Trauma yoga poses

8 Yoga Poses to Help Heal Trauma

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Brittany Piper and Em Geeves met when they were 9-years-old, and they were friends who felt more like sisters from the start. They had sleepovers almost every weekend, shared clothes, stayed up late talking on the phone, and snuck out of their parents’ houses to meet each other.

Then, during their freshman year of high school, Brittany’s brother Dominic was killed in a car accident. “My parents woke me up to tell me there had been an accident involving Dom and Brittany was asking only for me,” says Em. “They told me what happened while we were in the car on our way to Brittany’s house. As we rounded the corner to get to her house, I jumped out of the car, sprinted to her house, and ran through the door. Brittany was curled up on the couch, but opened her arms when she saw me. ” However, their relationship faced a lot of strain—and the friends eventually grew apart.

See also The Healing Power of Trauma-Informed Yoga Classes

Luckily, the girls reconnected on the five-year anniversary of Dominic’s passing, and shared stories of high points—and low ones—over the past few years. When they realized they had both experienced sexual assault and psychological trauma—and had processed what happened to each of them so differently—their reunion inspired deep healing, as well as an understanding that healing happens in unique ways.

A few years later, Em and Brittany were just as close as they were as children, and together they curated a women’s retreat called On The Mend—an effort to bring trauma survivors together with the intention to heal from the inside out. “We created this retreat so women could experience recovery in community,” says Brittany.

See also 5 Ways to Use Your Yoga Practice to Help You Deal With Trauma

Their next retreat is March 28-31 in Idyllwild, California. Click here for more details, and to apply for a 20% discount Scholarship (deadline: February 18th.) If you can’t make one of their retreats, try one or more of these poses, all of which will be incorporated into the yoga taught on retreat. “Each of these postures has a different level or variation designed to keep practitioners safe and comfortable,” says Em.

Child’s Pose

Bring your big toes to touch, knees the width of your mat, and reach your arms away from your body. Sit your hips back toward your heels and let your forehead come to the mat. Inhale into your side bodies—the space between your ribs and your low back. On each exhalation, allow your belly and chest to drop closer to the mat. I find this pose nourishing because it’s a resting pose,” says Em. “When I come in to this shape, I know it will bring me back to the present moment.” 

See also How to Lead in Challenging Times

Extended Puppy Pose

From a tabletop position, walk your hands away from your body and keep your hips stacked over your knees. Bring your forehead (or chin) to the mat, and keep your arms active by pressing your forearms and hands down. On an inhalation, expand into your back body; on an exhalation, allow your heart to settle toward the floor. I find this pose challenging because as humans, we hold a lot of tension in our shoulders—and this shape opens up this part of the body,” says Em.

See also How to Talk About Tough Stuff in Your Yoga Classes

Downward-Facing Dog

Keep a soft bend in your knees to encourage your tailbone to point up toward the ceiling, elongating the spine. Press the space between your shoulder blades up toward the ceiling, and press down into your hands, knuckles, and fingertips. Keep your neck neutral while your eyes look to the middle of your mat. On an inhalation, press the ground away from you; on an exhalation, encourage your heels to come closer to the floor.This pose is another resting pose, and I find it to be relieving,” says Em. “It allows me to slow my breath in a way that brings me back to a restful state.”

See also How Yoga Teacher Training Helped Me Find Healing Courage When I Needed it Most

Chair Pose

Shift the weight in your feet toward your heels and keep your knees stacked you’re your ankles as you sit back. Hug your belly button up and back toward your spine, and encourage your tailbone to reach down toward the ground. Draw your lower ribs in toward the belly to activate your core. Reach your fingertips up toward the ceiling and rotate your pinky fingers in so your biceps frame your ears. On an inhalation, reach your fingertips away from your shoulders; on an exhalation, sit back and down a little deeper.This pose is grounding and creates heat at the same time,” says Em. “It’s a pose that strengthens the body and mind.” 

See also Sarah Platt-Finger’s Self-Care Practice for Survivors of Sexual Assault

Warrior II

From a wide-legged stance, place your front foot so it faces forward, with your front knee stacked over your ankle and in line with your second and third toes. Rotate your back foot in slightly. (Your foot, knee, and hip should be in the same line.) Anchor your weight into both feet evenly and draw your belly button up and back toward the spine. Reach your arms away from each other and out to a T-shape, and focus your eyes across the top of the front hand. On each inhalation, reach your arms farther away from each other; on your exhalations, bend a little more into the front knee. “This pose requires a lot of focus, and it is easy to let the mind wander here,” says Em. “I think that element makes it challenging.” 

See also How to Work with Yoga Students Who’ve Experienced Trauma

Eagle Pose

Root through all four corners of your right foot. Wrap your left leg over your right leg, and then wrap your left foot around your right ankle. Squeeze your thighs together and draw your belly button up and back toward the spine. Wrap your left arm under the right and bring your palms (or back of your hands) to touch. Reach your fingertips toward the ceiling and feel your shoulder blades glide down your back. On the inhalation, squeeze your thighs and arms together; on each exhalation, sit a little bit deeper. Then, repeat on your opposite leg.I find this pose to be frustrating but rewarding,” says Em. “It requires slow, intentional movements with the breath as well as the mind. It’s a wonderful pose to practice staying present.”

