10 Super Effective Yoga Poses That Reduce Stress and Tension

No matter who you are or what your level of fitness, yoga can offer enormous benefits to your body and mind. Research has found that it can reduce stress and tension, and significantly  help with sore and stiff muscles.

If you’re not quite sure how to practice yoga, or what exercises you can do at home, then don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Below, we’ve shared 10 yoga poses you can do every day that will help you relieve stress and tension. Below the video, we’ve written instructions for how to do each pose. Enjoy!

1) Standing Side Bend

A) Stand tall with feet and legs together and reach both arms straight up overhead as you inhale.

B) Lower your right arm down the right side of your body and exhale as you lengthen the left arm over the head, bending body gently to the right.

C) Inhale to return arms overhead to center and exhale as you repeat on the left side.

2) Downward Dog

A) Begin in a kneeling position on your mat with hands directly under shoulders, fingers spread wide.

B) Tuck your toes under and engage your abdominals as you push your body up off the mat so only your hands and feet are on the mat.

C) Press through your hands, moving your chest gently toward your thighs and your heels gently toward the floor.

3) Up Dog/Cobra

A) Begin lying face down on your mat with head slightly lifted and hand sitting directly under shoulders.

B) Point your toes so the tops of you feet are on the mat.

C) As you exhale, press through your hands and the tops of your feet raising your body and legs up off the ground until arms are straight.

4) Crescent Lunge

A) From a standing position, step the ball of your left foot to the back of the mat. Keep your feet slightly wider than one another like you’re standing on railroad tracks.

B) Reach both arms straight overhead and bend the right knee to 90 degrees.

C) Relax your shoulders as you continue reaching up and lengthening the back leg. Hold 30 seconds and switch sides.

5) Cat

A) Begin on your hands and knees with hands directly under shoulders and knees directly under hips.

B) Start with your spine in a “neutral” or long position, then slowly tuck your tailbone and lower the crown of your head so your back gently rounds.

C) Draw your naval up to your spine and breathe gently as you hold the stretch.

6) Cow

A) Begin on your hands and knees with hands directly under shoulders and knees directly under hips.

B) Start with your spine in a “neutral” or long position, then gently lift your heart and tailbone so your back gently curves downward. Be sure to focus on the lifting; do not press your back downward. Let the curve happen naturally.

C) Look slightly upward with a relaxed neck and breathe gently.

7) Pigeon

A) Begin in a plank position. Tighten your abdominals and pull your right knee toward your right hand placing your right foot as close to your left hand as you can.

B) Keep your back leg long and keep your hips even as you relax your weight through the middle of your hips.

C) Breathe and hold for 30 seconds. Step back into plank and switch sides.

8) Happy Baby

A) Begin lying on your back and grab your big toes with your index and middle fingers.

B) Gently draw toes down so knees pull toward shoulders. Keep elbows gently pressing knees open.

C) Relax and breathe. Hold 30 seconds.

9) Yogi Squat

A) Begin on feet, crouched down with tailbone between ankles and hands in prayer at chest.

B) Continue to press hands firmly together while at the same time pressing elbows against inner thighs.

C) Hold and breathe for 30 seconds.

10) Windshield Wiper

A) Begin on your back with knees bent, feet flat on floor and arms stretched out to the sides.

B) Gently lower your knees to the left side of your body and place on the floor. Gaze right and breathe.

C) Engage your abdominals and slowly pull your knees back to the start position.

D) Gently lower your knees to the right side of your body and place on the floor. Gaze left and breathe.