10 Best Yoga Poses for Anxiety and Stress


Yoga is a practice. To get benefited by it, you have to be first cautious before proceeding further and next, don’t push your body. Stretch only as much as your body allows you to.


Today the most common mental illness that prevails amongst many people is anxiety and stress. It is affecting nearly 18 percent of adult Americans. Practicing yoga is considered as an effective method to get relieved from stress and ease symptoms related to anxiety. Just by shifting your focus and concentration on body and breathing activities, yoga helps to temper anxiety and also gets you free from physical tension.

The following are the 10 best yoga poses, structured in a sequence. You can practice all of them together in the same order, or separately as and when required to help lessen your stress and anxiety. Focus on your breath when you move while performing the poses. Furthermore to feel more relaxed, close your eyes and contain yourself to attain a meditative state.

The structure of sequence is basically intended for first timers, with the exclusion of the headstand pose. If you want to practice a more superior level of yoga pose then try standing balancing poses like Eagle Pose, Half Moon Pose and Tree Pose. Attempt to hold the standing pose for at least 30-60 seconds on both the sides. These poses lighten stress and anxiety by compelling you to concentrate on present.

Content Details

1. Begin with yoga
2. Best 10 yoga poses
1 /10 Sukhasana or Easy Pose
2/10 Viparita Karani or Legs up the Wall pose
3/10 Matsyasana or Fish pose
4/10 Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or the Bridge pose
5/10 Marjaryasana or Cat Pose
6/10 Bitilasana or Cow Pose
7/10 Paschimottanasana or Seated Forward Bend
8/10 Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend
9/10 Balasana or Child’s pose
10/10 Savasana or the Corpse pose
3. Conclusion
4. External link references

Yoga is a practice. To get benefited by it, you have to be first cautious before proceeding further and next, don’t push your body. Stretch only as much as your body allows you to.

Begin With Yoga

The first thing while practicing yoga is to start with Anjali Mudra or a salutation seal. It is a brilliant method to encourage a meditative alertness. It is performed by joining both hands together (like Namaste pose) and placing them in the center of the heart chakra. This signifies the balance and harmony between the right and left side joining in the center. This balance is not only physical but also mental and emotional. This activity will bring you to the center for meditation and concentrating on the present. Start yoga with this mudra. Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position with your eyes closed to fetch the maximum benefit.

Best 10 Yoga Poses

1. Sukhasana or Easy Pose


To begin with the easy pose, sit with the spine straight, cross-legged with hands resting on the knees with palms in upward direction and eyes closed. This pose focuses on your breathe. To calm the speedy breathing mostly associated with panic attacks, focus on your breathing. Count five in and five out breathing, practices until your breathing becomes natural. Perform it for five or ten minutes for your body to feel calmer.

Easy pose has several great benefits besides promoting inner peace, such as it opens your hips, lengthens your spine and strengthens the state of serenity, harmony, and eliminates anxiety, relieves physical and mental exhaustion and fatigue.

2. Viparita Karani Or Legs Up The Wall Pose – viparita karani yoga resting pose

viparita karani yoga resting pose

Viparita Karani is an excellent pose for stress and anxiety as it gives you a relaxing and energizing effect. Frequently it is referred as the fountain of youth pose because it helps you to escape thoughts from your mind and are easy to practice by beginners as well as by experienced people.

Lie flat on your back with the arms lying at the side and palms in downward direction. Or open the arms with palms facing up to allow your heart to open even more. Move your legs upwards or rest the legs against the wall to comfortably hold them for a longer time. Even if you are not very flexible or strong, you can perform this yoga that relaxes and calms your nervous system.

3. Matsyasana Or Fish Pose


Fish pose is a wonderful pose for opening the heart. This back bending yoga position opens the heart while expanding the ribcage to give the lungs more room to breathe and helps to open the spiritual heart center. Opening the heart and stretching the chest, both eases respiration, and relieves stress by releasing the tension from within.

Lie on the back with the arms on the side, round the back and comfortably lean far back on the crown of the head as far as you could. If you feel uncomfortable, place a pillow or thickly-folded blanket beneath to support back and neck. This gentle back and shoulder stretching pose works as a fatigue and anxiety reliever.

4. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana Or The Bridge Pose

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

Though it sounds similar, the Bridge pose is different from a bridge in gymnastics in lying position. Bent your knees and lift the core, arms should lie at the side, palms facing down or join the fingers behind the back.

This pose benefits in soothing your mind and energizes the body. For comfort you can place a blanket or pillow under the back to hold this pose for longer time.