See also 10 Ways to be Fearless in the Face of Grief and Loss


From Extended Puppy Pose (at a wall), clasp your hands together so both pinkies are pressing down into the mat evenly. Bring the top of your head between your hands and walk your feet toward the body until you find tiptoes. Extend one leg at a time. Shift your weight forward, onto your forearms and head, hugging your elbows in toward each other. Hug your knees in toward your body, until your hips stack above your shoulders. Activate your core by drawing your belly button up and back toward the spine. Extend one leg, then the other, so your feet are stacked above your hips and shoulders. On an inhalation, zip up your legs and press up through your feet; on an exhalation, draw your belly button back toward your spine. “I find this pose to be the most humbling, and one that keeps me the most in sync with my breath,” says Em. “In a world of instant gratification, this pose offers a reminder that the practice you put in truly shows the results you get out.

See also The Dark Side of Meditation: How to Avoid Getting Stuck with Pain From the Past

Constructive Rest

Lie flat on your back, knees bent, soles of your feet on the outer edges of your mat. Knock your knees in toward each other to release your low back. Relax your neck and shoulders and bring one hand to your heart and the other to your belly. Close your eyes. On each inhalation, feel your hands rise as you expand your front body and chest. On each exhalation, allow your body to be heavy.I find this pose to be soothing,” says Em. “The weight of your hands on your body can be calming. It also brings your awareness to your physical space, as well as your physical body.” 

See also Research Shows Trauma-Informed Yoga Helps Girls in the Juvenile Justice System Heal

7 Yoga Poses To Release Trauma

Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.

Colleen Saidman Yee offers poses from her new memoir,

Yoga for Life, to release anxiety and trauma from body parts that commonly hold it. Practice with Colleen in person and take her Yoga for Inner Peace half-day workshop at YJ LIVE! in Estes Park, Sept. 24. Spaces are limited, so sign up now!

Colleen Saidman Yee is an acclaimed yoga teacher, former fashion model, and the wife of yogi Rodney Yee. But her journey to becoming “the first lady of yoga” wasn’t all glamorous, she reveals in her new book Yoga for Life: A Journey to Inner Peace and Freedom (Atria Books, June 2, 2015). In the candid, soul-searching memoir (which also offers yoga sequences corresponding to the many chapters of her life), Yee looks back on her hardscrabble roots in Indiana, her addiction to heroin, two divorces, as well as a car accident at age 15 that gave her a broken collarbone, a skull fracture, and brain injuries. It also may have led to the epilepsy she still suffers from today.

“If my accident at age fifteen had any upside, it’s that I have a heightened empathy for the traumas, large and small, that my students have experienced,” she writes in her book. “At times, I can see where the trauma is held in their bodies, and I try to figure out sequences that can create relief and release for them. Trauma can show up as tension, anxiety, or illness. Some common places of binding are the pelvis, the diaphragm, the throat, the jaw, the hamstrings, and the shoulders and neck.”

Also seeHala Khouri’s Path to Teaching Trauma-Informed Yoga

We asked Yee to recommend poses from her book that release each of these “stuck” areas, as she calls them, helping us gain “freedom from the imprints and obstructions that are held in our bodies.

The Pelvis

Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)

Bound Angle Pose, aka Cobbler’s Pose, is a great release for the pelvis. We tend to bind in the pelvis when we feel threatened. We need adrenaline when we’re in real danger, but the feeling can become a default mode that exhausts us. This pose releases the hips, and can safely be held for 5–10 minutes.

LEARN THE POSE Yogapedia: 7 Steps to Master Bound Angle Pose

The Diaphragm

Pond Pose (Tadagasana)

Binding in the diaphragm can be the result of panic. Stretching out the body in Pond Pose lengthens the abdominal cavity and opens the chest so that the diaphragm can move easily. When the breath is free, the nervous system is calm and we feel less desperation.

TRY IT Lie on your back, lengthen both legs, and press both thighs down into the floor. Lengthen your waist by moving your ribcage away from your hips. Extend your arms overhead, straighten them, and reach strongly until you feel a suction, or a “pond,” in your belly.

See also Yoga and Healing Trauma

The Throat

Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

Our throats become locked when we’re holding back something that needs to be said (the “lump” in your throat). Upward-Facing Dog moves clearing energy from the Earth into the throat through the power of the legs and the beautiful arc of the spine, flushing out those blockages.

See also Do This, Not That: Upward-Facing Dog

The Jaw

Lion Pose (Simhasana)

The jaw joint, aka the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), is very strong, and tends to lock when we try to hold back impulse or desire. (I’m not talking about a serious TMJ condition, but one that has an emotional source.) When the jaw locks up, the hips also tend to lock up. We feel frozen. By opening the mouth wide and sticking your tongue out to its full extension while exhaling in Lion Pose, the jaw opens completely, which helps to release the tension in the jaw.

See also Work It: Neck & Jaw Release

The Hamstrings

Pyramid Pose (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

We’re all guilty of “running away” from feelings that make us uncomfortable or afraid. The hamstrings are an important part of our fight-or-flight mechanism. Some say that we hold grief in the hamstrings, which is one of the most difficult emotions with which to stay present. Pyramid Pose releases the hamstrings and contracts their antagonist muscles, the quadriceps.

