Yoga Poses that decrease stress and anxiety

By Janine Hinton

April 17th, 2018

Three Yoga Posses That Help Decrease Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety and stress adversely affect health. Up to 90% of all doctor’s visits are for stress related complaints. Yoga is an appealing way to manage anxiety and stress responses. Practicing yoga can decrease a person’s heart rate and blood pressure along with easing the work of breathing. This refreshing posture series can be completed on a work break or anytime you need to calm your stress responses.

Sukasana (seated cross-legged pose): Slowly move to a sitting position on your mat with legs outstretched in front of you while using your hands to maintain balance. Bend your knees and place one foot under the opposite knee, then place the other foot under the opposite knee. Keeping your fingers together, place your hands on your knees with palms facing the sky. Imagine your breath drawing up from the center of the earth through the base of your spine and filling the expanse of your lungs. Slowly close your eyes. Allow your lungs to empty slowly. Keep an awareness of the alignment of your spine from earth through your neck to the top of your head. Continue to draw your breath from the earth and lengthening your spine. Remain in the posture for 30 to 60 seconds. Switch the crossing of your legs and maintain in the posture for another 30 to 60 seconds. Next, move into the next pose.

The benefits of Sukasana, also known as “easy pose”, include calming the mind, strengthening the back, and increasing flexibility of the knees and ankles.


Balasana (child’s pose): Bring yourself onto your hands and knees. Allow your toes to lay flat against the mat. While keeping your large toes touching separate your knees about the width of your hips. Gently move your buttocks to sit back on your heels as you fold your torso forward until your forehead rests on the mat. Bring your arms back along your sides toward your feet and turn your palms to the sky while resting the back of your hands on the earth. Breathe into your belly while allowing your back to lengthen and relax. Enjoy this posture for 1 to 3 minutes. When ready to come out of the pose, use your hands and arms to slowly move yourself back to being on your hands and knees. Proceed into the next pose.

Balasana assists with fatigue and stress reduction; increases blood circulation; increases strength and flexibility of the hips thighs and ankles, and; can decrease back discomfort.


Savasana (corpse pose/restoration): Gently move into a comfortable position lying with your back on your mat while your knees are bent and the bottoms of your feet rest on the mat. With your arms extended along your sides turn your palms upward allowing the backs of your hands to be suspended by the earth. Close your eyes. Straighten each leg slowly one by one. Allow your legs to relax and your feet to drop out toward the sides of the mat. Slide your arms out a comfortable distance from your torso. Observe your breathing and allow your body to melt into the earth below for 5 or more minutes. To come out of the pose, slowly bend one leg at a time and roll onto one side. Use your top arm to help push yourself slowly up from the mat. You may want to return to Cross-legged posture for a few moments before getting up from the floor.

Savasana is a rejuvenating pose that calms the mind and body; reduces anxiety, blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension, and; assists mental focus and memory.

Bring with you everywhere the calm and peace you create in your mindful yoga practice.