8 Yoga Poses for Stress Relief: How to Relax and Breathe for Exams

By Eesha Buwa | Posted: April 01, 2019

That time of the year is here when students’ single-minded focus is on the books and not on Facebook and Instagram. The time when the mind is focused but not relaxed, because exams are around the corner. There’s peer pressure, pressure from parents to perform well, pressure for scoring good grades.

All this thinking draws one away from studies and leads to stress and not knowing how to handle it. Here are a few yoga asanas and breathing exercises that will help you sail through the days of exam pressure.

First, let’s have a look at some breathing exercises:

Bhastrika (bellows breath)

Exams are preceded by sleepless nights spent studying and calling friends to know how much they’ve studied. This can tire one out, and staying awake can be a herculean task. A couple of rounds of bhastrika can energize you completely. It keeps you awake, keeps the cerebrum active, hence enhancing your learning. Bhastrika helps the energy to keep flowing and removes harmful toxins from the body.

Bhramari (humming bee sound)

This breathing technique is the solution to nerve wracking experiences before any exam. At such times, a relaxing pranayama comes handy. Bhramari pranayama helps in calming the nervous system and removes hypertension and stress. This makes the brain more receptive and focused. When the mind is focused and relaxed, the right answer comes at the right time.

Following are some yoga asanas that will help you focus and relax:

Emotional tension gets accumulated in the body and may lead to blockages of energy. Stretching the body can help relax the body and mind, and also enhance the flow of energy in the body.

Hastapadasana (standing forward bend) –

Stretches all the muscles of the back of the body and invigorates the spine and the nervous system. Increases the blood supply to the brain, hence results in relaxation.

Paschimottanasana (sitting forward bend)

Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression. Soothes headache and anxiety, and reduces fatigue.

Halasana (plough pose)

Stimulates the endocrine system and strengthens the immune system, specifically, the thyroid gland, which improves metabolism and keeps you more active! The reverse flow of blood helps in new cell generation, keeping the brain young and rejuvenated.

Matsyasana (fish pose)

Relieves tension in your neck, throat, and shoulders, improving respiration and bringing a lightness to your facial muscles! It helps in strengthening the immune system, which is a key to staying fit and strong during these strenuous times.

Sirshasana (headstand)

Relieves stress and improves focus. Stimulates the pituitary gland, harmonizing the entire endocrine system. Helps expel toxins and also improves the flow of blood to the brain, stimulating nerve cells. It improves memory power as well!

Shishuasana (child’s pose)

This one is a deeply relaxing posture. Gives you deep rest and total relaxation of the back. Puts the chattering mind to rest and keeps the brain fresh, helping you to learn and to grasp more.

While performing the asanas, coordinating movement with the breath is very important. Also, holding the posture to one’s capability and relaxing into the posture enhances the experience of yoga. We hope these asanas and techniques come in handy during your exam days.

This article was previously published on the Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Vidya Mandir blog and is re-posted here with the author’s permission.

With a penchant for traveling, Eesha Buwa’s passion is to inspire people to do yoga for a healthy body and a stress-free mind. She conducts Sri Sri Yoga and youth-centric workshops across India.


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