See also Between the Lines: Parsvottanasana

The Shoulders

Arm Swings

Taking on too much responsibility can make the shoulders so tense they feel like concrete. Moving the arms and shoulders unlocks that tension. In Italy, where my father’s family is from, they understand that the arms are a way to express the heart.

TRY IT: Stand in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), and swing your arms up and down and side to side.

See also 8 Detoxifying Kundalini Poses

The Neck

Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana)

The human head weighs an average of 8–10 pounds, so holding the head is a big job. Many of us jut our heads out in front of our torsos, creating strain, instead of moving from our feet or pelvis. In Headstand, we’re forced to line up the head with the body. Headstand improves the alignment of the whole body, while strengthening the neck muscles. Turning yourself upside down also gives you a new perspective. Since you must stay focused and present when you are in an inversion such as headstand, you can’t worry about the future or dwell in the past.

See also Lift Into Lightness: Headstand

Photos © Johanna Yee, 2015

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Sports injuries. Yoga exercises for athletes for injury prevention

Yoga for injury prevention and prevention. Yoga can improve your fitness and be a great addition to your regular exercise routine. It can help reduce injury by balancing your body between other types of workouts like weight lifting, running, and especially repetitive rotational sports like golf, baseball, or tennis.

The combination of dynamic, isometric and static movements practiced in yoga aids in injury prevention and physical performance. In addition to the physical benefits, yoga also has positive effects on the respiratory system and the psyche.

Yoga helps in general sports activities:

  1. Physical Recovery: Stretching reduces muscle inflammation and aids in recovery. The variety of movements practiced in Yoga also strengthens the muscles and prevents injury from pull or strain.
  2. Increased Oxygen Flow: Breathing is a powerful and often carrying tool in sports. Learning to control your breathing while doing dynamic yogic exercises not only increases flexibility, but also assists in cardiovascular activity and brain function.
  3. Brain function: Athletes often struggle with mental anxiety and relaxation problems. Yoga is great for reducing stress and increasing the flow of oxygen throughout the body and brain.

The combination of active and passive stretching in yoga is the key to preventing sports injuries. Start with these asanas.

If you love sports, you know that injuries come with training - caused by repetitive movements, imbalances in your biomechanics, and in many cases both! But if you're into yoga, you have a great injury prevention tool.

Yoga practice encourages you to take inventory of your body as you practice. The more aware you are of how your body feels from day to day or pose to pose, the more likely you are to notice tense or injury-prone areas of the body that need attention before full-blown injuries can occur.

In addition, yoga offers a combination of active and passive stretching, which is especially helpful in preventing injury. Training to get stronger or faster can result in muscle tension with less range of motion, limited strength, and a tendency to get injured more easily. Active stretching, in which the body moves dynamically and stretches (as in Salutation to the Sun, for example), creates warmth and elasticity in the tissues. Passive stretching, where you hold the pose for a minute or more, but in a relaxed state (as in subsequent poses), allows the muscles to lengthen even more. The result is more elastic, pliable fabrics that help you recover more easily from the stressors of your sport.

Here are three of the most common injuries in athletes and some easy ways to deal with them through yoga. Many sports injuries tend to be chronic and these poses can be done preventatively if you have a history of injury in certain areas. If you have an acute injury, you need to rest this area until the inflammation subsides, but if you can do these poses comfortably, they can help your recovery (it's best to check with your healthcare provider first). On the days you work out, do these poses after your workout. On weekends, warm up with 5-10 minutes of sun salutation or a brisk walk before doing these poses.

Foot injury: plantar fasciitis

One of the most common sports foot injuries is inflammation of the plantar fascia, the band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes and runs along the sole of the foot. Stress from repetitive kicking, as well as tension in the Achilles tendon, ankle, and calf muscles, can create excessive stress in the plantar fascia, leading to microtears and inflammation. Left untreated, plantar fasciitis can cause bone spurs in the heel and cause pain in the knee, hip, and back.

Common in: Runners and those involved in sports such as football, golf, tennis, and volleyball that involve running or jumping.

Symptoms: Pain in the heel or sole of the foot, which is usually worse when you get out of bed in the morning.

Exercises to Prevent Leg Injury

The poses here stretch the tissues of the back of the leg and the sole of the foot to relieve tension in the plantar fascia. Do these poses daily or every other day if you are recovering or on the verge of injury, and once a week or more for prevention.

Stretch sole

What the pose does: Works on the muscles and connective tissue of the sole of the foot while stretching the deep layer of calf muscles that moves the toes and supports the arch of the foot.

How to do: Get on your hands and knees and pull your toes in. Slowly bring the weight of your hips back and sit on your heels. To begin, keep your hands on the floor in front of you and shift some of your weight onto your hands as you sit back. When the posture becomes comfortable, you can move to sitting up straight, putting all your weight on your heels, palms on your knees. This may be an intense sprain, but you should not feel any pain. Hold from 30 to 90 seconds while you breathe easily.

Reclining hand to big toe pose (Supta Padangushthasana)

What the pose does: Stretches the hamstrings and the entire line of tissue that runs along the back of the thigh and calf, which pulls on the sole of the foot when it tenses up.

