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Top 11 Yoga Poses For Emotional Release

yoga poses for emotional release

In this article: Discover the best yoga poses for emotional release and their benefits!

Do you often find yourself weighed down by unexpressed emotions?

In our fast-paced world, it’s common to hold onto suppressed feelings, inadvertently causing both mental and physical blockages.

Thankfully, yoga is the perfect natural remedy for this problem.

In fact, certain yoga poses are specifically designed to facilitate emotional release. They can help you free blocked energy and restore inner harmony.

For both seasoned yogis and newcomers alike, delving into the practice of yoga for emotional release can definitely pave the way for a rejuvenated spirit.

Read on to discover the best yoga poses for emotional release and how to master your moods through yoga.

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Top 11 Yoga Poses For Emotional Release

Whether you’re feeling emotionally overwhelmed, or simply wish to cultivate a deeper connection with your inner self, integrating the yoga poses below into your routine can be a transformative experience.

Here are 11 yoga poses for emotional release to try today:

1. Lion’s Breath – Simhasana

lion's breath yoga poses throat chakra

You can try practicing Lion’s Breath when feelings of frustration or pent-up emotions surge.

Simply take a deep inhalation through the nose and then exhale forcefully through the mouth, sticking the tongue out.

As you exhale, you can envision all your held-back emotions pouring out.

Beyond its emotional benefits, Simhasana can also help ease tension in the facial muscles and boost circulation. 

Repeat ten times.

2. Child’s Pose – Balasana

child's pose yoga poses

Child’s Pose is one of yoga’s most beloved postures. It invites you to turn inward and find solace within.

This posture is perfect for creating a cocoon-like feeling of protection. 

Start from table top position. Widen your knees, allow your big toes to touch (if comfortable), and let your body settle down between your thighs.

Reach your arms forward, palms facing down.

This nurturing position allows for introspection, helping you reconnect with buried emotions and find a sense of inner calm.

3. Cat Cow Pose – Marjaryasana Bitilasana

cat cow yoga poses

Flowing seamlessly between the Cat and Cow poses provides a gentle massage for the spine and a deep stretch for the torso.

From Child’s Pose, come back to your hands and knees.

As you inhale, press into the earth with your hands and the tops of your feet, lift your chin and your tailbone.

As you exhale, press the ground away from you, tuck your chin, arch your spine, and tuck your tailbone. 

This yoga pose is helpful for dissolving emotional knots and finding inner balance.

4. Standing Forward Fold – Uttanasana

standing forward fold

From hands and knees, come to stand at the top of your mat. On a big inhale, reach your arms high.

As you exhale, hinge from the hips and fold forward, letting your arms dangle at your feet.

Whether or not they touch is irrelevant – you want to feel supported in this pose, so don’t overdo it. 

Gravity becomes your ally in Uttanasana. As you fold forward, allow your head and neck to relax completely, releasing accumulated tension.

This pose is not only therapeutic for the spine but also encourages a rush of blood to the head, giving a refreshing perspective.

By grounding your feet and lifting the sitting bones, you’re allowing yourself to both root and rise, which symbolizes the balance of holding on and letting go.

5. Sun Salutation – Surya Namaskar

sun salutation yoga for emotional release

The Sun Salutation, known as Surya Namaskar in Sanskrit, is a sequence of 12 powerful yoga poses with profound benefits.

Beyond the physical stretch, they offer a way to harness the sun’s energy to invigorate body, mind and soul. Here’s how to perform a basic Sun Salutation:

Mountain Pose – Tadasana

Begin by standing at the front of your mat with feet hip-width apart. Ground your feet, engage your core, and relax your arms by your side.

Raised Arms Pose – Urdhva Hastasana

Inhale, lifting your arms overhead, either keeping them parallel or palms touching. Stretch upwards, slightly arching your back.

Standing Forward Bend – Uttanasana

Exhale, swan dive forward, bending from the hips, placing your hands on the mat beside your feet, and bringing your forehead towards the knees.

Halfway Lift – Ardha Uttanasana

Inhale, raise your torso and extend your spine forward until it’s parallel to the floor. Your hands can rest on the shins or floor.

Plank Pose

Exhale, step, or hop both feet back to a plank position. Make sure your body forms a straight line from head to heels.

Four-Limbed Staff Pose – Chaturanga Dandasana

Exhale, lower your body down, keeping your elbows close to the torso until your arms form a 90-degree angle.

Upward Facing Dog – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Inhale, press through the palms, straighten your arms, and lift your chest and thighs off the ground, gazing upwards.

Downward Facing Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana

Exhale, tuck your toes, and lift your hips, pushing back into a pyramid shape. Ensure your feet are hip-width apart, hands shoulder-width apart, and fingers spread wide.

Halfway Lift – Ardha Uttanasana

Inhale, step, or hop your feet between your hands, straightening the spine parallel to the floor.

Standing Forward Bend – Uttanasana

Exhale, fold forward, allowing your forehead to move towards the knees.

Raised Arms Pose – Urdhva Hastasana

Inhale, rise with a sweeping motion, extending your arms overhead, slightly arching your back.

Mountain Pose – Tadasana

Exhale, return to the starting position, grounding yourself with intention.

Repeating this sequence at least three times helps to warm up the body, preparing it for deeper poses.

