The best yoga poses for mood

Yoga has a calming effect on the body but with so many poses, it can be tough to know what it best suited to how you are feeling.


If you are feeling anxious or experiencing backache, the bridge pose has been found to reduce symptoms. Another easy move is the cat pose, known to relieve stress and massage the spine. To learn more and find the best yoga poses for your mood and symptoms, take a look at the options below.

You feel tired and unfocused

The plank pose works to strengthen your core and open your chest, perfect for the morning! Start on your knees, as you inhale, reach your arms forward and place your hands on the floor. Stretch out your legs and push your arms straight. Remember to breathe!

You feel restless at work

The gentle twist is a great stretch you can do sitting at your desk. Inhale and sit up tall. As you exhale, twist to the right and look over your right shoulder. Hold for five breaths and repeat on the left side.

You feel sore

The puppy pose is a safe, gentle backbend that opens the shoulders. From kneeling, press your hands to the floor and slide the forward, keeping your tail in the air.

If you are feeling stressed

Stress can creep up on you slowly, or hit you so hard that you feel you cannot shake the feeling for weeks. These feelings will affect everybody at some point, so to help you feel calm and relaxed, we have chosen our three favourite yoga poses – featured in the Health Perch infographic – that are known to relieve stress.

Legs-up-the-wall pose

Sit with your hips against the wall and roll onto your back, resting your legs against the wall. Your bottom should be pressed as close to the wall as possible, hold the pose for five minutes.

This pose is known to calm you through reducing feelings of stress and renewing the blood and lymph drainage back into the heart.

Child’s pose

Kneel on your mat with your legs together, sitting back on your heels. Lean forward until your chest is resting on your thighs and your forehead is on the floor. Curl your shoulders forward, letting the hands rest next to the feet. Hold for five, deep breaths.

This pose is a resting posture; it quiets the mind and eases stress. The child’s pose can also benefit the nervous and lymphatic system.

Standing forward bend

From standing, exhale and lean forward, bending the knees enough to bring the palms flat against the floor. Feel the spine stretch and as you pull your head into your legs, straighten the legs. Hold for four to eight breaths. The standing forward bend stretches the legs and hips. This pose is believed to relieve stress, fatigue and mild depression.

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Written by Ellen Lees
Head of Content.
Written by Ellen Lees
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