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7 Calming Yoga Poses For Stress Relief

For most of us, stress is present on a daily basis. In some cases, it can be mild, in others it can be unbearable, so finding ways to relieve stress and stop it from creeping deeper into your life is imperative.  One way to shake off the stress is to practice yoga.

Here are 7 stress-relieving yoga poses for reducing the daily pressure.

1. Standing forward bend

Standing Forward Bend Yoga Pose

How to do the pose:

Reach tall and exhale forward, then bend knees enough to be able to place your palms on the floor, with head pressed against your legs. Be aware of your spine stretching in different directions as you pull your head down and in. For a deeper stretch, try to straighten the legs. Hold this pose for 6-8 breaths, then whilst inhaling, stretch arms outwards and raise them and your torso back to the standing position.

Benefits of this pose:

  • Stretches hamstrings, thighs and hips
  • Effective for stress relief, fatigue and mild depression.

2. Cat-Cow Pose 

Cat Yoga Pose

Cow Yoga Pose

How to do the pose:

Cat – Start on all fours, then while exhaling, round your back toward the ceiling and bring your navel up towards your spine. Bring back to the neutral position, of spine and head aligned.
Cow – Inhale and tilt your pelvis back so that your tailbone sticks up. Keep your abdominal muscles hugging your spine by drawing your navel in.

Benefits of this pose:

  • Soothes and stretches the lower back
  • Massages spine and relieves stress.

3. Easy Pose

Easy Yoga Pose

How to do the pose:

Sit up straight, then extend your legs in front of your body, then with knees wide, place each foot beneath the opposite knee and cross your legs in toward your torso. With palms down, place hands onto your knees. Align head, neck, and spine together and sit with your weight balanced. Lengthen spine, but soften your neck and gently relax your feet and thighs. Stay in this position for about a minute, then gently release and change the cross of your legs.

Benefits of this pose:

  • Opens hips, lengthens spine and promotes serenity
  • Relieves physical and mental exhaustion
  • Eliminates anxiety.

4. Head to knee forward bend

Head To Knee Forward Bend Yoga Pose

How to do the pose:

Sit straight with legs extended, bend left leg and bring the sole of your foot to the upper inside right thigh. Your left knee should rest on the floor. Put both palms on either side of right leg and inhale. Turn towards the extended leg and exhale while folding forward. Hold for 5-6 breaths and repeat the pose on the other side.

Benefits of this pose:

  • Relieves mild depression and anxiety
  • Calms the brain and helps with headaches and fatigue, even insomnia.

5. Bridge pose 

Bridge Yoga Pose

How to do the pose:

Lie flat on back and bend both knees, place feet flat on the floor at hip width apart. Slide arms alongside the body with palms facing down. Inhale and lift the hips up, rolling spine off the floor. Squeeze knees lightly together to keep the knees hip width apart. Press down into the arms and shoulders to open the chest upwards. Engage legs and buttocks to lift the hips higher. Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths.

Benefits of this pose:

  • Reduces anxiety, fatigue, backaches and insomnia
  • Provides gentle stretching of the legs and back.

6. Corpse pose 


How to do the pose:

Lie flat on back with legs close together but without touching, arms at sides with palms facing up. Let eyes and face soften and close eyes, while breathing deeply. Starting at the top of your head, bring your attention to each part of your body until you reach your toes. Hold this position for 4-5 minutes.

Benefits of this pose:

  • Full body relaxation by putting body at ease
  • Slows breathing, lowers blood pressure and quietens the nervous system.

7. Childs pose

Childs Yoga Pose

How to do the pose:

Kneel on a yoga mat with legs together and slowly sit back onto heels. Extend torso up and bend forward from the hips so your chest rests on your thighs and your forehead rests on the ground in front of you. Let shoulders curl around and rest hands next to your feet with your palms up. Hold this position for 5 – 6 breaths.

Benefits of this pose:

  • Quietens the nervous system and lymphatic system
  • The resting posture eases stress and soothes the mind.

Mind and body connection and the benefits of yoga

Yoga is known to have a calming effect on the body and many of these poses have a stress relieving effect. The balance and strength of the body combined with the focus of calming and clearing the mind reflects in mind and body unity, so it’s not surprising that many people turn to this alternative therapy for healing.

For more information on our holistic programs at Fountainhead Retreat, or to speak to someone about stress, depression or anxiety, please contact us or call 1300 573 095.

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