How to do it: Lie on your back, put the strap on the ball of your right foot and stretch your right leg up. Keep your head and shoulders on the floor and grasp the strap with both hands. (To make this pose easier, bend your left leg and plant your foot on the ground.) You can bend your right knee if you need to, but keep your thigh close to your stomach while applying slight pressure to the strap. pillow of the right foot. Hold for 1-2 minutes and repeat on the other side.

Eye of the Needle Pose (Sutsirandhrasana)

What it does: Relieves tightness in the hips that often occurs in athletes who run a lot by restricting movement of the leg muscles, increasing stress on the back of the foot, and increasing tension in the plantar fascia.

How to: Lie on the floor with both feet on the wall and bend your knees. Place your right ankle on your left knee and bend your right foot. With your right hand, gently push your right thigh just above the knee away from your head. Keep your hips, spine and head on the floor and relax your neck. You can make it harder by moving closer to the wall, or easier by moving further away. For an even deeper stretch, clasp your hands behind your left hamstring and press it against your torso without lifting your head off the ground. Hold for 1-2 minutes and repeat on the other side.

Knee injury: iliotibial tract syndrome

One of the most common causes of knee pain in athletes is irritation of the iliotibial bundle (iliotibial tract), a thick fascial bundle that runs from the top of the outer thigh to the outer surface of the knee. It's a common misconception that stretching the IT band itself will fix this. Tape is just a fibrous sheet; the surrounding muscles are causing the problem. Often, the thigh muscles that attach to the iliotibial bandage tighten, creating tension. The iliotibial tract can also lose its ability to slide over the underlying thigh muscles, which prevents the knee from moving. In this case, running or walking can create friction, causing the tissues to thicken and bind, which pulls on the knee and causes pain.

Common in runners, cyclists, hikers, and football, basketball, and tennis players.

Symptoms: Pain in the outer part of the knee, which may radiate behind the knee or down the outer part of the lower leg, pain in the outer part of the thigh, swelling around the knee, and clicking or popping sounds when the knee moves.

Knee Injury Prevention Exercises

The following poses stretch the thigh muscles that pull on the iliotibial girdle and keep the girdle and surrounding tissues elastic, reducing friction and injury.

Standing forward bend, variation (Uttanasana)

What it does: Stretches the hamstrings where they meet the tibiolialis.

How to: Stand up and cross your right ankle over your left. With your knees slightly bent, lean forward and place your hands on the floor, block, or chair. Stretch your sitting bones toward the sky and move your ribs away from your pelvis so that your back does not round. Hold, breathing calmly, for 1 minute, and then repeat, crossing the left ankle with the right.

Low Lunge Variation (Anjaneyasana)

What it does: Stretches the hard-to-reach tensor fascia lata at the top of the iliotibial tract.

How to: Take a low lunge with your right foot forward. Raise your hips up and back until they are just above your knee on the ground. The tendency in this pose is to tilt your pelvis forward and stretch your hip flexors, but in this variation you need to keep your hips over your back knee (push your front leg back if necessary). Without arching your lower back, place your right hand on your right thigh and extend your left arm above your head and to the right. You should feel it on the outside of your left thigh. Hold, breathing calmly, for 30-60 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.

Cow Face Pose on Back (Supta Gomukhasana)

What it does: Stretches the gluteus maximus muscles, which attach to the iliotibial tract.

How to do it: Lie on your back and cross one knee over the other. Keeping your head on the floor, pull your knees towards your chest. If you feel a good stretch, stay here. If not, bend your legs, grab your ankles and pull them towards your hips. Hold for 1 minute and then repeat with your legs crossed to the other side.

Shoulder injury: inflammation or rupture of the rotator cuff

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that stabilize the humerus in the shoulder socket and allow the shoulder to rotate. The tendons of these muscles are often irritated or can be torn due to traumatic injury or repetitive movements, especially when combined with weakness in the muscles that stabilize the scapula and anchor the rotator cuff.

Common in: yoga swimmers, rock climbers, golfers and tennis players.

Symptoms: Because the rotator cuff includes four muscles and their tendons, a wide range of symptoms can be associated with it. Typically, the pain is felt in the upper part of the shoulder, but can radiate to almost any area around the shoulder joint itself, including the shoulder blade or armpit.

Shoulder Injury Prevention Exercises

By strengthening the muscles around the shoulder joint and restoring the range of motion of the rotator cuff, you can create a stronger and more supportive structure for movement and reduce the chance of injury or facilitate recovery.

Cow Face Pose Variation (Gomukhasana)

What it does: Stretches the rotator cuff with internal and external rotation of the arms. (If your shoulders are tense, you can do this pose in a warm shower, or grab a belt or towel if you can't reach your arms.)

How to do it: From a sitting or standing position, extend your left arm straight to the left, parallel to the floor. Rotate your hand inward; the thumb will first turn to the floor, then point to the wall behind you, and the palm will be facing the ceiling. This movement will slightly lift the left shoulder up and forward and round the upper back. With a full exhalation, reach behind the body and press the forearm to the lower back parallel to the waist, pressing the left elbow to the left side of the body. Pull your shoulder back and down; then lift your forearm up your back until it is parallel with your spine. The back of the hand will be between the shoulder blades.

Inhale and extend your right arm straight forward, parallel to the floor. Turn your palm up, inhale and extend your arm straight up to the ceiling, palm facing back. Bend your elbow and reach towards your left hand. Clasp your hands if you can. If you can't reach, start over with a towel or strap in your hand over your head. Hold for 1 minute and then repeat on the other side.

