Yoga is an exercise that is intended to relax the body and mind. It involves meditation and the assumption of yoga postures to help the body develop strength and for the mind to cultivate calmness and peace. Yoga meditation and asanas or postures are intended to increase energy flow through the meridians of the body.

There are literally hundreds of yoga poses and they were made to provided relaxation, strength and flexibility to the body. These poses are all beneficial, but among the most popular are the postures that help to relieve stress. Here are some of them.

1. Cross-Legged Back Stretch

– Sit a few inches from the wall with your legs crossed then stretch from your lower back, reach for the wall and “walk” your fingers in an upward direction.

– Relax, broaden your shoulders and lift them as high as you can. Rest for a moment with that pose, then walk your fingers a little higher. Repeat the process several times between rests.

2. Upward Arm Stretch

– Place a chair a few inches away from the wall and sit on it. Raise your hands and walk them up the wall as high as you can. Relax and broaden your shoulders and lift your shoulder blades without making them tense.

– When your fingers reach the highest point, you should stop to rest and position your body then walk your fingers a bit higher. Repeat the process several times between rests.

3. Chair Lower Back Stretch

– Sit on a chair with legs separated and wider than your hips then inhale and bend forward. Drop your head but allow your neck to relax completely as you exhale slowly. You should relax your mind and body as you exhale and sit up again to inhale. Repeat the process as many times as you like.

4. Right Angle Pose

– Stand close to the wall and place your hands on it at waist level and shoulder distance apart then walk backwards until your upper body is at a right angle with the wall. Keep your legs parallel to the wall and press the wall firmly with extended hands.

– Push the wall as much as you can, but see to it that your knees and elbows are straight as you do it. Stay in that pose for 30 to 45 seconds then relax by stepping toward the wall.

5. Downward Facing Dog

– The downward facing dog pose is done by placing the back of the chair against the wall, kneeling 2-1/2 feet in front of the chair and placing your hands on its edge.

– The next that you need to do is to stand up on your toes with straightened legs and raised buttocks and upper body angled toward the edge or the chair. Straighten you arms and lengthen your back as much as you can. Stay in that pose for about 30 to 45 seconds. If using a chair is too easy for you, you can put your hands directly on the floor instead of a chair.

These are some of the most popular poses that yoga practitioners use to alleviate stress. They are quite easy to perform and you can do them to alleviate your own stress.