Yoga relaxation - woman meditating in yoga position.

Which yoga is best for relaxation? - Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra & Anusara Yoga

Yoga has many facets: from vigorous and fitness-oriented yoga to classical yoga and calm yoga styles. Yoga is a great tool for relaxation, especially if you have a hectic everyday life or long for more inner peace.

When you practise yoga for more inner peace, the exercises are done consciously, slowly, and with intensive stretching. Relaxation yoga types are suitable for recovering from a stressful day or preparing for an upcoming task. Not only does yoga benefit your body but also your mind. We introduce you to some yoga relaxation exercises and give you an overview of yoga types that you can use for relaxation.

Yin Yoga - a group sits cross-ledged in a yoga session.

Table of contents

  • Yin Yoga

  • Anusara Yoga

  • Yoga Nidra

  • Yoga relaxation exercises

Re­lax­ation yoga for in­ner peace and seren­i­ty

In addition to individual exercises, entire areas of yoga have been developed for the art of relaxation. A quiet yoga session is ideal in the evening or on Sundays at home to recover from a busy week and gather strength for the days ahead.

What is Yin Yoga? – The most pop­u­lar style of yoga for in­ner strength

Yin Yoga is less about physical strength or fitness and more about stretching and the associated release of energy flow through the body. The asanas are mainly performed in a sitting or lying position and individual positions are held for a long time. While performing the asanas, you breathe deeply into the abdomen and the region of the stretch. Tensions in the muscles are released and the intensive stretching penetrates deep into your body. It is designed to deepen your self-awareness and help you to find your focus again.

Difficulty: easy

Suitable for: People who are looking for deep relaxation or a complement to dynamic types of yoga.

The name “Yin Yoga” comes from the Chinese symbolism of Yin and Yang: Yin stands for calmness and femininity, Yang for dynamism and masculinity. One cannot exist without the other. Yin Yoga is therefore a balance to the classical and dynamic types of yoga.

What is Anusara Yoga? – The way of the heart

Anusara Yoga is a very young form of yoga, as it was only developed in 1997 by American John Friend. He developed it out of the classical Iyengar Yoga by making the exercises more emotional and with influences from Tantra. This style of yoga is particularly suitable for beginners, as each position is developed slowly and therefore the risk of injury is very low.

Anusara Yoga - woman in the yoga pose of the cobra.

If you sit a lot in your everyday life and are not very active, this style of yoga is perfect for you. The basic principle of Anusara Yoga is to follow your own heart. Each asana is therefore evaluated by you and your inner voice. You decide whether it feels comfortable and therefore suits you. All exercises are built up slowly and care is taken to ensure that the alignment of the asanas is correct. In addition, a good Anusara Yoga teacher will take up a philosophical theme at the beginning of the class and build the exercises on this to strengthen your mind as well.

Difficulty: depending on the course, ranging from easy to challenging

Suitable for: Beginners who want to discover yoga, as well as people with back pain/tension.

What is Yoga Nidra? – Deep re­lax­ation with yo­g­ic sleep

Yoga Nidra is also called yogic sleep because that is exactly what this style of yoga is all about. The aim is to reach a state of complete relaxation shortly before falling asleep. Through special techniques, you guide your attention and mind so that your body actively relaxes and a feeling of inner peace spreads. The best thing is that 30 minutes of Yoga Nidra is as effective as 3 to 4 hours of sleep. The special state you put yourself in releases muscle tension and brings you a lot of inner peace and clarity.

Difficulty: easy

Suitable for: People who are looking for regular, deep relaxation.

Yoga re­lax­ation ex­er­cis­es: Yoga for stress

Calm yoga for relaxation leads you on a journey to more inner peace through gentle exercises, calm breathing techniques and relaxation exercises. The yoga flow is deliberately calm and slow and the asanas are held for a long time and not repeated too often. Deep breathing in and out shifts the focus entirely to yourself, calms your thoughts and relaxes the body.

Yoga re­lax­ation ex­er­cise savasana: How to do it cor­rect­ly

The best-known yoga relaxation exercise is the Savasana position (resting posture or dead pose). It is often found at the end of a Hatha Yoga practice and is meant to ensure complete relaxation. Savasana is a small meditation in which the mind can find peace. You can adopt this posture at any time to ground yourself. It also works well in bed at night to let go of the day and get a good night’s sleep.

Yoga Pose Savasana - man lying on a yoga mat.
  • Lie down on the mat with your arms and legs stretched out.

  • Your back is stretched out and relaxed. Avoid a hollow back.

  • The cervical vertebrae are stretched, and the chin is slightly drawn towards the chest.

  • The feet fall relaxed outwards.

  • The hands are stretched out at an angle of 30 - 45 degrees from the body.

  • Concentrate on your body and your breathing. Inhale slowly and deeply and with each exhalation sink deeper into the mat.

  • Pay attention to every detail in your body. Start at the tips of your toes and scan your body step by step all the way to the tips of your hair.

  • Take 5 to 15 minutes for the relaxation exercise and your journey through your body.

  • Then come back slowly, first moving your arms and legs slightly and then very slowly straightening up.

Especially after a strenuous, vigorous yoga session or on cold days, consider wearing a light blanket during Savasana. This way you keep the warmth with you and can let go even better.

Woman in Balasana yoga pose kneeling on a yoga mat.

Yoga relaxation exercise balasana: Short instruction

The yoga exercise Balasana is also called “child’s pose” and calms our mind through the withdrawn outer form. You feel your breath more intensely, stretch your back and your consciousness engages with your belly and its well-being. In addition to deep emotional and mental relaxation, your metabolism is stimulated, and your hips recover from the stress of everyday life.

  • Kneel on your mat and sit on your heels. Your big toes touch and your knees are hip-width apart.

  • Slowly bend over so that your belly is resting on your thighs and your forehead is resting on the mat.

  • Place your arms beside your torso with the palms facing upwards or with the palms stretched out on the mat in front of you.

  • Now pay attention to breathing calmly and evenly. Feel the gentle stretch in your back. Stay in this position for a few minutes and use Balasana to find inner peace.


Did you know, that...

A study by the University Hospital of Jena in 2016 investigated the effect of yoga as an adjunct to medication for mental illnesses such as depression, sleep, or anxiety disorders. They found that yoga was equally effective or even a little more effective than standardised psychotherapeutic treatment.



For your path to relaxation with yoga, you will need two things above all: openness to new experiences and patience. Over time, each yoga session becomes more and more liberating and helps you to find inner peace and relaxation. It doesn’t matter if you’re just looking for a relaxation exercise or a calmer style of yoga to unwind, or if you want a bit of physical exertion on the side, yoga offers the right types and asanas for everyone.

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Image sources Belyaev