Plank Pose Variation

What it does: Strengthens the muscles that stabilize the scapula, providing a strong foundation for the rotator cuff.

How to: Stand in table position. As you exhale, without bending your elbows, lower your chest to the floor and bring your shoulder blades together. While inhaling, push off from the floor, pull the chest off the floor and, without rounding the spine, spread the shoulder blades. Once you have movement, get into Planck Pose and try the same movement there. Visualize your shoulder blades sliding towards each other and spreading around your chest. Repeat 10 times, rest a few times and repeat. As your muscles get stronger, increase the reps to 15-20.

Side Plank Pose Variation (Vasisthasana)

What it does: Strengthens the rotator cuff muscles and teaches them to work as a unit.

How to: Stand on your forearms, elbows under your shoulders and feet together. Roll onto the edge of your right foot and rotate your right forearm 45 degrees. Insert the bone of the right hand into the joint and press the base of the index finger of the right hand to the floor. Raise and lengthen the sides of the chest and stretch the left arm up. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds; then repeat this side plank variation on the left side.

It's All in IT Range
Focus on hip-opening exercises as well as stretching the quadriceps femoris and hamstrings in your yoga practice to reduce stress on the iliotibial group.

Use a foam roller to relieve tension in the iliotibial region. To get to the high friction area between your quadriceps and tibialis, imagine your thigh is a shoebox: the outer thigh is one side of the box, and the front of the thigh is the other side. Roll where the corner of the box should be, about halfway between the front and outer thigh.

Relax: this is the best medicine.
During your yoga practice and throughout the day, focus on relaxing your shoulder blades down your back. Tension in the upper back can lift the head of the humerus higher in the socket and cause wear on the top of the rotator cuff.

If you sit in front of a computer all day, take regular stretch breaks to relieve tension in the muscles in your shoulders, neck, and chest.

Rotator cuff injuries are common among vinyasa yoga practitioners. Have your teacher check your alignment in Chaturanga Dandasana and Upward Facing Dog Pose to reduce the chance of injury.

Simple tips for better performance and fewer injuries

Warm up and cool down. The warm-up allows blood to flow slowly into the muscles so that the fascia can expand to accommodate the demands of the activity ahead. Walk for a few minutes or sign up for a short, fast-paced online yoga class to warm up before a workout or game. After that, stretch for at least 20 minutes.

Relax: After a workout, take a warm Epsom salt bath to relax tired muscles and absorb magnesium sulfate to help relieve soreness.

Rest in peace. Muscle tissue heals and regenerates during sleep, so don't skimp on sleep, especially on heavy training days.

Keep track of your minerals. Look for a sports drink that replaces minerals (especially calcium, magnesium, and potassium) that are lost in sweat, causing muscle soreness and spasms. After your workout, fuel up on foods high in magnesium and potassium, such as chard, kale, and cantaloupe.

Yoga can help!

A healthy life means a balanced life and yoga can help. There are many forms of yoga and meditation practices that help improve your overall quality of life as well as heal any lingering injuries you may have. Aerial yoga in hammocks – regular yoga practice is associated with lower stress levels, stretching promotes greater flexibility and faster recovery of tight muscles. Whether you're an athlete looking to improve your performance, or suffering from acute neck or back pain, we recommend our yoga studios to join. Schedule for each day:

  • Yoga studio Vladimirskaya
  • Yoga Center Sampsonievsky

Yoga Postures for Stress Relief

Unfortunately, stress has become an integral part of many people's lives. In fact, Forbes Magazine reports that the World Health Organization has called stress "the worst health epidemic of the 21st century." The American Psychological Association reports that more than 50% of Americans suffer from stress for various reasons. Optional, 91% of Australian adults reported that they feel stressed in at least one area of ​​their lives. According to the Head of Health and Safety, 12. 5 million workdays are lost every year in the UK due to work-related stress .

Stress can eventually lead to physical, mental and emotional problems This can affect your eating and your sleep, as well as a number of other things. But let's face it, stress cannot be avoided . The good news is that this can be managed with the right diet, a good night's sleep, and a regular exercise regimen. This includes yoga and meditation, both of which are recommended by doctors as a viable way to manage stress.

What is stress?

Stress is the feeling you get when you are overwhelmed with things to do. it is physical, mental, or emotional tension you feel when you are upset about something. Quite often, this is something that is most likely not under your control. When we feel stressed, our bodies react by releasing chemicals into the bloodstream that give us more energy and strength. It puts our body into fight-or-flight mode, which creates adrenaline to prepare us for physical exertion. This can be both good and bad, given that not all stress is bad. This can often make us become more productive and successful how it allows us to quickly respond to the situation. It can also help us survive dangerous situations .


Unfortunately for many, stress is not a positive thing, but a negative disease that causes health problems. This leaves you with negative feelings and emotions. This is due to external factors that are completely out of our hands. This constant stress can cause heart attacks or ulcers if not done right , Stress can sometimes cause dysregulation , which then blocks the flow of energy into the nervous system. Reactions to bad stress include headaches, hypertension, skin problems, and gastrointestinal problems.

There are three different types of stress each with different characteristics, symptoms and duration; acute stress, episodic acute stress and chronic stress.

