Have you ever walked past a yoga class and out of curiosity looked in to see what they were doing? Only to see a bunch of people on mats in weird positions and wondered to yourselves, boy that looks awkward! Then never to give it a second thought? I am sure many people think of yoga as nothing more than a bunch of weird poses and breathing. But, truth be told yoga is much more than that. Different yoga poses provide different benefits to the body including stress relief. But if you are new to the world of yoga you may be wondering what are the best yoga poses for stress relief?
What is Yoga?
Yoga has become one of the most popular activities of today. Some of the reasons are because it is a great way to tone, strengthen, and stretch muscles while improving cardio and endurance.
The word yoga is from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means to yoke or bind and is often interpreted as a union” or a method of discipline. A male who practices yoga is called a yogi, a female practitioner, a yogini.
Pretty deep stuff, huh?
Benefits of Yoga
The yoga poses are meant to purify the body. There are many benefits to doing yoga some include;
- Increased flexibility.
- Increased muscle strength and tone.
- Improved respiration, energy and vitality.
- Maintaining a balanced metabolism.
- Weight reduction.
- Cardio and circulatory health.
- Improved digestion
The focus on breathing and the movement through the different poses can also alleviate stress and anxiety. What mother can’t use some stress relief?
Now, don’t you wish you didn’t just stop and look in the window but actually went inside?
There are 84 basic yoga poses but we will be focusing on the best yoga poses for stress relief. Oh, and the ones easy for me, lol!
Note: Do not practice any exercise regime before consulting with a doctor first.
Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
This pose is one you see most often and is good for meditation. It is not called the easy pose because it is easy but rather it is said to be a pose used to find ease. Deep!
Translations can have a twist, don’t they?
Start seated and then criss-cross your legs. I have to have my daughter help me with this part. Just kidding! Rest your hands wherever the fall naturally, whether this is on your knees palms up or palms down, whichever feels more comfortable. Start by hunching down – chin to the chest- rounding the spin. Close your eyes and let your back stretch. Take a nice deep breath in. As you breathe out roll your chin back up let you spin stack back up as it stretches, nice and slow. If you have tightness in your shoulders you can roll them back and forth. If you feel tightness in your neck you can roll your neck around in small rotations in one direction a few times and then reverse it. Hold for five nice long breaths in and out.
The easy pose is a comfortable seated position for meditation. This pose opens the hips, lengthens the spine, and promotes inner calm. Relieves anxiety and mental/physical exhaustion.
Boat Pose (Navasana)
This pose is similar to a move I do to strengthen my abs. It has the same effect on your stomach. It is a well-known pose for the core.
Start sitting on the floor with knees bent and feet flat. Posture is important, so sit up straight with your hands behind your knees. Focus on your breathing (in through your nose out through your mouth). Keeping the hands behind the thighs you can begin to walk up on your tippy toes. Play with lifting one leg up and back down and then the other. Then when comfortable you lift both toes but remember to keep the back straight, do not hunch. The spine is most important with this exercise, keep that in mind. As you build comfort you can lift your feet higher. As you build even more comfort you may remove your hands from behind your knees. Continue your breathing and maintain your posture. Stay in the pose for five breaths (in through the nose out through the mouth) and release.
This pose works the abdomen, spine, and hip flexors, building strength and steadiness at the body’s core. It also stimulates the organs in your abdomen, including the kidneys and intestines, which helps improves digestion. This pose encourages healthy regulation of the thyroid and prostate glands, helping to maintain metabolism and relieve stress.
Extended Child’s Pose (Bālāsana)
I like this pose personally because of I have nerve damage in my low back and this pose stretches that area and I also have Irritable Bowel Syndrome and I love resting on my belly.
Begin all fours (your hands and knees). Walk your palms a little bit forward so that they are out from underneath your shoulders. Take your two big toes and have them meet together. With your palms pressing flat to your mat have your knees come out to both sides (toes still together). Look forward and inhale(through your noes), and sit back as you exhale(through your mouth). You should be sitting on your heels and our hands extended. Then inhale and reach your palms forward. Really reach your palms forward as much as you can. Then exhale and press your head down to the mat. Stay in this pose for five to ten breaths.
This pose is a resting pose that relaxes your body and eases stress. It also benefits the nervous system and stretches the back. It helps with the digestive system by having you rest on your stomach and massaging your intestines.
Video of Yoga for Anxiety and Stress Relief
Here is a video of my favorite yoga trainers on Youtube. Check it out to get some useful tips.
Yoga can be a great way to relieve stress and an even better way to tone your body and lose weight, so isn’t it at worth looking into? Do you have a yoga pose that is your favorite? I would love to hear about it below.
If you have any questions about this post please feel free to leave a comment below. Any feedback is welcome!