Everyone needs a stress reliever and there are many different methods to relax. But at the end of the day, a physical exercise is going to work in a way that other methods may not be as effective. Yoga, for example, can be quite effective when practiced to relieve stress. Yoga has many benefits and it is important to know that some poses are better than others at relieving stress, that yoga is much more than a workout. The benefits these poses offer are worth a try for your next practice.
1. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
The name says it all. Think about your childhood, of a time when worries were scarce and anything seemed possible. The child’s pose is supposed to evoke such relaxation.
The pose calls you to kneel on the ground. Bend and lean forward while stretching your legs out by the knees. The pose is not only capable of increasing flexibility in the lower body, but it is a resting pose that allows one to stay in the pose (as long as necessary) to relax their mind and breathe as the pose works its magic.
2. Wide-Legged Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana I)
When discussing yoga, inevitably, there is going to be a lot of mentions about bending. The wide-legged forward bend is an easier bend for anyone who has the ability to freely stretch their leg apart to any width.
Practicing this bend requires standing with your legs spread apart and bending forward with your head sinking towards the floor. Bending forward in this way allows blood flow to increase towards the head which alleviates pressure in the head, where stress is often held.
3. Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
Camel Pose is one that may seem intimidating at first. Practicing this pose requires one to balance on their heels while kneeling and bending backwards.
A pose like this may not come easy to some, and having to bend backwards without certainty that you are fully supported on your heels may cause a bit of panic. The induced fear, however, is what makes this pose excellent for stress relief.
When one is able to step out of the mind (which is where fear, stress, and anxiety all live) and focus on balancing and supporting themselves in Camel Pose, they are able to take themselves out of the mind, live in the moment, and forget about daily stressors.
4. Sun Salutation
True enough, Sun Salutation isn’t just one pose but several poses. It incorporates the salutation at the start of your day, or at the beginning of any yoga practice will help to relieve stress.
The salutation part of the pose can be done as gently or strenuously as one needs. The gentle practice can decrease stress by allowing one to simply focus on their breathing and the moment in general, while taking the practice in a more strenuous direction will prompt one to become focused on the thoughts that cause stress.
5. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
A pose known for relaxation (typically practiced at the end of a yoga session to allow the body to rest), Corpse Pose can be the ultimate stress reliever.
The pose requires you to lie on your back and maintain steady breathing. The pose calls for you to again, focus on the moment, and challenges those who feel that they must constantly be on the go, by requiring them to remain absolutely still. When the stillness is achieved, so is the stress relief. The pose, similar to most on the list, teaches the individual to live in the moment, because living in the moment can be the ultimate stress relief.