Yoga Asanas for Stress Management

Sports-Yoga India Rajasthan RAS Mains GS Paper 3 (1)


Shoulder Stand Posture

Sarvangasana strengthens whole body. It regulates the functioning of thyroid gland. It increases the supply of blood to the brain and strengthens the central nervous system enabling the person to fight the problems induced by stress.


Fish Posture

Matsyasana is effective in reducing stress. In Matsyasana, one has a feeling of floating on water like a fish which is soothing to the body and mind both.


Corpse Posture

Shavasana is a relaxingpractice. This asanais very effective for de-stressing the body andmind. In this asana, thebody and mind remain ina state of rest. This helpsin the repair of tissues andcells, and thereby rejuvenates the body and mind. It helps to reduce blood pressure, anxiety and insomnia.


Crocodile Posture

Makrasana is a relaxing practice. It relaxes body and mind.


Cobra Pose

Bhujangasana is very helpful in stress management. In Bhujangasana the organs of endocrine system especially the adrenal glands and pancreas are activated which help in strengthening them.


Hare Posture

This asana is made of twowords: Shashanka and asana.Shashanka in Sanskrit means’hare’. In the final position ofthis asana, the body resemblesthe shape of a hare, hence,it is called Shashankasana.This asana helps to regulatethe functioning of the organs of the endocrine system especially the adrenal glands and the pancreas located in the abdominal and pelvic regions of the body. These glands produce hormones and play a vital role in energy allocation.


Half Spinal Twist

Ardhamatsyendrasana is a milder version of the Matsyendrasana which is named after Yogi Matsyendranath. Ardha means ‘half’. The original Matsyendrasana is difficult to practise, hence its easier version called Ardhamatsyendrasana is generally practised. In Ardhamatsyendrasana, the spine is given the maximum lateral twist.


Camel Posture

In Sanskrit, Ushtra means ‘camel’. In the final position of this asana, the body resembles a camel. Hence, this is called Ushtrasana. This asana should be practised after Sarvangasana.



Kapalabhati is a kriya (cleansing procedure). It helps to revitalise the nervous system which becomes exhausted due to stress. It invigorates the person and helps in fighting negative effects of stress.


Anuloma-viloma Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

Anuloma-viloma pranayama relaxes body and mind. This pranayama nourishes the body with oxygen and purifies the blood. It stimulates various centres in brain thereby improves its efficiency. It lowers stress by developing harmony in various systems of the body.

Bhastrika Pranayama

Bhastirka pranayama is a yogic breathing practice in which quick and deep inhalation and exhalation are done to strengthen the functioning of lungs. This pranayama increases the supply of oxygenated blood to the whole body. It strengthens all the systems of body and provides more energy which is required to fight the effects of stress.

Bhramari Pranayama

The word Bhramari is derived from bhramara which means a ‘black humming bee’. In this pranayama, the practitioner makes the sound which resembles the buzzing sound of a black bee, therefore it is named as Bhramari Pranayama. It is a relaxing pranayama. It soothes the mind and, therefore, good for stress management.

Sheetali Pranayama

Sheetali means ‘cooling’. Sheetali pranayama cools the body and mind, hence the name is sheetali pranayama. 


  • The sound resonating in the brain is very soothing and removes tension and anxiety.
  • It is very useful to reduce high blood pressure.
  • It energises the mind and refuels it with new energy.
  • It pacifies the mind and helps reduce anger, anxiety and insomania.
  • It helps in enhancing the concentration.
  • It improves memory.
  • It alleviates throat ailments.


  • During ear infection, this pranayama should not be practised.
  • People suffering from cardiac diseases should also avoid the practice
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