6 Best Yoga Exercises to Wind Down & De-Stress

Yoga can be a great way to unwind your day after a hectic schedule. (Image via Unsplash / Patrick Malleret)
Yoga can be a great way to unwind your day after a hectic schedule. (Image via Unsplash / Patrick Malleret)

It can be challenging to find the time to de-stress when our world is so full of stressors. Fortunately, there are effective methods like yoga to soothe those anxious feelings and help you relax so that you can feel your best everyday.

Yoga is both physical and spiritual — and its benefits for mental health are widely recognized. Many people practice yoga to de-stress as much as they do to strengthen and stretch their bodies.

Six Yoga Poses to Help Wind Down After a Stressful Day

1) Mountain Pose

To feel a grounding sensation and get in touch with your roots, try this pose. Visualize yourself by planting your feet on the ground to activate the relaxation response. Bring your palms to your heart and belly and breathe deeply to feel this pose's powerful effects.


Here's how you can do it:

  • Stand with your feet about hip's distance apart, head in line with your pelvis, and chin parallel to the floor.
  • You can do this with your upper body in a few different ways, including hands in prayer position in front of the heart or arms by your sides.
  • With your palms facing forward and your shoulders relaxed, gently stretch through your fingers.

2) Melting Heart Pose

To practice this pose, you must understand the meaning of the term "heart opener." In this pose, you open your chest and stretch your shoulders.

This pose helps to relax your shoulders and arms while also giving them the maximum stretch. To enjoy this deep stretch, make sure to breathe deeply as you move your arms forward.


Here's how you can do it:

  • Get down on your hands and knees.
  • Walk your hands forward while keeping your hips above your knees.
  • You will feel a deep stretch in your upper back and shoulders.

3) Easy Pose

Easy Pose is a great way to relax and let go of stress. It also opens your hips and helps clear your mind. When you do Easy Pose, it activates your sympathetic nervous system, which lowers blood pressure.


Here's how you can do it:

  • To do an Easy Pose, sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.
  • Sit up tall by pressing the back of your shoulders into the floor and lengthening your spine.
  • The most comfortable position for your knees is for it to be bent at a 90-degree angle, with heels touching the floor.
  • If this isn't comfortable, try placing a pillow or two under your knees.

4) Modified Child's Pose

Child's Pose (Balasana) is a yoga posture often described as a resting pose, but for those of us in larger bodies, it may not be restful at all. Without enhancements or modifications to the pose, you can end up feeling short of breath, with too much pressure on your face or even a serious strain or injury to your neck.


Here's how you can do it:

  • Start by getting into Child's Pose, seated on your heels with the tops of your feet pressing into the mat or floor.
  • Let your chest fall towards your thighs and rest your hands behind you with the backs of your hands against the floor.

5) Downward Facing Dog

The Downward Dog is an important pose, and you'll probably do it many times during your yoga classes. If you have stiff shoulders or hamstrings, it might feel challenging, but if you're flexible, be careful not to overextend your lower back and shoulders.


Here's how you can do it:

  • To do a downward-facing dog, start on your hands and knees, keeping your hands on the ground.
  • Then, curl your toes under and lift your hips back to straighten your legs.
  • Form an upside-down V-shape with your body to check off several boxes at once.
  • Inverting the head below the heart has a calming effect, while lengthening and stretching the posterior chain of the body—including the calves, hamstrings, glutes, and back—will ease tension in these areas.

6) Supine Twist

It's nice to end your yoga session by doing twists like Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana). After sitting all day, it can feel really good to get into a pose where your body is warmed up. You might feel more open, flexible, and energized if you try this pose when you first get on your mat and again at the end of your practice.


Here's how you can do it:

  • Lie down, relax your core, and bring the right leg to chest.
  • Bring your knee across the left side of your body as you rotate the spine.
  • Place your hand on top of your bent knee for support.
  • Extend right arm out to the side with your palm facing up, and hold for up to 10 slow breaths.
  • Exhale and repeat on opposite side.


If you've ever been curious about trying yoga but unsure whether it is the exercise for you, give these six yoga poses a try to see if relaxing and de-stressing is an activity you would enjoy. When practiced regularly, yoga will not only strengthen your body but also your mind, so that you can stay centered and grounded during the busiest of days.

Quick Links

Edited by Susrita Das