We could all use a few yoga poses to help relieve anxiety, right? Yoga, in general, will help reduce stress. You are forced to focus on your body, keeping your balance and on your breathing. Yoga poses typically are not something you can do on a crowded subway at rush hour if you are having anxiety, but these are things you can certainly do at home or an empty room at the office.
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No doubt you have seen this many times. It is one of yoga’s most basic of poses. Plant one foot on the ground, place the sole of your other foot on the inside of your calf. Or if you are feeling flexible, on the inside of your thigh. Do not place your foot on the side of your knee; you can easily cause some serious damage. Palms together, above your head, fingertips pointed towards the sky and breathe.
The Eagle Pose
While this may be a great anxiety reliever, I might actually get anxiety trying to get into this pose. Essentially you are twisting your legs around each other and your arms around each other. Slightly bend the leg that is planted on the ground, twist your arms together, fingertips pointing upwards. Hold this pose for about 30 to 60 seconds, then switch sides (twist everything in the opposite direction.
Lying on your back, place your hands under you, near the small of your back. Left yourself up on your forearms and arch your back. Don’t forget to breathe!
I love this pose after a good workout. Drop to your knees, sit on your heels, and bend your body forward (your head should be at your knees, or best you can). You can either stretch your arms forward, palms on the floor, or rest them at your sides, palms facing up. Focus on breathing. Many have said that laying on their stomach really helps with anxiety, and this is an excellent alternative.
I consider this is opposite of Child’s Pose. It looks exactly like it sounds. You are on your back, legs stretched out, arms by your side. Focus on your breathing. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Stay like this for as long as you need; most people are good for about 10 minutes.
Half Moon Pose
Having to balance on one leg will shift your focus from whatever is causing your anxiety, to making sure you don’t fall on your face. Start on your right side, plant your right foot on the floor, and bend to the right, so your left leg is lifted about 90 degrees in the air. Your left arm should be raised as well, while your right one is on the floor (or a block if you need the help). Focus on breathing, and staying upright.
Supported Shoulder Stand
Who knew that when I was standing on my shoulders as a kid, I was doing yoga? My daughter often does this now, just laying on the floor watching TV. Start by laying on your back. Kick both legs up in the air, place your hands on your hips and ‘stand’ on your shoulders. It’s a sort of inversion pose, which gets the blood flowing in a different direction.
Legs Up The Wall
The good news is that anyone can do this, you don’t have to be flexible or practice in any way. All you need is a wall. On your back, scoot yourself as close to the wall as you can get, your booty should touch the wall and your legs will be up on the wall.
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Standing Forward Bend
You can add to this and turn it into a swan dive forward. Stand with your feet together, take a nice deep breath in, raising your arms up, and as you exhale, bend your body forward and keep going as far as you can. Stay there for 30 to 60 seconds. Another sort of inversion pose.
I suggest you try this with the help of a wall at first, and possibly a friend to help you get your feet up (at least that is what I would need to do!) This pose is pretty self-explanatory, you probably even tried to do it as a kid many times! Again, breathing is important and focusing on what your body is doing will help you keep your balance.
Yoga poses are designed to relax your body and help you to focus on balance and breathing, thereby relieving anxiety. Shifting your focus to what your body is doing will help to clear your mind and relax your body.