Acute stress

This is is the most common form of stress and is usually short term. It originated from pressure and current demands of and fortunately in small doses. This is often exhilarating, but can also tire you out after the stress wears off. An example of acute stress is if you're running a marathon, which is both uplifting and draining at the same time. That same marathon will leave you feeling worn out later in the day. Exceeding the limits may result in injury. It overloads itself short-term stress can lead to headaches, psychological distress and digestive problems.

In short, this is a list of things that have gone wrong in your life all of which are short term. This can be caused by things like an argument, a deadline, or financial obligations. Fortunately, acute stress is both short-term and recognizable so it usually doesn't cause too much damage or long-term stress. It's is a normal part of most people's lives at one time or another and easily manageable. Common symptoms include:

  • Emotional distress; irritability, anger, depression or anxiety are three stressful emotions.
  • Muscle problems; headaches, jaw pain, back pain and muscle tension.
  • Stomach, intestinal and bowel problems; heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, flatulence, stomach acidity and irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Temporary overexertion resulting in high blood pressure, sweaty palms, palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath, palpitations and chest pain.

Episodic acute stress

This is when acute stress becomes a regular part of your life. You always feel rushed, disorganized and under pressure If something can go wrong, then so be it. This is usually caused by taking too many s or having too many responsibilities and/or requirements. Episodic acute stress when you feel that you are constantly in a state of acute stress .

Most people experiencing this type of stress have overly excited reactions As short-lived, restlessness, irritability and a feeling of tension. People who suffer from episodic acute stress often have a lot of nervous energy. They are always in a hurry, tend to be blunt and sometimes turn out to be hostile. He can cause relationships to quickly collapse as others will often respond with hostility. This is especially true in the workplace because you create stress for others and potentially don't act professionally.

Episodic acute stress can also come from endless anxiety . In this mode, you see distress everywhere and devastation in every situation. The world is a thankless, dangerous place, and you're always waiting for something terrible to happen. This can cause depression and anxiety as well as chronic stress.

Symptoms of episodic acute stress will lead to symptoms prolonged agitation , This includes persistent headaches, migraines, chest pains, hypertension and heart disease Treatment of episodic acute stress usually requires professional help. Unfortunately, some people who suffer from this stress see nothing wrong with the way they lead their lives. They blame all their problems on other or external events instead of dealing with them. They often perceive their lifestyle and traits as part of who they are.

Chronic stress

This is the most harmful kind of stress as it often happens long-term or caused by too many stressors occurring one after the other. Chronic stress grinds and wears you down day after day. This can destroy your body, mind and life This kind of stress is caused by; ongoing poverty, an unhappy marriage, a dysfunctional family, or a job you hate.

Chronic stress occurs when you do not see a way out of a terrible situation , This is the stress that brought on by relentless demands and pressure for what is perceived as an endless period of time . People with this kind of stress feel that there is no hope and they become frustrated in finding a solution.

Sometimes chronic stress can result from traumatic, early childhood which are digested, remain painful and always present in the body. In this case, this has a profound effect on your personality, causing you to view the world as a place of endless stress. When this happens, deeply rooted beliefs about yourself and your personality need to be revisited, which requires a lot of introspection and professional help.

One of the worst things about chronic stress is that once you have it, you get used to it, often forgetting you even have it. It is ignored because it is always there and has become familiar , It is a long-term stress that can lead to depression, heart attacks, strokes and violence , Sometimes this leads to a complete breakdown or suicide.

How can yoga help you deal with stress?

Yoga has always been known as a way to calm the mind through a combination of movement and breathing . This in itself is a way to help manage stress . Even more benefits have been found because yoga has been proven to have a positive effect on the parasympathetic nervous system. This reduces the amount of oxygen your body needs, resulting in an equalization of heartbeat and blood pressure . In short, this system controls 9 stress response systems0014 , One of the basic principles of yoga is to connect the body and mind , Stress can affect both, and yoga helps to balance and connect the body and mind. The more you practice, the more you have the ability to bear stress in mind and body.

An guide written by cardiologist Dr. Joel Kahn explains the concept of how yoga helps regulate the heart further. In the article, he explains how regular yoga practice can have a positive effect on the nervous system. It's done like this training of the nervous system of your heart and arteries. This occurs through respiration and heart rate variability (HRV). The change in heart rate is associated with changes in the parasympathetic nervous system. HRV is high when we breathe deeply which then reduces stress. He goes on to talk about an eight-week hatha yoga program that involved 12 people. Nine of them showed significant increases in HRV, making them more capable of coping with stress. He also mentions a study that was carried out from 90 pregnant women, half of whom participated in daily yoga classes. women who practiced yoga showed a reduction in stress while those who did not practice did not change at all. In fact, week 36 th , their HRC increased by 150 percent from .

A study that was conducted by the Department of Physical Education at Brooklyn College, City University of New York is further proof. Eighty-seven college students took part in the study. Some attended two swimming lessons, some did yoga, and some took a lecture control lesson. Participants who took a yoga class had greater reduction in confusion, anger, tension and depression with numbers being even higher in men. Adults can also take advantage of the benefits of yoga for stress management, as shown in Learn from the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

In addition to its positive effects on the heart, yoga can help manage stress in other ways.