5. Marjaryasana or Cat Pose

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Cat pose provides a tender massage to the spine and belly organs of the body while working as a powerful stress reliever. For correct position place your wrists directly under the shoulders and knees under your hips.

For perfect gentle vinyasa, cat pose is more often combined with Cow Pose. Marjaryasana benefits the general health of the body by stimulating the digestive tract and spinal fluid.

6. Bitilasana or Cow Pose

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Cow Pose is calming pose that gently eases the spine. For correct position place your wrists directly under the shoulders and knees under your hips.

Besides relieving stress and soothing the mind, this pose also kneads and stimulates organs (like the kidneys and adrenal glands) in the tummy, and generates emotional balance. Generally cow pose and cat pose are paired together for gentle flowing vinyasa.
The calming poses, Cow and Cat, should be used together. Keep the eyes closed as much as possible.  There are yoga dvd for anxiety and stress, in which cow pose is included.

7. Paschimottanasana or Seated Forward Bend

Paschimottanasana helps in relaxing the distracted mind. Sit keeping your legs positioned straight, gradually lower your forehead toward your knees while holding your toes from side with hands. Seated with Forward Bend is basically a challenging pose but with numerous benefits apart from relieving stress and anxiety.

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Other benefits include stretches the spine, and lower back, improves digestion and relieves symptoms of PMS and menopause, lessen fatigue, stimulates the liver, ovaries, uterus and kidneys.

8. Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend

For doing Uttanasana pose stand straight with your legs tightly near to each other. Bring your head downwards towards your feet; don’t bend legs and your hands down allowing your palms to straight away touch the floor. Beginners can bend the knees to bring the palms flat down and then slowly work on straightening the legs. This pose offers many excellent benefits like it stretches the hamstrings and calf muscles; it opens the hips, and stimulates the digestive system. It also helps in improving the functioning of the inner organs like the liver and kidneys.

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Many people hold immense amount of tension into the large leg muscles where Uttanasaana gently stretches and relaxes it. It also soothes the entire nervous system and relieves you from stress, anxiety, and sleeplessness.

9. Balasana Or Child’s Pose

Child’s pose is the typical resting position which calms the body and the mind under stress. While practicing yoga you can perform Child’s pose at any time when you feel the body is stretching beyond its capacity. Sit down while bending your knees, lean forward with the forehead on the mattress. Lay your arms by your side of the body with palms up next to the feet or arms forward with palms facing down stretched over the head. Focus on your breath and breathe deeply with eyes closed.

viparita karani yoga resting pose

Child’s Pose can be a very calming and self-soothing exercise. Child’s pose helps you to turn inside and slowly relieve your mind from stress.

10. Savasana Or The Corpse Pose – Savasana yoga pose

All yoga practice should end only with the Corpse pose. This is very crucial pose for all practice and should never be missed. The body processes the details received while practicing yoga during this pose. The Palms, middle of the back, and the head should all be placed touching the mattress. You will feel leave your feet loose with eyes closed to help the body relax in this pose. Keep your eyes close and focus on breathing for about five to 10 minutes in this pose.

viparita karani yoga resting pose

You can practice this pose any time when you feel exhausted by simply lying down flat and focusing on breathing. Slowly open your eyes and wake up the body by wiggling the toes and fingers. Then turn gently on to any side while laying the head on the arm and bending the knees. Gently and gradually raise the body. Now your body should feel rejuvenated and the mind peaceful.


Maintaining the balance of the body is very important. Balancing your mind, body and spirit means balancing mental, physical and emotional stability which are all connected. Unsteadiness in any of these leads you to suffer from stress, anxiety or depression. Yoga is a structure designed with correct series of stretching the body to re-balance, revive and rejuvenate it.

viparita karani yoga resting pose

Follow all or most of the best yoga exercises mentioned above to focus not only on the health of your body but also on the mind and spirit. Focus on breathing and practicing yoga poses will greatly calm down temporary anxiety and depression by re-energizing the body.

If you suffer from consistent feeling of anxiety and stress then consult a physician or healthcare counselor before proceeding further. If you suffer from back ache or neck ache, then too consult a doctor before practicing, because many yoga pose includes stretching your back and neck.

External Link References

1. http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-yoga-poses-for-stress-and-anxiety.html?page=1
2. http://halogentv.com/articles/10-yoga-poses-to-fight-depression-and-anxiety/
3. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/19/yoga-for-anxiety-10-poses_n_3281986.html

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