9 Yoga Poses For Relaxation That Can Provide Instant Stress Relief

Suffice it to say that there are extremely stressful events in the world right now. And because of that, many seek moments of peace wherever they can. Although some aspects of life return to normal, some people may not feel comfortable or be able to let off steam in the ways they usually do, such as spending time with family or traveling. Luckily, however, there are other effective methods to soothe those anxious feelings at home, including some yoga poses for relaxation that you don’t have to be a yogi to try.

Read more: What causes overthinking? Therapists and psychologists are breaking this bad habit

While yoga is a physical practice, it is also historically a spiritual and emotional practice – and its the benefits to your mental health are widely recognized. Because of its meditative aspects, many people practice yoga to de-stress as much as to strengthen and stretch their bodies. That said, if you’ve never tried yoga before because you’re unsure about your flexibility, strength, or balance, it’s helpful to know that you don’t have to be an expert. to experience some of the benefits of stress reduction. .

And, just like meditation, one of the best things about practicing yoga is that you can do it from home (or anywhere for that matter), so it’s both simple and accessible. to almost everyone. Ready to try? Ahead, find nine instantly calming and grounding poses, suitable for beginners, recommended by Ava Johannayoga teacher, breathing and meditation coach and facilitator of The alchemized life podcast, and Kelly Turner, Director of Education for YogaSix, a boutique yoga brand. When combined with Ujjayi Pranayama breathing – long, deep, invigorating breaths through the nose – they can help you disconnect from everyday stressors and reconnect in a whole new way.

Yoga Pose for Relaxation: Bound Angle Reclined Pose

GingerKitten/Shutterstock

Supta Baddha Konasana, or Bound Angle Reclined Pose, requires you to lie on your back with the soles of your feet touching, your knees bent and dropped to either side, creating a diamond shape. “[This] is a restorative posture that opens the hips and the heart,” Johanna tells TZR. “By placing a palm over your heart and stomach, you will feel your breath begin to slow down and can deepen the inhale to originate in your lower abdomen. In doing so, the parasympathetic nervous system will activate bring the brain and body back to a state of rest.”

Yoga Pose for Relaxation: Mountain Pose

MRS Mikel/Shutterstock

To enter Tadasna, or mountain pose, simply stand with your feet about hip-width apart, your head in line with your pelvis, and your chin parallel to the floor. You can do this with your upper body in a variety of ways, including your hands in a prayer position in front of your heart, or your arms at your sides, palms facing forward and feeling a slight stretch from your shoulders down. at fingertips. “While this pose is done standing, the effects of your feet rooting into the dirt (especially the grass) create an instant calming effect,” says Johanna. “Visualize the roots planting your feet in the earth to experience the grounding sensation of this fundamental posture. Bring your palms towards your heart and belly, lengthening the breath, to activate the relaxation response.”

Yoga Pose for Relaxation: Corpse Pose

fizkes / Shutterstock

Savasana, or Corpse Pose, is traditionally done to close a yoga practice, due to its restorative benefits. “For total relaxation, lying in Savasana is a gentle and accessible way to experience the grounding and soothing effects of restorative yoga,” says Johanna. To make you even more comfortable, the yogi suggests placing a pillow under your knees, which can ease tension in your lower back and allow you to relax more deeply.

Yoga Pose for Relaxation: Melting Heart Pose

Dani Navarro/Shutterstock

Try Anahatasana, otherwise known as Melting Heart Pose or Lying Puppy Pose, by getting onto your hands and knees, then walk your hands forward to feel a deep stretch in your upper back and shoulders while keeping your hips above the knees and pressing the heart to the floor. “During times of stress, by allowing our core to ground into the earth, you’ll feel a grounded feeling as you breathe deeply through your entire torso,” says Johanna.

Yoga Pose for Relaxation: Easy Pose

insta_photos/Shutterstock

“Sukhasana, or Easy pose, is the ultimate pose for moving into a meditative state and, when paired with equal-ratio breathing, activates the parasympathetic nervous system,” Johanna says of this cross-legged seated pose. “To practice, inhale for a count of five, hold up for a count of five, exhale for a count of five, and hold down for five minutes. Repeat this breathing pattern for five minutes to feel the effects of the relaxation answer.”

Yoga Pose for Relaxation: Modified Child’s Pose

Yuttana Jaowattana/Shutterstock

Begin by striking Child’s Pose, sitting on your heels, the tops of your feet pressed against the mat or floor, and pressing your chest towards your thighs. For this modification, instead of extending your arms forward, let them extend behind you, with the backs of your hands against the floor. “Similar to Child’s Pose, but focusing on releasing the back of the shoulders, mimics the position of an embryo in the womb,” says Johanna. “With your forehead resting on the mat, you’ll feel an instant soothing effect as your lower and upper body gently open up.”

Yoga Pose for Relaxation: Downward Facing Dog

LumiNola/E+/Getty Images

To enter downward facing dog, first come on all fours; then, keeping your hands on the floor, curl your toes and lift your hips to straighten your legs, forming an upside-down V with your body. According to Turner, this checks a lot of boxes. “It’s an inversion because the head is under the heart, which can have a calming effect,” she explains. “It lengthens and stretches the posterior chain of the body, including the calves, hamstrings, glutes and back. It also decompresses the spine, especially when you let the weight of your head weigh heavily.

Yoga posture for relaxation: supine twist

Kathrin Ziegler/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Another great way to relax is to do the supine twist, which Turner says is done by lying face up on the floor and then draping your knees to one side. “The twist provided to the spine can be gentle or intense, depending on your flexibility,” she continues. “Focus on keeping both shoulders on the floor, then provide support under your lower knee if it’s hovering above the floor – a yoga block, pillow or blanket can work well.” Hold for as long as you want — five to 10 breaths, or even up to five to 10 minutes, she says — before switching sides.

Yoga posture for relaxation: legs against the wall

Vicens Prats / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images

As Turner explains, Legs Against the Wall is “one of the best poses for calming the nervous system” — in other words, it can take you from fight-or-flight to rest-and-digest. To do this, she says, “Bring your hip as close to a wall as possible, then lean back on your elbows to help lower yourself onto your back. Let your legs reach the wall, resting your heels against the wall. You can play keeping your butt close to the wall or moving a few inches – see what is most comfortable for your body. Do this for five to 10 minutes, and you’ll “probably sleep well that night,” says Turner.

This article was originally published on