Relaxes body and mind

When practiced correctly, Yoga can be extremely calming, reducing tension and relaxing the body Yoga also helps teach us the art of letting go which relaxes the body. This is especially true when is paired with breath as it normalizes your heart rate and blood pressure.

Stress affects the mind Yoga can help you focus on one thing at a time; basically the task at hand. So one yoga for stress management really works. Over time, you will learn to control your mind and be more aware of your breathing.

Develops a connection between mind, body and soul

Through the combination of breathing exercises and asanas (postures), it is very possible to connect the mind, body and soul When they are connected, there is a sense of harmony and comfort in our lives When these things are out of balance, the body sends signals similar to those experienced under stress.

Regular yoga practice will teach you to feel every movement every posture and listen to your body . This alone is a great way to manage or prevent stress.

Releases emotional energy

Negative emotions can accumulate inside you, especially if they are not expressed. This can lead to stress. Emotional energy, when accumulated, is often released in negative ways. , Examples of this include; yelling at your partner, yelling at the waitress for the wrong order, or clicking on an employee. When you do yoga, emotional energy is released in a positive way . Most people are not even aware of the emotions that sit inside until they are released.

If you ever feel that your neck or shoulders are tense, it may be an accumulation of negative energy. Lot 9The 0013 yoga postures release this tension from your body, which then releases the negative emotional energy. Yoga also increases energy throughout the body, creating positive emotional energy.

What style of yoga is best for managing stress?

There are so many different styles of yoga today, from slow to high energies. In fact, there is such a variety of yoga styles that it is often difficult to choose which style suits you best, whether stress is an issue or not. However, there are styles that are better for managing stress than others. If you are hoping to do yoga for stress management are the best styles.

Restorative Yoga

Restorative Yoga is designed to allow you to get into a deep state of relaxation but does a very limited number of poses held for a long period of time. This resets your nervous system. This is known to be helpful for those recovering from mental health issues or stressful life events. This includes things like the death of a loved one, a divorce, or even a holiday.

Restorative yoga is based on the theories of BKS Iyengar, a man known as the pioneer of restorative yoga, to help people who are recovering from trauma. Numerous props are used such as blankets, blocks, bolsters and straps. Unlike other forms of yoga, with this style you don't tense your muscles or use them in any way. Instead, you are completely relaxed using props to support your entire body. This is one of the most relaxing forms of yoga you can do.

Yin Yoga

As restorative, Yin Yoga is a quiet meditative style of yoga. with the idea of ​​succumbing to gravity. This is a slow, relaxing form of yoga that releases tension and teaches you to slow down or be calm. Yin yoga brings positive stress to the joints, which improves flexibility. But it is done in a relaxing way, much like restorative yoga. This involves holding the postures for several minutes. One of the main differences is that with Yin yoga you don't need props. They can be used but are not required.

Yin Yoga is also known as Taoist Yoga as a result of its association with the Chinese meridian system. This focuses on the fascia and joints, relieving them of stress and tension. There are many focus on breathing and gravity.

Hatha Yoga

This is one of the most traditional yoga styles. In fact, many other forms of yoga come directly from hatha yoga. This style focuses on to balance the whole body through movement and breathing This deepens the awareness of your body and your body's connection to the mind helping cope with stress It works on all parts of the body in standing and sitting postures done in conjunction with ouijayi breath .

Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa yoga uses the same asanas as hatha yoga, but you move quickly from pose to pose . The asanas are largely based on hatha, but the movement is a direct influence of Ashtanga yoga. It offers more cardio than most other yoga styles, with smooth transitions between poses. It's is a good option for stress management because it requires a lot of attention and completely clears your mind of anything other than what you are doing. This teaches you to focus on what you are doing now instead of focusing on different things at the same time.

The Benefits of Yoga for Stress Management

Yoga for Stress Management has been proven to work like this combines multiple stress relief techniques into one . This includes stretching, fitness exercises, meditation, and concentrated breathing. Here are some of the benefits of yoga for stress management:

It lifts our spirits

In most cases, yoga will positively affect mood uplifting and resting. This will improve your mood and therefore help you deal with stress. It also, as mentioned earlier, improves the connection between your body, mind and soul, which will give you a better self-awareness The more we practice, the more confident we become in ourselves and our bodies. You then get a better mood on a daily basis, which results in less stress.

Gives us a sense of calm

The practice of yoga requires mind control and focus on the now. You concentrate so much on your body and what it is doing that it often brings peace to your mind , During practice you also focus on your breathing which takes you out of your thoughts. The more you practice yoga, the more these skills will develop and the better your stress management will improve. It will also make it easier to deal with situations in your life as you learn to calm your mind and not let stress take over.

Improves sleep

It's a proven fact that yoga can help with insomnia and also allow your body to fully relax for a good night's sleep. Sleep and stress closely related , We get stressed when we don't get enough sleep, and we don't sleep when we're stressed. Yoga can help you sleep peacefully, which is great for dealing with stress. It teaches us to keep our mind and body relaxed, which allows us to sleep better and deal with stress. The more yoga you practice, the more your parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated. This means you will feel relaxed in your body and mind, leading to much better sleep.

Best Yoga Poses for Stress Management

Important Use your breath while doing yoga to manage stress. This will help you get the best out of your practice. Proper breathing combined with a few asanas each day will go a long way. Here is someone best yoga poses for stress management .


