The Best Yoga Poses For Anxiety

Anxiety is a fear-based emotion. It’s your body’s natural response to stress and it typically results in the mind creating false worry, which you deem as reality. Anxiety brings a sudden and sometimes long lasting fear of the future and a nervous apprehension for something that has yet to happen, and mostly likely never will. In today’s day and age, many people with anxiety are relying on prescribed medications or therapy in order to cope with the condition.

The symptoms of anxiety and stress include increased heart rate, rapid breathing, restlessness, trouble focusing, and difficulty sleeping. Depending on the severity of your anxiety, you may experience all of these symptoms together or at different stages. When the symptoms start to overwhelm the person, it can turn into a full-fledged anxiety attack.

Since the 1970s, yoga has received more attention for being one of the safest methods for dealing with emotional imbalance. It’s a gentle mind and body practice that combines physical and mental concentration, forcing you to remain in the present moment. Best of all, anyone can perform yoga poses anywhere at any time. While there are many styles and forms to choose from, here are some easy yoga poses that will help calm your anxiety and put your mind at ease.

Bound Angle Pose:

  • Have a seat with your legs stretched out in front of you
  • Bend your knees, pull your heels towards your groin, and allow your knees to naturally drop to the sides
  • Press the soles of your feet together and bring your heels as close to your groin as possible by grasping the toes of your feet and pulling them in gently.
  • Sit in a way that lengthens the torso through the top of the sternum, keeping your back straight.
  • Stay in this pose between one and five minutes. Inhale and exhale deeply. Release by extending your legs out front.

Big Toe Pose:

  • Stand up straight with your feet hip-distance apart.
  • Start to bend forward by hinging at the hips, moving the head and torso in one complete motion.
  • Grasp your toes with your figures and press your toes down on your fingers to lock them in as you hold on. If you have the flexibility, place your palms flat on the floor.
  • Relax your forehead and hold the pose for 5-20 deep breaths.
  • Lift your torso slightly with each inhalation
  • Contract your thighs with every exhalation
  • To release the pose, unlock your fingers and toes, slide your hands up your legs to your hips, straighten out the torso, and begin to unravel from the head to your torso until you are standing straight.

Cow Pose:

  • Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, eyes looking down at the ground. Your palms should be directly beneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips.
  • Lift your sit bones and your chest toward the ceiling while taking a big inhale, sinking the belly to the floor and tilting your head up to look forward.
  • Take a big exhale as you come back down to the original tabletop position with your eyes looking down at the floor.
  • Repeat the process 10-20 times as needed.

Fish Pose:

  • Lie down on your back with your legs extended and your forearms resting alongside your body, palms firmly down on the ground.
  • Press your forearms and elbows into the ground and lift your chest up creating an arch in your upper back.
  • Lift your torso and shoulder blades off the floor and tilt your head back so that the crown of your head rests on the ground.
  • Hold the pose for five deep breaths.
  • To release, press through your forearms and lower your torso and head towards the ground slowly.

Extended Puppy Pose:

  • Start on all fours with your wrists shoulder-width apart and your knees on the ground directly under your hips.
  • Begin to walk your hands forward a couple of inches at a time and arch your feet so that the bottoms of your toes are on the ground.
  • Exhale and move your buttocks halfway back towards your heels. Be sure not to let your elbows touch the ground.
  • Drop your forehead to the floor and relax your neck. Keep a slight curve on your lower back.
  • Stretch your arms out for a nice pull on your back
  • Breath into your back as your spine lengthens. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to a minute and then release.

Staff Pose:  

  • Start in a seated position on the floor with both legs extended in front of you.
  • Be sure that you’re sitting on your sit bones.
  • Flex your feet and tighten the thigh muscles.
  • Place your palms on the floor alongside your body, or directly behind your hips, and release your shoulders away form your ears. Take a big inhale and lengthen your spine
  • Hold the pose for five deep breaths and then release.

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