. When you come up, allow your front torso to lengthen, and lift up from the tailbone while taking a deep breath in. 

Corpse Pose

corpse yoga pose

This yoga pose for stress relief can be challenging, however, it's one of the best ways to reach total relaxation. 

1. Begin by lying on your back with your legs straight up and your arms at your sides. Rest each of your hands about 6 inches from your body. Allow your feet to drop open. 

2. Close your eyes and allow your breath to occur naturally. Let your body feel heavy on the floor. 

3. From the soles of your feet up to the top of your head, release every part of your body from bottom to top. 

4. Allow your eyes to rest deeply in your eye sockets. Completely relax your face, and invite peace and silence into your whole being. 

5. Stay in this pose for about five minutes to experience the benefits. 

Lion Pose

lions pose

This is a very unique yoga pose for stress relief in that it can relax your body and mind while also waking you up and energizing you. It's also a silly one as you'll read in the instructions. 

1. Begin seated on your shins with knees together and your big toes touching. Sit back onto the heels. 

2. Place your palms on your knees, and take a deep breath. 

3. As you exhale, spread your fingers wide open. Open your mouth wide, stick your tongue out, and allow it to go downwards, slightly touching your chin. 

4. Let your eyebrows go upwards, and look up towards the space between your eyebrows. 

5. Be sure to avoid slouching, and as you exhale, let out a "haaa" sound as you empty your breath. 

6. When you inhale again, let your face be neutral again, relaxing your entire body. 

7. Repeat this process 8 times. 

Easy Pose

easy pose

This yoga pose for stress relief has the benefit of being both relaxing and easy. 

1. Sit down straight and extend your legs in front of your body. Cross your legs. 

2. Place each foot beneath the other knee and fold your legs inward toward your torso. 

3. Place your palms down onto your knees. 

4. Try to distribute your weight evenly across your bones by aligning your spine, neck, and head. Relax your thighs and feet. 

5. Look straight ahead with a soft gaze. Hold this pose for up to one minute. 

6. Release and cross your legs in opposite positions. 

Standing Forward Pose

standing forward pose

This yoga pose was mentioned on doyouyoga.com as a pose to help "quiet a busy mind, balance the nervous system, and promote feelings of calm and peace."

1. Start from a standing position. Exhale forward and bend your knees enough so that you can place your palms flat on the floor with your head against your legs. 

2. Feel your spine stretch, pull your head down and in, and then press your hips upwards. Try to straighten your legs to stretch even more. 

3. Repeat this process for 6-8 complete breaths. Upon inhalation, allow your arms to go out to your sides, and then raise your arms and torso back up to a standing position. 

Can Aromatherapy Help?

Aromatherapy is defined as “the use of aroma to enhance a feeling of well-being” by Merriam Webster. 

Can it be used to relieve stress as well?

Aromatherapy, which is often practiced through the use of essential oils, can be very beneficial for achieving relaxation and inner peace.

Taking a slow, deep breath and inhaling pure Lavender Essential Oil can be enough to get centered in a positive way. 

In fact, the Korean Society of Nursing Science found that the stress response of those who practiced aromatherapy, including Lavender Essential Oil, was significantly lower than the two control groups. 

Breathe Easy is an amazing blend to inhale in times of stress. It can immediately feel as though your breathing is more effortless. 

Conclusion

There are natural ways to relieve your stress, and Yoga is one of them. It's a mind-body practice to help maintain overall health and fitness. The yoga poses for stress relief mentioned in this article will help you calm down so you can deal with everyday life more effectively and happily.