The author and interfaith minister Gudjon Bergmann had a point when he said, “There is no such thing as a stress-free life.”

 Everyone experiences stress. However, everybody handles stressful situations differently. Ultimately, the goal is to manage stress more healthily and not let it overwhelm you. 

Today, many people are turning to yoga poses for stress relief. What is it about this practice that helps you achieve relaxation, calmness, and peace of mind? 

To have a deeper understanding of yoga for stress relief, let us first understand what stress is. 

What is stress?

Stress is a normal human reaction that happens when you encounter challenges or changes, otherwise known as stressors.

Some of the most common stressors include:

  • Losing a job
  • Suffering the loss of a loved one
  • Going through a divorce, separation, or other relationship problems
  • Experiencing financial problems
  • Being sick or dealing with an illness
  • Undergoing prejudice, discrimination, or bullying

Take note that even positive changes can cause stress. For instance, accepting a promotion, moving to a bigger house, or going on a vacation. 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the human body is designed to experience stress and react to it with a fight or flight response. It can even have a positive effect as it keeps you alert and ready to avoid danger, and it helps you adjust to new situations. For example, stress can motivate you to finish a marathon or get through your nerves when you have to do a presentation in front of a big crowd.

However, when you encounter too much stress or constantly deal with stressors over a long period, your body can become overwhelmed. Long-term stress can even negatively affect your physical, emotional, and mental health.

When you are struggling with stress, it can be helpful to try and find ways to feel less overwhelmed, tense, and anxious.

You may want to find an activity that can help you relax, build resilience, and give you peace of mind. If that is the case, you can try yoga poses for stress relief.

Yoga for Stress Relief

In our previous post about yoga for mental health, one of the main points we discussed was how effective yoga is for relieving stress. This is supported by claims that the practice of yoga produces a physiological state opposite to how humans would normally respond to stressful situations, which is the flight-or-fight response. Because of this, you can achieve a sense of balance between the mind and body. 


Studies indicate that yoga is recognized as a holistic stress management technique and there is growing evidence of its therapeutic effects. It is believed that yoga is highly effective in lessening stress because it encourages you to slow your breath, relax, and focus on the present. 


Before you jump into practicing yoga for stress relief, it is best to find a yoga instructor who can teach you the foundations and guide you through the exercises and poses. 


Also, if you are currently undergoing counseling or therapy, it’s best to consult with your specialist on incorporating yoga into your program. Finally, avoid pushing yourself too hard and too far when doing yoga poses for stress relief, which can lead to injuries and other issues. 

Yoga for Stress Relief Poses

Here are eight common yoga poses for stress relief that you can do at home, work, or anywhere and anytime you need to overcome current stressors. 

1. Viparita Karani (Legs up the Wall)

  • Sit on the floor facing the wall (try to get as close as you can to the wall).
  • Gently lie on your side, then roll onto your back and place your legs up against the wall. 
  • Scoot your hips until your tailbone touches the wall or is a few inches from the wall (whichever is more comfortable).
  • Place your arms alongside your body in a relaxed position with palms facing upward.
  • Relax your shoulders and legs and feel your spine lengthening. 
  • Release all effort and settle into the pose as you breathe and relax. 
  • Hold the pose. It’s best to start with five minutes and gradually increase the time to grow in your yoga practice.

2. Balasana (Child’s Pose)

  • Kneel down and slowly sit on your heels. 
  • As you exhale, bend forward until your chest touches your thighs and your forehead rests on the ground.
  • Extend your arms to the front with palms facing down.
  • Soften and relax your neck, arms, shoulders, and lower back.
  • Breathe softly and keep your eyes closed as you hold this pose for at least one minute. 

3. Marjaryasana-Bitilasana (Cat-Cow Pose)

  • Get on all fours. Make sure your wrists are directly under your shoulders and that your knees are directly under your hips. 
  • As you inhale, get into the Cow Pose by dropping your belly towards the mat as you lift your chin and turn your gaze towards the ceiling.
  • When you exhale, get into Cat Pose by drawing your belly towards your spine and chin towards your chest, arching your back like a cat.
  • Repeat the Cow and Cat Pose flow for at least one minute.

4.Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)

  • Sit on the ground with your legs stretched forward. 
  • Slowly lean forward while keeping your spine lengthened as you bend your torso. 
  • Try to reach your toes with your hands. Reach as far as you can, but do not force your body. It’s perfectly okay to rest your hands on your shins or knees until you can reach farther with more practice and time.
  • Take deep breaths while holding this pose for about 30 seconds to one minute.

5. Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

  • Lie on your back, then bend your knees while keeping your feet flat on the floor. 
  • Slowly open your legs by dropping your knees out wide while letting the soles of your feet touch together. Your legs should be forming a diamond shape.
  • Move your feet further or closer toward your body, depending on how comfortable you feel. 
  • Relax your arms alongside your body, or you can place one hand over your heart and the other over your stomach. 
  • Allow your body to relax as you deep breathly. 
  • Stay in this position for at least one minute.

6.Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

  • Begin by standing straight, then slightly bend your knees as you fold your torso over your legs. Remember to hinge from your hips and not your lower back. 
  • Try to lay your hands next to your feet on the ground, or grab each elbow with the opposite hand.
  • Inhale and lengthen your spine by extending your chest. 
  • Exhale and gently straighten your legs while being careful not to hyperextend.
  • Hold this position for about 3 breaths. 

7. Sukhasana (Easy Pose)

  • Sit down with your spine straight and legs extended forward. 
  • Bend your knees, then cross your legs by placing each foot beneath the opposite knee. 
  • Put your hands on your knees. 
  • Make sure to sit with your weight balanced and align your head, neck, shoulders, and spine.
  • Softly gaze ahead as you lengthen your spine and soften your neck.
  • Focus on your breathing for about a minute, then switch the cross of your legs. 

8.Savasana (Corpse Pose)

  • Get comfortable as you lie on your back. You can use blankets or pillows if needed. 
  • Allow your arms and legs to drop open, keeping your arms at a 45-degree angle and spreading your feet slightly wider than your hips. 
  • Try to align your head, neck, shoulders, and spine.
  • Close your eyes and breath deeply. 
  • Let your whole body relax fully. Try to listen to your body from head to toe and wiggle or soften any tight or tense parts.
  • Remain in this pose for 5 to 15 minutes. 


Before trying out these yoga poses for stress relief, make sure you are healthy enough. You don’t want to put yourself at risk, especially if you have medical issues. 


Consult with your doctor and begin your yoga practice with a trained instructor to minimize any risks. Good yoga instructors can guide you on properly doing the poses, suggest necessary modifications to the asanas, and make sure you don’t exceed your limits. 


Remember, your goal is to practice yoga for stress relief. Experiencing pain or getting injured from yoga is a stressor you want to avoid, so sign up for one of our classes or book a private session with our instructors. 


Enjoy wellness here at Dawata Wellness! Connect with us, and let’s promote healthy living!