Five Yoga Poses to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Don't miss this article as it discusses some yoga poses that can help you reduce some of the symptoms associated with stress and anxiety.
Five Yoga Poses to Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Diego Pereira

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Diego Pereira.

Last update: 15 December, 2022

A series of yoga poses are among the techniques to reduce anxiety and stress. They can also help you become more flexible.

You must seek therapy to learn how to manage anxiety and stress but it shouldn’t be the only measure. Frequent physical activity is just an extra help against mental health problems within a healthy lifestyle. Thus, it’s important to be consistent.

All you need is a mat, a quiet place and if you wish, relaxing music. You’ll gradually notice the benefits, all you need is patience and confidence.

Yoga postures for anxiety and stress relief

A woman meditating.

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1. Energizing breathing


Energizing breathing or Kapalabhati Pranayama is one exercise that cleanses your airways and reduces certain symptoms that are due to anxiety and stress. At least according to a study conducted at the Department of Physiology of the Jawaharlal Institute of India. It indicates that this practice is highly beneficial at the cardiovascular level. Also, it’s ideal for reducing the symptoms of this psychological condition.

In addition, it’s a deep breathing technique where you must relax your abdomen and forcefully exhale. It allows the abdominal muscles to contract.

How do you do it?

  • Sit on a mat with your legs crossed and your back upright
  • Put your hands on your knees and relax your face
  • Start breathing naturally and passively
  • Inhale deeply and slowly through your nose and expand your abdomen
  • Exhale as you contract your abdominal muscles
  • After exhaling, inhale again
  • Repeat this procedure ten times

2. Balasana or child’s pose

Balasana or child’s pose is a stretching exercise that controls the tension in the back and the neck. You do this pose while breathing slowly, which contributes to reducing anxiety and problems caused by stress.

Because of the effort it entails, it’s best to do this pose on a mat or on a comfortable surface.

How do you do it?

  • Get on your knees and lower yourself forward so that your forehead is on the mat
  • Place your arms to the sides of your body with your palms up next to your toes, or place your palms in front of you, past your head
  • Breathe deeply and concentrate on the pose for 30 seconds

This is one of the simplest and most useful poses to reduce physical tension.

Check out these Six Yoga Exercises to Achieve Better Rest

3. Uttanasana

A woman stretching to reduce stress and anxiety.

You’ve probably had to stretch your back by leaning forward before. Uttanasana is a modified version of this activity, which seeks to ease muscular tension.

How do you do it?

  • Inhale and raise your arms above your head
  • Exhale and lean forward, but contract your abdomen and keep your back and legs straight
  • Place your hands at the sides of your feet and keep all your fingers straight
  • Move your head towards your feet and make an effort to stretch your legs more by using your quadriceps
  • You can bend your knees a little if you feel too much pressure on your legs 
  • Stay in this position for 30 seconds and gradually increase it to a minute
  • Slowly return to your original position

4. Downward facing dog

Its original name is Adho Mukha Svanasana, which is a position that warms up almost every part of the body. This is one of the yoga poses for anxiety used to tone the nerves in the spinal cord and improve blood circulation from the lower body to the head.

How do you do it?

  • Get on all fours, with your hands in front of your shoulders and your legs shoulder-width apart
  • Lift your knees away from the floor and support yourself on your toes
  • Avoid arching your back too much because this could cause muscle injuries
  • Lift your ribs in order to give more support to your shoulders and spine
  • Push your tailbone towards your heels and put pressure on it by using the interior and exterior part of your feet
  • Maintain this position for 20 seconds and then rest

5. Reduce stress and anxiety with some backbends


This is one of the classic yoga poses. It’s a series of backbends that are more comfortable if you do them with a yoga ball. This is because the ball will help to correct your body posture.

How do you do it?

  • Sit comfortably on an exercise ball, with your back straight
  • Use your feet to balance
  • Lean back on the ball and naturally curve your spine
  • Keep your hands at the sides of the ball or on the floor in front of your head
  • Put pressure on your feet and land on the palms of your hands
  • Stay in this position for several seconds while taking deep breaths and let your spine stretch

When you practice these yoga poses for anxiety regularly, you will be able to keep stress and anxiety at bay. You’ll also improve your flexibility and joint health.

In conclusion, the best strategy to reduce stress and anxiety is to consult a psychologist. Don’t hesitate to talk to a professional, it’ll help you solve this problem.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.