5 Yoga Exercises For Stress Management

Standing Forward Bend

Yoga is in practice for almost 5000 years and has been considered as a perfect art of living. It is just not a physical exercise, but a way of life through which you can control your body, mind and soul. The bible of Yoga,’ Yoga Sutras of Patanjali’ was penned down almost 2500 years ago.
You can now easily manage stress with the following yoga exercises.

1. Balasana ( Child Pose)


Photo by IvetoCC BY-SA 4.0

Balasana is one of the easiest de-stressing yoga exercises. This is a gentle yoga exercise which stretches your lower part of your back, the ankles, thighs and knees.
Besides relaxing your spine, shoulders and neck, this exercise also massages the inner organs of the body.
Steps to perform Balasana:

  •  Kneel on your knees and place the hands on the floor.
  • Release the toes and stretch your knees about hip width.
  • Lower your buttocks towards your heels.
  • Lengthen the back of your neck.
  • Lay the arms by your thighs.
  • Lower your back.
  • Lengthen the torso and rise up to exit.

Balasana is not recommended for people suffering from knee problems as this exercise exerts pressure on the knees.

2. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Bridge Pose

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Another gentle yoga form, the bridge pose is a rejuvenating exercise which helps you to cure mild depression. This form of yoga involves stretching your back and legs. In the process, your neck, spine and chest also get stretched.
You can also do this exercise to reduce fatigue, tension, headache and insomnia.
Steps to perform Setu Bandha Sarvangasana:

  • Lie on the floor
  • After bending your knees, place the feet flat on the ground. Press the palms down into the floor beside the feet.
  • Exhale and contract your abdominal muscles to push your tailbone towards the pubic bone.
  • Press the shoulder blades into the back and root down the arms. Move the pubic towards the naval.
  • Maintain the pose for 30 seconds and inhale.
  • Exhale, move your shoulder out from beneath, hug your knees into the chest and exit.

It is not recommended for people suffering from neck or shoulder injury.

3. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

Standing Forward Bend

Photo by Nicholas A. Tonelli, CC BY 2.0

Uttanasana is a unique yoga pose which you perform while doing other yoga exercises.
This yoga exercise is practised to reduce mild depression, fatigue and stress. Uttanasana does the unique work of reversing the blood circulation as the head is below the heart in this exercise. It also stretches the thighs, hips and hamstrings of the body, activating the abdominal muscles.
Steps to perform Uttanasana:

  • Bend your knees, standing with your feet together.
  • Place your hands on the ground in front of you.
  • Inhale and lengthen your spine.
  • Exhale and press your both legs.
  • Extend the crown of your head towards the ground and remain in this posture for 30 seconds.
  • Exhale and slowly exit.

People with back injury or hamstring injury should avoid this exercise.

4. Eagle Pose (Garudasana)

Eagle Pose

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You can also try out Garudasana, one of the powerful yoga exercises. Also known as the empowerment pose, the eagle pose is used to relax the shoulders, upper back and hips. This exercise also increases your concentration level and balancing power.
Besides de-stressing, this yoga exercise strengthens the legs and calves. Your hips become more flexible and your senses become more active after this exercise.
Steps to perform Garudasana:

  • Stand in mountain pose with hips apart and feet parallel.
  • Extend your spine and gaze forward.
  • Bend your knees by shifting your weight on your right leg.
  • Wrap your right toes around the right calf muscle and ankle.
  • Put the left elbow on the inside of your right elbow and bend the forearms.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Unwind the limbs and uncross the legs to exit.

This exercise is not recommended for people suffering from knee, ankle and elbow injury.

5. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Corpse Pose

Photo by Robert BejilCC BY 2.0

The corpse pose is one of the most challenging yoga exercises. This is a complete posture of relaxation which de-stresses your central nervous system. After the exercise you will feel calm and composed. The Savasana slows the beta brain waves and hence the complete body and mind can relax.

If you are suffering from mild depression or having insomnia, this exercise heals both. Your sleep improves and you feel less fatigued after performing Savasana.
Steps to perform Savasana:

  • Lie on your back.
  • Stretch your legs with hips wide apart.
  • Relax and let your body sink into the floor.
  • Inhale and exhale feeling completely relaxed.
  • Push from right to sit up.

If you are suffering from back problems, then Savasana is not recommended for you.

Yoga can gift us an enjoyable life. Practise this natural exercise to regain health and manage stress without suffering from any adverse side effects.