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7 Great Asanas for Relaxation | Yoga Poses for Stress Relief in 2021

holistic health yoga May 21, 2021

We all know that stress and anxiety are bad for our health, but it can be hard to find time and energy in our busy days to practice yoga. 

Most of us feel like we don't have enough hours in the day to get everything done, and there's always more on the list than we feel like we need to accomplish. With a full schedule, finding time for practicing yoga can seem impossible. 

Yoga poses are an easy way to reduce your stress levels, even if you only have a few minutes to practice each day!

These simple exercises will help you relax and center your body and mind so that you're better able to handle whatever comes your way.

The best part? You don't need any special equipment or clothing; just your physical body and some free time!

So pick one and find your zen!

The benefits of yoga for stress relief

Yoga for stress relief is the perfect antidote to the pressures of everyday life. It relieves anxiety with deep breaths, stretches tense muscles, and builds a sense of calm and mental balance.

Yoga can help to manage stress-related conditions like insomnia, depression, and joint pain.

The benefits for our mind are immediate: yoga boosts endorphins which make us feel happy!

Also, the practice of improving balance helps the nervous system which benefits the immune system and helping with chronic pain.

But yoga's benefits for our body are just as significant: yoga stimulates the lymphatic system, which helps to eliminate toxins and lowers blood pressure which could prevent heart disease.

Ujjayi Breathing

Breathing exercises like Ujjayi can help you release pent-up emotions, stress, and tension in the body. It is a technique that can be combined with meditation or yoga to reduce stress in the body and mind.

It is sometimes referred to as "ocean breathing" because it sounds similar to waves crashing on the shore when practiced correctly.

Ujjayi breathing is an ancient breathing technique that is especially helpful for meditation. It can also be used to improve the health of your lungs by increasing oxygen in them, helping you relax more easily.

How To practice Ujjayi:

Sit or lie down comfortably on a yoga mat or other surface with good support under your trunk and head.

Place your hands on your lower belly as if cradling it.

Breathe through your nose without making any noise - this will result in an audible sound.

Tighten your stomach muscles and lower abdomen as you inhale, then release the tension on the exhale so that it is easier to breathe out than in.

Imagine breathing air into your abdominal cavity rather than just filling up your lungs with oxygen.

You can put one hand on your sternum (the middle of your chest) to feel the rise and fall of your ribcage in time with your breathing.

Lengthen the exhale for a count of three or four seconds after you have taken a full breath. This will slow down your natural breathing pattern so that you can concentrate more on how it feels.

You should be able to maintain this breathing throughout your yoga postures that we will discuss now.

Padmasana

This yoga pose is a seated position that takes a lot of inner focus, strength, and flexibility.

This pose comprises two postures: the Padmasana proper and the Padma Mayurasana (Flapping Eagle).

This yoga practice pre-dates hatha yoga and is used for its meditation and its physical benefits of straightening/strengthening your spine.

Padmasana requires you to sit with your legs crossed or wrapped around each other in full Lotus Position.

You will then interlock your hands behind your head and lean forward with a straight spine.

This will help stretch out, lengthen, and strengthen hamstrings, hip flexors, calves, and thighs while deepening breathing.

Benefits of Padmasana:

  • stretching hamstrings
  • strengthening calf muscles
  • improving posture
  • strengthen hip flexors
  • deepened breathing

Garudasana

Garudasana is an outstanding yoga pose to help reduce stress by focusing on breath, stability, and balance. 

It is a seated backbend that strengthens the thighs, improves core stability, increases flexibility in the spine and shoulders, and stretches your chest muscles. The posture also has an apparent calming effect on both mind/body with its slow controlled breathing exercises while concentrating on balancing.

Balancing in this posture requires muscular strength, stability, coordination, concentration, and mental clarity that can help boost confidence and self-esteem while reducing stress.

Balance also can help improve concentration and creativity.

The benefits of Garudansana

  • It strengthens the thigh muscles.
  • Maintains core stability and flexibility in spine and shoulders
  • Stretches chest muscles, increases breathing capacity
  • Balancing poses increase confidence and self-esteem (can help boost concentration) while reducing stress
  • Balancing can improve creativity as well.

