Yoga in general is good for helping to relieve stress, especially hatha yoga, yin yoga, and restorative yoga. But you don’t always have to go to a yoga class to experience the stress relieving benefits of yoga… you can simply take a few moments at home to enjoy a couple of poses that will help melt your stress away.
Anyone who has ever taken a yoga class knows Savasana (Corpse pose) is great for relaxing and relieving stress, because we end every yoga classes with this final relaxation period. It may easily be the most calming portion of a yoga class, though some people find it challenging to just lay there on the floor doing nothing. This pose is designed to put the body at total ease and to trigger the body’s relaxation response in which your breathing slows down, your blood pressure lowers, and your nervous system quiets down across the board. In essence, Savasana is THE relaxation pose. You can spend a few minutes in Savasana as a quick and easy way to help that stress to melt away.
But Savasana is not the only pose that helps to free you from the grips of stress. There are many other yoga poses you can do on your own any time you need a little stress release. Here are 5 more great poses to try out in your quest to become free from stress:
- Seated Forward Fold – This pose not only stretches a variety of muscles in the body, but it also provides relief to the kidneys, liver, and ovaries. Folding forward into the pose, we can relax and allow the body, and our stress, to just melt toward the floor.
- Cat/Cow – This combination pose stretches and warms the spine, releasing stress that often can be held in that area of the body. It helps to create physical and mental balance while also massaging many of the internal organs.
- Child’s Pose – This amazing resting pose helps calms the breath and the mind, which in turn helps to ease stress and anxiety. This restorative-like pose gently stretches the back and is good for both the spine and the lymphatic system and helps us move deeper inward.
- Legs Up the Wall – This pose not only feels good, but it is great for the circulatory and lymphatic systems. Resting here allows the upper body to ground into the floor and relax while blood and lymph drain back toward the heart. Relax here in your breath and feel the stress just melt into the floor beneath you.
- Standing Forward Fold – Not only a great stretch for the leg muscles, this pose reverses the blood flow and allows the body to relax in this simple inversion pose. Allowing the upper body to “hang like a rag doll” and relax can help relieve stress and clear your mind. Just remember to keep the knees slightly bent and to allow the breath to even out as you relax in the pose.