Yoga Poses For Stress Relief

Yoga poses for stress relief are specific physical postures (asanas) that are designed to help reduce stress, promote relaxation, and calm the mind. These poses are often gentle, slow-paced, and focused on deep breathing and mindfulness, which can activate the body's relaxation response and counteract the effects of stress.

Double V Pose (Bhuja Swastikasana)
Double V Pose
Bhuja Swastikasana
Half Perfect Pose (Ardha Siddhasana)
Half Perfect Pose
Ardha Siddhasana
Twist Half Chair Pose (Parivrtta Ardha Utkatasana)
Twist Half Chair Pose
Parivrtta Ardha Utkatasana Twist Half Chair Pose
Half Bound Lotus Standing Forward Bend (Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana)
Half Bound Lotus Standing Forward Bend
Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana
Upward Facing Wide-Angle Seated Pose (Urdhva Upavistha Konasana)
Upward Facing Wide-Angle Seated Pose
Urdhva Upavistha Konasana
Seated Mountain Pose
Seated Mountain Pose
One Legged Half Boat Pose
One Legged Half Boat Pose
Eka Pada Navasana
Ardha Supta Virasana
Half Supine Hero
Ardha Supta Virasana
Reclined Tortoise Pose
Reclined Tortoise Pose
Supta Kurmasana

There are several types of yoga poses that are known for their stress-relieving benefits. These poses come from different styles of yoga, and each contributes to reducing stress and promoting relaxation in its unique way. Here are some common types of yoga poses for stress relief:

  • Gentle Poses: Child’s Pose (Balasana), Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana), Easy Pose (Sukhasana).
  • Restorative Poses: Legs-Up-the-Wall, Supported Child’s Pose (Balasana with props).
  • Backbends: Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana), Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
  • Twists: Seated Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana), Supine Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
  • Supine Poses: Corpse Pose (Savasana), Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
  • Breathing and Meditation: Deep Breathing (Pranayama), Mindfulness Meditation

Remember that yoga is a personal practice, and different poses may resonate differently with individuals. The key is to find a combination of poses that work best for you and integrate them into your regular yoga routine to experience the stress-relieving benefits fully. Additionally, pairing the physical practice with breathwork and meditation can enhance the overall stress relief gained from yoga.

Benefits and Contraindications


Yoga poses for stress relief target areas of tension in the body, helping to release tight muscles and promote physical relaxation

Reduces the stress hormone - cortisol

Activate the parasympathetic nervous system, causing relaxation

Improves mood, reduces anxiety and improves overall emotional balance


Certain inversions and strenuous poses can increase blood pressure

People with back or neck injuries should avoid poses that put excessive strain on these areas

What does the research say about yoga for stress?

Numerous studies have explored the effects of yoga on stress reduction, and many of them have shown positive outcomes. Here are a few examples of studies on yoga for stress:

  1. A systematic review and meta-analysis published in 2017 examined the effects of yoga on stress and stress-related outcomes. The study concluded that yoga interventions were effective in reducing perceived stress, anxiety, and depression levels.
  2. Another randomized controlled trial published in 2020 examined the effects of yoga and relaxation techniques on perceived stress and coping strategies in a population of university students. The study found that yoga and relaxation techniques significantly reduced perceived stress and improved coping abilities.
    Reference: Kukal, S., Gupta, A., Singh, S., Singh, P., Kaur, K. (2020). Impact of yoga and relaxation techniques on perceived stress and coping strategies among university students. Indian Journal of Health and Wellbeing, 11(5), 145-149.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most stress relieving pose in yoga?
The most stress-relieving pose in yoga can vary from person to person, as everyone's body and mind respond differently to different poses. However, one of the most universally calming and stress-relieving poses in yoga is Savasana, also known as Corpse Pose.
The most popular yoga poses for stress relief?
The popularity of yoga poses for stress relief can vary, but some poses are commonly recommended and widely practiced for their calming and relaxing effects. These are poses like: Child's Pose (Balasana), Forward Fold (Uttanasana), Legs-Up-the-Wall (Viparita Karani), Cat-Cow Stretch (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana), Corpse Pose (Savasana), Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana).
How to use yoga breathing to alleviate stress
Yoga breathing, also known as pranayama, is a powerful tool to alleviate stress and promote relaxation. By incorporating specific breathing techniques into your yoga practice and daily life, you can activate the body's relaxation response and reduce the impact of stress.

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