Supta Virasana

Supta Virasana is a reclining pose that stretches the hips, low back, and ankles.

Place knees on the floor about hip-width apart with feet flexed to cover as much of your buttocks as possible.

Lean back as far as comfortable using your elbows or cushion for support.

Focus on your breath.

The benefits of Supta Virasana

 

  • Helps to lower blood pressure and relieve stress in the mind/body.
  • Ankles will be stretched by turning them outwards while hips are being gently pressed into the floor.
  • This pose is excellent for people with tight hips who constantly feel tense or experience lower back pain.
  • Relieves stress on the spine and neck, which often hold a lot of tension due to long hours at work.

Dhanurasan

The Dhanurasan is a yoga pose for stress relief that utilizes the body's natural ability to reverse and reset its position.

It relieves tension in the spine, shoulders, neck. In addition, it helps with stress management by allowing gravity to relax these areas while strengthening the back muscles.

The exercise also increases stamina because of an improved posture while improving overall health as well.

The benefits of Dhanurasan

This posture of yoga can help reduce stress and focus on the present moment.

It also improves posture, which positively affects health while helping with mental clarity by calming the mind and body.

The Dhanurasan is just one of many poses that can help people relieve tension in various areas throughout their body for increased mood.

Tree Pose

The practice of this yoga posture demands you to focus on being balanced and concentrated while holding your physical body vertically against gravity.

Lift one leg up, so your foot rests against the opposite leg's knee. Lift your hands about your head and put both palms together.

Hold the posture and focus on your breath.

The benefits of Tree Pose

This yoga position can help people who suffer from sleep deprivation due to its calming effect on the body and mind.

Yoga poses for stress often incorporate this posture as part of their sequence. It relaxes both your muscles and your breath while calming the nervous system and toning muscles in the spine.

Corpse Pose (Savasana)  

If you've attended yoga classes in the past, then you have most certainly practiced this posture.

The Corpse Pose (Savasana) is the easiest and most common yoga posture that could be practiced anywhere.

This yoga asana aims to completely relax your body by releasing tension from head to toe.

Lie on a mat or soft surface flat on your back with the arms parallel to the floor at maximum length.

Your legs should also be extended parallel to the floor and your feet should be relaxed, so that they are not pointing towards or away from you.

Close your eyes and gradually release all tension throughout your body as you exhale out any stress through the breath.

The benefits of Corpse Pose

This yoga asana helps release tension and stress in the body by lengthening muscles that have been contracted during yoga poses.

This posture can be done after any type of physical exercise because it provides a sense of calm and meditation to the body.

It also restores energy by promoting circulation and increasing lung capacity.

Many people find themselves experiencing a sense of clarity, comfort, and focus in this relaxed state.

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra is a meditation that guides the practitioner into a deep meditative moment.

Yoga Nidra can be described as "a passive self-hypnotic technique" and "yogic sleep."

The benefits of Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra is that it can help to reduce pain by the release of tension in the muscles, and is often used as a type of deep relaxation for many individuals.

Yoga Nidra has been found to have significant benefits on heart rate variability (more consistent heart rate), which means less anxiety-induced stress hormones or cortisol levels.

Yoga Nidra is also said to improve mood and immune system functioning.

In Conclusion

After reading this article, you may want to incorporate some of these yoga poses in your daily life.

Perhaps a few minutes in one of these positions can help be a great stress reliever and give you the ability to tackle your next challenge with more enthusiasm!

Suppose any of the following yoga poses sound like something that would suit your needs or interests. In that case, we highly recommend checking them out.

Which yoga for stress asanas has helped reduce your own tension? Let us know in the comments below so others can benefit from hearing about your success story!

As always, please know your fitness limits. Ask for professional medical advice before attempting any of these positions on your own.

We recommend you go to an in-person yoga class or two so you know that your form is accurate and stay healthy and safe.

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  • Incorporates stretching, relaxation, meditation, and movement