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Top 10 Yoga Poses for Stress Relief

Life can be stressful. From work demands to family obligations, our stressed-out minds and tense bodies need an escape. Practicing yoga is one of the best ways to relieve both mental and physical stress. Certain yoga poses are particularly calming and restorative. Adding these 10 poses to your routine can help melt away stress.

Child’s Pose

Child’s pose gently stretches your hips, thighs, and ankles while also relieving stress. Kneel down with your big toes together and knees spread apart. Exhale as you lower your torso between your thighs with arms extended outward. Relax your forehead on the floor. Focus on deep breathing in this resting pose.

Legs Up the Wall

This pose reverses the effects of gravity by resting your legs vertically against a wall. Lie on your back with your sit bones close to a wall. Extend your legs straight up against the wall with a slight bend in your knees. Rest your arms at your sides with palms facing up. Deep breathing invokes a state of relaxation.

Cat-Cow Pose

Cat-cow pose massages your spine to release tension. Come to tabletop position on your hands and knees. Inhale as you arch your back looking upward, then exhale as you round your spine chin toward chest. Repeat this fluid movement with deep breaths.

Bridge Pose

Bridge pose opens your chest and stretches your spine, neck, and back to wash away worries. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat. Inhale as you lift your hips, keeping your back straight. Clasp hands beneath your back or rest arms by your sides. Hold for 5-10 breaths.

Forward Fold

Stand with feet together, then exhale as you hinge forward at your hips to hang your torso over your legs. Let your head and arms relax downward. A forward fold calms your nervous system. Bend your knees to modify. Hold for 8-10 breaths.

Shoulder Stand

Inverting your body in shoulder stand stimulates circulation and restores a sense of calm. Lie on your back and lift your legs up toward the ceiling. Support your back with your hands. Elevate your pelvis and extend your legs straight up. Only hold as long as comfortable.

Seated Meditation

Meditation relaxes both your mind and body. Sit comfortably with eyes closed and focus on your breath. Allow thoughts to pass through your mind without judgment. Start with 5 minutes and build up your meditation practice gradually.

Supine Twist

Twists massage your spine and help relieve anxiety. Lie on your back, bend your knees, and bring them toward your chest. Gently drop both knees to the right as you turn your head left. Return to center and repeat on the opposite side. Stay for 5 breaths per side.

Reclined Bound Angle

Sit comfortably with the soles of your feet together and knees apart. Exhale as you slowly recline your torso bringing your back flat on the floor. Rest your arms at your sides or on your belly. Breathe deeply for 1 minute or longer.


Savasana is the quintessential resting pose in yoga. Lie flat on your back with legs comfortably apart and palms facing up. Close your eyes and breathe deeply through your nose. Release all tension from your body and quiet your mind. Remain still for 5-15 minutes.

When you’re feeling stressed, take time for yourself to do yoga. These 10 poses relax your body and mind to melt away the stress of everyday life. Work them into your daily routine and use yoga anytime your body and mind need a reset.