But the rhythmic flow of the Sun Salutation offers more than just physical rejuvenation.

With each sequence, you’re encouraged to set an intention, perhaps one of release or self-compassion.

As you move from one pose to the next, sync your breath and movements.

Repeating this sequence amplifies its benefits, helps foster a deeper connection with the self, and encourages the release of stagnant emotions.

Repeat at least three times.

6. Camel Pose – Ustrasana

camel pose yoga poses throat chakra

Begin by kneeling on the floor with your knees hip-width apart. Place your hands on your lower back, fingers pointing downward.

Gently arch your back, tilting your pelvis forward, and extend your neck to gaze upward.

For a deeper stretch, reach your hands back to grasp your heels. Hold for a few breaths, and then return to the starting position.

This back-bending posture stretches the front of the body, especially the chest and the abdomen, facilitating the release of pent-up emotions, particularly those tied to the heart.

As you reach your hands toward the heels and lift your heart towards the sky, envision barriers around your heart melting away.

Adjust the degree of intensity with how your feet are placed. For a more intense variation, rest the tops of your feet on the floor.

For something more accessible, tuck your toes under and let your hands rest on your heels.

7. Supported Fish Pose – Matsyasana

supported fish pose

In Supported Fish Pose, you can further allow your heart and throat chakras to open. These areas are often constricted by unexpressed feelings.

The gentle arch of the spine and the openness of the chest in this pose can help counteract hours of sitting but also emotional suppression.

By giving voice to the throat chakra, Matsyasana can empower you to communicate your feelings more freely.

A supported variation of this pose is ideal. To do so, lie on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Prop a bolster (or rolled up blanket) behind your knees for support. Take two blocks.

Place one horizontally between your shoulder blades, and one vertically underneath the base of your skull.

If you want to go deeper into the backbend, you can adjust the height of the block behind your head.

8. Bridge Pose – Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

bridge pose for emotional release

Rising into Bridge Pose is symbolic of building connections and bridging emotional gaps.

As you press your feet and shoulders onto the floor and elevate your hips, you activate the sacral chakra, an energy center linked to emotions and relationships.

This rejuvenating pose can alleviate feelings of sadness and infuse your being with a renewed sense of joy and connection.

Remember to direct your knees to the front of the room, lift your hips high, and let your shoulders settle into the earth.

Avoid moving your neck in either direction in this pose – it’s best just to stare at the ceiling.

9. Pigeon Pose – Kapotasana

pigeon pose yoga poses for tight hips

Following Bridge pose, lower your hips to the ground. Take a few moments to rock your knees gently back and forth to neutralize your spine.

From hands and knees, take your right shin parallel to the top of your mat, your left leg stretched back behind you.

Take a moment here before folding forward over your right shin.

Use a block or blanket for support if your right hip is too lifted. Repeat on the opposite side.

This intense hip opener is perfect for releasing emotional baggage and making space for fresh experiences and feelings.

As you melt into the pose, surrender to the sensations and allow any emotional upheavals to surface and dissipate.

10. Seated Twist – Ardha Matsyendrasana

seated twist

After Pigeon pose, come to a comfortable seat. Extend both legs out in front of you.

Take your right foot and cross it over your left thigh, planting your foot on the ground outside your leg.

On an inhale, lift your left arm. As you exhale, twist deeply to the right, hugging the outside of your right leg.

Alternatively, for a deeper variation, you can use your left elbow to leverage the twist on the outside of your right thigh. Repeat on the other side.

Twisting postures, like the Seated Twist, act as a detox for both body and mind.

As you rotate and wring out your spine, imagine wringing out old, stagnant emotions.

The compression of the abdominal organs during the twist, followed by the rush of fresh blood on release, can invigorate the body and refresh the mind.

11. Corpse Pose – Savasana

corpse pose

Corpse pose is definitely one of the best yoga poses for emotional release.

Extend both legs back out in front of you and give them a little shake to release the excess tension.

Come to lie gently on your back, with your arms and feet splayed out to the sides, palms facing up.

Let yourself settle into the comfort of your mat. 

In the quiet stillness of Savasana, profound emotional healing can occur.

Lying flat, releasing any and all muscular effort, you are encouraged to settle into a deep state of relaxation and introspection.

Here, in this sacred space, you can process and integrate the emotional release experienced throughout your practice, emerging renewed and at peace.

Tips for maximizing emotional release

When embarking on this journey of emotional liberation through yoga, your approach can significantly impact the depth of your experience. 

  • Deep, mindful breathing can amplify the release in each pose, acting as a bridge between body and emotion.
  • Maintain consistency in your practice, and recognize that emotional release, like healing, is a gradual process.
  • Your body knows best. Always listen to its cues. Recognize when it’s asking for a challenge and when it seeks rest. Pushing too hard can be counterproductive, while too little effort may not yield the desired results.
  • After your yoga session, spend a few moments in reflection. It can help in processing emotions and solidifying your understanding.

Bottom line

If you want to nurture your physical self but also create space for emotional healing, immersing yourself in these transformative yoga poses is the right thing to do.

Remember, every breath you take and every pose you embrace brings you one step closer to emotional freedom and inner tranquility.

Do you practice yoga for emotional release? Let me know in the comments below!

Discover more yoga poses for healing:

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