Filled with beautifully clear illustrations of asanas (stretching poses) and pranayamas (breathing exercises), Yoga for Stress Relief should prove effective enough to dissolve the tension out of your body, no matter how frazzled you may feel. Perfect for yoga novices, this book is designed to be part of a gradual, three-month program for dissolving the stress you have now and for helping you build up both psychological and physiological defenses against future stress. Based on the yoga developed by Swami Sivananda, which combines two of the gentlest types of yoga (Hatha and Raja), the book begins with a clear, non-technical explanation of exactly how detrimental stress is for the body, especially to the respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems. Then the exercises are described using both their Sanskrit and English names. From basic but soothing back and neck stretches to those that involve the hips, lower back, legs, and eventually the more complex shoulder stands, Cobra Pose (excellent for relieving menstrual cramps), and spinal twists, you can count on all the kinks being worked out of your body.
A handy chart in the back of the book indicates which of the dozens of poses are especially effective for alleviating particular stress-related ailments such as headaches, insomnia, depression, and panic attacks. While the focus is primarily on the physical aspect of yoga, its spiritual element is also taught through simple, soothing meditative visualizations. Yoga for Stress Relief is also perfect for anyone who's sleep deprived, as an hour of asanas and pranayamas is as rejuvenating for the body as a two-hour nap.