3 Yoga Poses for Anxiety

The practice of yoga is about more than impressive handstands and increased flexibility, it’s about deepening the connection between your body and mind. Life can often lead us into periods of intense stress, so much so that we may find ourselves desperately seeking a life raft amongst the crashing waves of anxiety. Whether you suffer from chronic anxiety, panic attacks or simply need a healthy tool for processing the stress of daily life, there are many yoga poses that can help you ease your mind and feel more grounded in your body. These are 5 go-to yoga poses to help you calm your mind and alleviate anxiety.

Pike Pose

Forward fold positions are a great way to release built-up tension in the body and can provide deep relaxation for your mind. Begin in a seated position with your legs straight out in front of you. Take a deep inhale and on an exhale begin folding over your legs and reaching towards your toes. Depending on how you might be feeling, you can keep a straight back and allow for a deep stretch through the hamstrings or round over and let your head fall down to your knees, releasing all tension from your neck and shoulders. Take a few deep breaths here. 

Reclined Butterfly

It’s normal to carry excess tension in your hips and this has even been linked to unresolved emotional trauma. By allowing your hips to open, you can let go of unwanted stress and reconnect with the center of your body. Lay down on your back with your knees bent. Bring your feet together and gently allow gravity to pull your knees apart. You can further connect with your breath by bringing one hand to your heart and the other to your belly. Focus your attention on the rise and fall of your stomach as you enjoy several deep breaths here. 

Legs Up The Wall

One of the best things you can do when you feel yourself becoming panicked is to gently adjust the flow or your circulation. This can prevent you from becoming too dizzy and can help you shift your focus away from anything that is triggering you. Begin by lying on your back near a wall. Walk your feet up the wall until they become completely straight and your bottom can fully touch the wall. Bring one hand to your heart and the other to your belly, shifting your attention to the rise and fall of your stomach with each deep breath. To explore this position even further, play with flexing and pointing your feet to see how each variation feels for you. 

It’s easy to become consumed with stress and anxiety amidst the chaos of daily life, but these are the moments when returning to your yoga mat is even more valuable. You can revisit these 3 poses daily to help manage ongoing anxiety or simply revisit them when you feel the need to destress.

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