Life ruled by stress? Constantly feeling frazzled?
For many, stress is an unavoidable side effect of their lifestyle.
And if left unchecked, it can damage your:
- Physical health
- Mental well-being
- Emotional stability
- Perception of the world
In fact, stress activates the “fight or flight” response that floods your brain with adrenaline – the feel-good, addictive chemical that fills you with energy and makes you feel invincible.
Stress stimulates the same part of your brain and body as driving a race car, jumping out of an airplane or riding a motorbike.
And in small doses, this bolt of adrenaline is not necessarily a bad thing. Some would argue, even desirable for a healthy life.
Yet chronic stress can trigger:
- Adrenal fatigue
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
Not so good.
So how would you like to quickly and easily relieve stress?
All that, whilst getting fitter, stronger, toning, shaping and losing weight at the same time?
Known in the fitness world for helping increase strength and flexibility, yoga is also a highly effective stress reliever.
Performed regularly, it floods your body with oxygen, reduces stress hormones, and enhances feelings of well-being.
These 10 yoga poses to relieve stress are especially effective stress busters.
Even if you don’t believe in yoga – give them a try.
The only thing you have to lose…is your stress.
1. Mountain Pose
To the outside observer, it looks like standing still.
To the yogi it is one of the foundation poses upon which you can build any number of sequences.
The trick is to focus on standing so your weight is not only distributed evenly on both feet but also distributed throughout your foot.
Your head, neck, shoulders, belly, hips and legs should form a straight line from the top of your head to your heels.
With palms facing forward, breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
Related: 7 Yoga Poses for Beginners: Simple Poses…Powerful Results
2. Tree Pose
From Mountain Pose, move one foot so it is touching the inside of your opposite leg.
Reach your arms up straight above your head, fingertips touching.
Pick a point straight ahead to look at to maintain your balance.
The challenge is to maintain your weight on all parts of the foot that is on the floor.
This pose not only works your core muscles, but also helps you develop balance.
Just be sure to repeat the process with the other leg for balance.
Related Post: 11 Yoga Poses for Weight Loss
3. Cat Cow Pose
In yoga, forward bending yoga poses to relieve stress tend to relax your body. While back bends tend to energize the body.
Cat Cow effectively does both.
The key is to breathe in as you move into cat and exhale as you move into cow.
By coordinating your breath with the movement you effectively trick your body into saturating your brain with oxygen.
This, in turn, lowers heart rate and blood pressure.Yoga floods your body with oxygen, reduces stress hormones, and enhances feelings of well-beingClick To Tweet
4. Child Pose
The Child Pose is one of the most effective yoga poses to relieve stress.
Yogi’s believe your “third eye” is located in your forehead.
And by placing your forehead on the floor, you are effectively allowing the earth to calm your brain through your “third eye”.
On its own, Child Pose is fantastic for relaxing your body.
However, its full effect can be felt when you picture any swirling thoughts exiting your body and flowing into the earth.
Related Post: 8 Yoga Poses for Depression
5. Downward Dog
Remember how forward bending poses are excellent yoga poses to relieve stress?
Downward Dog is the mother of all forward bending poses.
From here, you can build on any number of vinyasas (or flows) that will strengthen your body while relieving stress.
But Downward Dog itself is ideal for simply stretching your legs and lower back while finding your breath.
Be sure to keep your feet hip-width apart and your heels as close to the floor as possible with your legs straight.
6. Legs-On-The-Wall… Pose.
Technically called Viparita Karani, this is a fantastic way for the lymph that accumulates in your legs from sitting or standing, to find its way back to your heart.
Lay on the floor with your heels resting against the wall so your legs form a right angle to your body.
Move your butt as close to the wall as possible and allow your arms to fall to your sides.
The trick is to stay in this pose for 1-5 minutes while keeping your eyes closed or your gaze soft, and allow your thoughts to wander freely.
7. Corpse Pose
Like the Child Pose, the Corpse Pose is one of the most effective yoga poses to relieve stress.
Anyone who has taken an hour-long yoga class will attest to the joy found in the Corpse Pose.
But it isn’t as easy as laying on the ground and pretending to be dead!
Being still takes nearly as much practice as finding your balance in a difficult pose.
What makes Corpse Pose so rewarding is learning how to let thoughts, feelings and emotions come to you easily and float away just as easily.
Related Post: 10 Depression Coping Skills
8. Forward Bend
From mountain pose, reach your hands high above your head and bend at the waist with a flat back until your hands touch the ground.
Not only do you get all of the benefits of a forward bend, you get a great hamstring and calf stretch in the process.
Bonus points for returning to a flat back with your hands on your calves then folding again with your hands on the floor.
You will find your stretch is deeper the second time around.
9. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Do you carry all of your stress in your lower back? Reaching for the antacids a little too often?
Not only does this pose relieve lower back pain, it aids in digestion – two things that seem to break down in people with chronic stress.
Twist only as far as your body will allow today, which may not be as far as yesterday.
Remember, you’re trying to relieve stress, not cause more by competing for flexibility!
10. Triangle Pose
The triangle is considered to be the strongest shape known to man.
This pose mimics that shape while incorporating a spinal twist that eases back pain.
While you’re there, reflect on how much stronger you will be once you are finished.
Related Post: Strength Training Guide for Women: 6 Exercises Without Building Bulk
Introducing: Yoga Burn for Women
If you’re really serious about improving your health with yoga and want a simple yoga strategy you can use in the comfort of your own home, then I highly recommend Zoe Bray-Cotton’s Yoga Burn for Women.
Yoga Burn for Women promises to help you:
- Shape and tone
- De-stress and relieve tension
- Manage your weight
- Gain flexibility
- Boost immunity and
- Generally become more happy and healthy
In fact, Zoe is so sure that you’ll love the results from Yoga Burn for Women that she offers a full, 60-day, no-questions-asked money back guarantee in the unlikely event that you’re not delighted with your results.
Not only do you get this RISK FREE money back guarantee, but if you act now, you’ll receive Zoe’s Limited Time Price Offer and access to her weekly BONUS videos designed to improve your overall experience and results with Yoga Burn for Women.
In this program, you’ll learn the secret to Yoga Burn for Women’s success – a technique known as Dynamic Sequencing.
This strategy forces your body to adapt, giving you a more shapely, feminine body that looks great.
What’s more, Yoga Burn for Women is designed exclusively for women from any walk of life who want to lose weight and get in shape, without trekking to the gym and spending countless hours performing fruitless cardio.
The program is specifically tailored to suit women of all fitness levels from the very new to advanced yoga students.
You’ll also learn how to optimize each pose to take advantage of your very own fitness levels.
Check out Yoga Burn for Women here!
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Great post!! I love the tree pose for a bit of balance innmore ways than one. I’ll share on Twitter.
Hi Lynn. Thanks for commenting. I totally agree: it’s remarkable just how relaxing and soothing the simplest of yoga poses can be. As one great yogi said, ‘Yoga is not a work out, it’s a work in’! Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for sharing on Twitter. Cheers, Peter.