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Best yoga poses for stress

Yoga is one of the most calming, stress busting activities on the planet. Not only does it help restore the body and prevent injury, it can help you keep calm and alleviate anxiety when life amps up.
That being said, not all asanas are relaxing; many are dynamic and energising. That’s why it’s important to choose poses to suit your mood and wellness goals.
We’ve rounded up the 5 best yoga poses to de-stress and unwind:

1. Child’s pose

Even the name of this asana is calming! Child’s pose involves sitting on your haunches, and leaning forward with your arms outstretched and forehead resting gently on the yoga mat.
There’s a reason why your yoga instructor brings you back to this pose after a tougher asana – it stills the mind, relaxes the body, and restores the nervous system.
The beauty of child’s pose is that you don’t even have to incorporate it into a yoga sequence. Any time you feel stressed or overwhelmed, take a few meditative moments to find peace in this pose.

2. Standing forward bend

Also known as Uttanasana, this pose is simple to do. Standing upright, fold forward at the waist, and hold your opposite elbows in each hand. Relax your head, and focus on lengthening the spine as you inhale each breath.
Not only is this a helpful stretching pose, it also is believed to help with depression and stress. And it likely has something to do with the blood flow going in reverse.

3. Bridge pose

This gentle pose gives a lovely stretch of the back and legs, while also working wonders for anxiety, stress, worry, insomnia and a racing mind. Lie on your back, elbows at your sides, and knees bent. Gently lift your butt and legs off the mat, keeping your head and neck on the mat and relaxed.

4. Legs up the wall

Its traditional yoga name is Viparita Karani, but its common name ‘legs up the wall’ suggests just how simple this pose is.
Find a blank section of wall, and position your butt right up at the wall while lying on your back with arms stretched out on either sides. Put your legs up the wall as high as they’ll go and stay here for a few minutes. Experts say this pose is a swift stress-buster and could even delay ageing. That’s because it sparks blood and lymph drainage to the heart.

5. Corpse pose

Ah, savasana – the yogi’s reward for a strenuous routine. Just close your eyes, lie on your back, stretch your legs out in front of you, and rest your arms beside your body – or resting across your heart or stomach. Lie here in total relaxation, and try to tap into a meditation without worry. Focus on taking deep, diaphragmatic breaths, to slow your heart rate and calm the nervous system

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