Yoga For Anxiety: Try These 10 Best Yoga Poses To Reduce Anxiety
I’ve had many people, over the years, tell me how yoga is beneficial and has helped them overcome many of their physical and psychological problems. In the beginning, I had a little trouble believing that but now, when I practice yoga, I’ve seen some amazing results.
Yoga can be an amazing workout and a self-care practice if you let it be. Combining gentle meditative movements with breathwork, yoga can be a great technique to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress.
If you’d asked me a few years ago what my go-to method was to deal with my anxiety attacks, I would’ve replied, “Eating something sweet” (more specifically, chocolates) but now, in the last two years, I’ve realized the importance of practicing yoga to reduce anxiety.
Why? Why has yoga become the go-to anxiety-reliever for many people?
When anxiety attacks, it can cause the body to go into fight-or-flight mode, causing sweat to break out and tremors to start. Anxiety attacks are serious and you can effectively use yoga to reduce anxiety and calm yourself.
When you begin to feel anxious, you can find focusing on your physical movements and breathing comforting. Practicing yoga poses for anxiety can also benefit you by bringing your awareness to the present, quieting the negative chatter in your mind, and boosting your mood by releasing endorphins.
Yoga for anxiety is not just about relieving anxiety but it’s also about grounding yourself in the present, free of all uncertainty and over-worrying. Yoga and anxiety may be an unheard combination for you but you can use this practice to your advantage.
All you got to do is to take note of the sensations going through your body as you gently move to the yoga poses. Let the emotions flow and take a moment during each yoga pose to experience and embrace the emotions.
To give you a kick start on yoga for anxiety, here are the 10 best yoga poses for anxiety.
10 Best Yoga Poses For Anxiety
Yoga poses are not to be practiced forcefully, they should feel natural and you need to go with the ones that feel the best to you. You can always experiment with different yoga poses and find the one that suits you best. As always, keep an open mind and just breathe!
1.The Hero Pose
One of the easiest yoga poses to try is the Hero pose. This yoga pose to reduce anxiety will get you to focus on your breathing and the muscles in the knees, ankles, and quadriceps. To practice this pose, you need to:
- Kneel on the mat. Put your knees together and feet slightly wider than your hips.
- Keep your toes flat on the floor.
- Keep your hands on your thighs and sit straight.
- Slightly stretch your spine as much as you can.
- Stay in this pose for at least 5 minutes.
2.The Tree Pose
This is a standing pose that can help you keep your focus inwards and calm the racing thoughts that come with anxiety. This yoga pose will stretch your abdominal muscles, quadriceps, and leg muscles. To practice this yoga pose, you need to:
- Stand on a mat, put your weight on the right leg, and slowly lift your left leg off the mat.
- Turn the sole of your left foot towards the inside of your right leg. You can put the foot on the calf, ankle, or thigh but avoid pressing the foot to your knee.
- Bring your hands together in a prayer pose. It’ll help with the balance.
- Hold this pose for at least 2 minutes. And repeat on the other side.
3.The Extended Triangle Pose
This is one of my favorite yoga poses for anxiety as it can help ease the muscle tension in your back and neck. This yoga pose also works on your hamstrings and quadriceps. To practice this pose, you need to:
- Stand straight with your feet apart (wider than your hips).
- Keep your right toes facing forwards and left toes slightly towards the left?
- Lift your arms and extend them out to your shoulders, palms facing downwards.
- Take your left hand to your ankle, leg, or the ground and your right hand towards the ceiling.
- Keep your gaze where you find comfort.
- Keep this pose for at least a minute and then repeat it on the other side.
4.The Standing Forward Bend
This yoga pose is another standing pose that can calm your mind and release muscle tension. To practice this pose, you need to:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hands on your hips.
- Bend forward at an exhale, and slightly bend your knees.
- Put your hands on the mat or your feet. While bending, keep your chin tucked into your chest.
- Feel the tension in your lower back and hips.
- Keep this pose for a minute.
5.The Extended Puppy Pose
This is another amazing stretch that can help release tension in your spine and stretch tricep muscles. To practice this pose, you need to:
- Fold into a tabletop position, on your knees, facing the mat.
- Extend your hands forward and bend down toward your heels.
- Press into your hands, engaging your arm muscles.
- Rest your forehead on the mat and allow your chest to expand.
- Hold this pose for at least 2 minutes.
6.The Legs Up The Wall Pose
This pose is from restorative yoga poses and can relax your mind and body completely. The pose can work on your hamstrings, lower back, back of the neck, and torso. To practice this pose, you need to:
- Lie on your back and swing your legs up along the wall.
- Pull your buttocks as close to the wall as comfortable.
- Relax your back, chest, and neck. Allow your body to relax.
- Stay in this pose for at least 10 minutes.
7.The Child’s Pose
This is one of the easiest yoga poses to reduce anxiety, stress, and fatigue. All you need to do to practice this pose is to:
- Kneel on the mat and sink back onto your heels.
- Fold yourself forward and keep your hands in front of you.
- Allow your chest to fall into your thighs, and rest your forehead on the mat.
- Keep your arms extended forward.
- Hold this pose for at least 5 minutes.
8.The Head-To-Knee Forward Bend
With this pose you can calm your nervous system down and relax. To practice this yoga pose for anxiety, you need to:
- Sit on the mat with your left leg extended and press the sole of your right foot into your left thigh.
- Extend your arms overhead and inhale.
- As you bend at the hips to touch the left foot, lengthening your spine, slowly exhale.
- Hold this pose for at least 5 minutes.
- Repeat on the other side.
9.The Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Relaxing with this yoga pose can help you let go of your anxiety and calm yourself. This pose works on your pelvic muscles and to do this pose, you need to:
- Lie on your back on a mat and bring your feet together.
- You can place cushions under your knees for support.
- Placing one hand on your stomach and one hand on your heart, focus on your breathing.
- Keep this pose for at least 10 minutes.
10.The Fish Pose
- Sit on the mat with your legs stretched out.
- Place your hands underneath yourself with palms facing the mat.
- Squeeze your elbows and open your chest.
- Lean back on your forearms and elbows to keep your chest elevated.
- Hold this pose for at least a minute.
Why Yoga For Anxiety?
This ancient relaxation technique has gained popularity in the last few decades. In many studies, it has been found that practicing yoga can lower stress levels, anxiety, and even calm panic attacks. This practice can even boost your mood and increase your energy.
Did you know that yoga can also lower the risks of depression? Well, not only this but practicing yoga can even reduce chronic back pains, bring relief to pregnant ladies, and also help create a healthy routine for people recovering from substance use disorders.
If you’re new to yoga, then it is recommended that you consult a professional instructor and not try any yoga poses that can injure you or cause more physical pain. Your physical safety is as important as your mental safety.
Yoga can also bring some emotional relief so if you find yourself overwhelmed with emotions, remember that it’s okay and pretty normal. If you find yourself tearing up, then let your tears flow. This will even help unburden your emotional baggage and leave you feeling better than ever.
While practicing these best yoga poses for anxiety, be mindful of your breathing and thoughts. Let your thoughts flow in your mind but with each exhale, release them. Don’t let them overpower your mind space.
Yoga is all about the mind-body connection and being in the present moment. To keep your anxiety at bay, take a deep breath and be patient with yourself. Even if you’re having trouble finding relief, be patient and stay calm. Keep going, keep striking that yoga poses for anxiety.
Everything will be okay soon! Take your time.
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Breathe in, breathe out, and relax…