Although not everyone can do it, Vajrasana (thunderbolt or diamond pose) is one of the best asanas for relieving stress and tension. Allows you to keep your spine upright to allow for deep breathing when your palms are in your lap. Many people fall into this meditation posture due to the fact that the spine is straight and the chin is parallel to the floor. It's also great for a digestive system that's prone to stress.


similar to Vajrasana , Padmasana (lotus posture) is also a suggested meditation posture as it is known to calm the mind. It also stimulates the pelvis, bladder, abdomen, and spine, all areas that can be affected by stress. This is also the posture that many people mistake for pranayama (breathing exercises), which we will talk about next.


Balasana (Children's Pose) is a resting pose often performed between two more difficult asanas. This is a great pose for calming the brain and helping with stress management. It is also great for back, neck and shoulder pain; the three places where most people carry the most stress. Balasana can be done on its own or with a pillow or blanket. The most important thing about it is to feel comfortable and feel relaxed.


Paschimottanasana (sitting forward) is great for calming a distracted mind. It can completely relax your brain and relieve stress and mild depression. It also stimulates your internal organs, relieves headaches, relieves fatigue and has a therapeutic effect on high blood pressure


, what are you doing. When you are in this asana, if your mind wanders and you think of something else, you will fall down. You must focus your mind on the posture, your breath and your body in order to be able to stay in it. When at sirshasana Your blood flows in the other direction, refreshing the pituitary and hypothalamus. These glands regulate the other glands in the body, so when they get renewed, it's great for your overall well-being. It also cleanses your adrenal glands, which helps with stress and depression.

Yoga Stress Management Sequence

This gentle yoga sequence is great for relaxing the mind and body and connecting with the breath.

Savasana (Corpse Pose)

Lie on your back with the space between the heels of your feet. You want your palms up, your shoulders down, and your neck long. Relax your body and watch your breath. If you have back pain, bend your knees .

Apanasana (Knees in chest pose)

Slowly bend the right knee towards the chest. Inhale and lock your fingers at the knee, exhale and push your knee towards your chest. Make sure your shoulders and face are relaxed. Keep your mind on your breath and stay in this pose for as long as you want. Inhale and lower your arms, exhale and extend your leg. Relax into Savasana and repeat with the left leg.

Then bend both knees towards your chest. Hold focus on your breath as you press down on the floor. Inhale and squeeze your fingers around both knees, exhale and push your knees towards your chest. Inhale and lower your arms, exhale and slowly stretch your legs. Rest in Savasana.

Supta Buddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Position)

Bend your knees and open your legs, bringing the soles of your feet together. If you feel tension in your lower back, place a block or pad under each leg Stay as long as you like, but don't forget to watch your breath. Inhale and bring your knees back, exhale and straighten your legs to Savasana.

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)

Bend your knees so that they match the ankles and the width of your hips. Inhale and lift your hips as high as you can. Keep your neck long and make sure your legs point forward. Watch your breath and relax your body. Inhale, then exhale and descend one vertebrae at a time.

Viparita Karani (Foot Up Wall Pose)

Place your feet straight up against the wall so that your body is perpendicular. You can also place your feet on a chair or just lie down in Savasana. Make sure your palms are facing up and your whole body is relaxed. Connect with the breath , Hold this posture for up to three minutes, then slowly return to Savasana.

From Savasana, hug yourself tightly and then lower your arms to the sides. Stay here as long as you want. When you're ready to rise, bend your knees and roll over to your left side. Then approach slowly.

Pranayama for stress management

Pranayama means “to expand the life force” or prana. This is the practice of breathing techniques for cleansing, purifying and relaxing the body and mind , Patanjali, who wrote the Yoga Sutras, describes it as "the practice of conscious regulation of the breath." This can be done in a variety of ways, including stopping expiration, stopping inhalation, equalizing the amount of inhalation and exhalation, or changing the timing or duration of each inhalation.

Pranayama has been proven to be an excellent source for stress management as well as for improving cardiovascular function. This calms your mind, connects you with the breath and promotes sleep. These pranayama exercises are generally the best for stress management.

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama

Also known as alternate nostril breathing, nadi shodhana encourages peace and tranquility This clears any blockages in your Prana (life force) that have been caused by toxins and aligns the breath on each side of your nose/nostrils. This means that your prana flow is balanced on each side. It also purifies your blood and boosts the efficiency of your brain cells, allowing them to function at their full potential. Nadi Shodhana Also cleanses your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system which we already know is great for stress management. Equalizing the flow of prana and clearing the nervous system removes any imbalances caused by stress. This leads to a positive effect on your stress response, bringing your stress levels back to normal.

Ujjai pranayama

Ujjayi (winning breath) is diaphragmatic breathing this is done during asana practice. This acts on the carotid sinuses at the back of the throat; next to your main blood supply to the brain. The sinuses detect blood pressure, so when it rises, it sends a message to the brain. The brain then causes the heart to slow down, which lowers blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too low, the opposite happens; your brain tells your heart to speed up practicing ujjayi puts slight pressure on the sinuses which helps to slow down the heart. When we are stressed, our blood pressure often rises, so this is a great stress reliever.

Yoga is a great stress management tool

Yoga is great for stress management because it combines many techniques, all of which are great for stress management.

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