Yoga for Coping with Anxiety and Stress - Yoga Practice Blog

Yoga for Coping with Anxiety

coping with anxietyBy Kimaya Singh

Yoga offers many ways for coping with anxiety. When you consider the practices of asana, pranayama, mantra, relaxation, and meditation; there are many options for coping with anxiety and stress. Anxiety is a huge problem in our society. Many people struggle with daily anxiety over a variety of problems and within this state of anxiety, we often exaggerate those problems. One of the factors that produces the most stress for people is worry.


The Weight of Worries

Worry causes insomnia, fear of losing jobs, health issues, and personal concerns over the world’s current economic state. People also struggle with having an overly-packed schedule with many obligations to attend to daily. While it’s normal to feel some anxiety in response to stress or life transitions, for some people, anxiety can become overwhelming. When anxiety is constant and feels out of control, it can affect your physical and mental health. Worry acts as an emotional parasite during challenging times.


About Struggling

Yoga may be helpful if you’re struggling to cope with anxiety. Yoga can be an effective coping mechanism because it helps you to focus on the present moment and connect with your breath. This can be a powerful way to manage anxiety, which is often characterized by intrusive thoughts about the future or ruminating on the past. It can be difficult to calm your mind and body amid an anxious episode. With practice, you can learn how to control your anxiety with yoga. If you’re new to yoga, start with some basic poses and breathing exercises.


Manage Your Expectations

It’s important to manage your expectations regarding yoga and anxiety. Yoga is not a quick fix, and it may take some time to see results. Be patient and consistent with your practice, and trust that the benefits will come in time. Below are three tips for getting the most out of your yoga practice.

1. Don’t compare yourself to others. This is especially important in yoga, where people of all shapes, sizes, and abilities come together to practice. Remember that everyone is on their journey, and you’ll get there in due time.

2. Go at your own pace. This ties in with the previous point – don’t push yourself too hard. Yoga is meant to be relaxing, so if you feel tense or frustrated, take a break or try a different pose.

3. Listen to your body. Again, yoga should be relaxing. If you feel pain or discomfort in any pose, stop and rest or adjust accordingly. There’s no shame in taking it slow – remember, you’re doing this for your well-being.


The Battle with Chronic Stress

Chronic stress results are fatigue, muscle tension, irritability, nausea, respiratory issues, depression, and insomnia. Yoga’s various tools and techniques address many of these issues naturally and in partnership with your own body and mind. Yoga asanas help to release muscular tension and increase your energy.


The breathing techniques that Yoga offers help to lower cortisol and adrenalin levels and, in doing so, increase your overall sense of well-being. The other way Yoga classes help cope with anxiety is often overlooked; sometimes, just getting out of the house and away from cell phones, computers, family members, and friends helps create some space for you just to relax and unwind.


Exercise for Anxiety

The combination of practicing Yoga asanas with deep breathing exercises is a wonderful method for coping with anxiety. Yoga asanas help to stretch and strengthen your muscles and ligaments. The asanas also help to keep your joints mobile and lubricated. A vigorous Vinyasa Yoga class will help exercise your heart and improve your cardiac health.


Cultivating Inner Calm

If you combine the practice of pranayama with Yoga asanas, your endocrine system will become more balanced, promoting a feeling of calmness and ease. As your adrenalin and cortisol levels even out, it will be easier for you to concentrate on what is truly important to take care of at the moment instead of operating from a place of crisis management. Lower cortisol levels will also help to improve your memory so you can remember the important items on your “to-do” list.


Yoga Poses to Relax the Body

Various yoga poses can help relax the body. Some basic poses include Seated Forward Bend, Bridge Pose, and Corpse Pose. The Seated Forward Bend is a restorative pose that helps lengthen the spine and release tension in the back and shoulders. To do this pose, sit with your feet flat on the ground and your legs extended in front of you. Bend forward at the hips, keeping your back straight as you reach for your toes. You can also place a pillow or blanket over your knees for support. Hold this pose for 5-10 breaths before releasing.


About Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose is another restorative pose that helps stretch the chest, neck, and spine while also calming the mind. To do this pose, lie on your back with your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent. Press into your feet to lift your hips and lower back off the ground, creating a “bridge” shape with your body. Hold for 5-10 breaths before releasing.


Savasana (Corpse)

Corpse Pose is a relaxing pose often done at the end of a yoga practice. To do this pose, lie on your back with your feet flat on the ground and your arms relaxed at your sides. Close your eyes and focus on deep breathing as you let go of all tension in your body. Stay in this pose for 5-10 minutes or longer if desired.


Managing Anxiety

Anxiety can be debilitating, preventing us from living our lives to the fullest. It doesn’t have to be this way. Yoga can be a powerful tool for managing anxiety and helping us to face our fears. Yoga helps to calm the mind and body, reducing stress and anxiety. It also helps to increase serotonin levels, the “happy hormone,” which can improve our mood and reduce feelings of fear and panic.


More Poses for Anxiety

Different yoga poses help with anxiety, but some of the most effective asanas are Pose of a Child, Cat-Cow Pose, and Downward Facing Dog. The pose of a Child is a posture to de-stress and calm the nervous system. It helps to stretch and release tension in the back, neck, and shoulders – all common areas of tension for people who suffer from anxiety.



The Cat-Cow is a pair of poses for reducing stress and promoting relaxation. This pose helps to massage the spine and release built-up tension. The Cat-Cow is a gentle, flowing yoga technique that is often used to help alleviate anxiety. The pose involves moving the spine in a fluid, circular motion that can help release tension and calm the mind. Start by coming onto all fours with your hands and knees shoulder-width apart to perform the Cat-Cow. As you inhale, arch your back and drop your head down, allowing your belly to sink towards the mat.


More About Cat-Cow

On the exhale, round your back and tuck your chin to your chest, drawing your navel toward your spine. Continue to move between these two positions for several breaths, feeling the movement of your breath and the stretch in your back. The Cat-Cow can be performed slowly or with more vigor, depending on your needs. If you’re feeling particularly anxious, take some time to linger in each position and feel the stretch.


Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog is a classic yoga pose that offers many benefits for people suffering from anxiety. This pose helps to stretch the entire body, relieving muscle tension and promoting relaxation. It also helps to improve circulation and get oxygen flowing to the brain, which can help to clear away anxious thoughts.


Making Time

Attending Yoga classes for coping with anxiety at a beautiful studio or spa setting is a frequently overlooked aspect of how the practice of Yoga helps a Yoga practitioner. For some of us, any method, such as Yoga, for coping with anxiety and stress is extremely valuable. In today’s virtual age, we are all wired in at all hours of the day and night. If you practice at home and have young children or elderly parents to care for, it may be difficult to settle in and do a focused hour-long yoga practice.


Yoga for Coping with Anxiety

Taking an online Yoga class, attending classes at a health club, or studio, or a Yoga vacation will allow you the time and space to give yourself a breather and just focus on “being on the mat.” This one-pointed focus, or drishti, is one of the main Yogic benefits in coping with anxiety and stress.


Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a practice that can be used to cope with anxiety. It is a type of meditation that involves focusing on the present moment and being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. This can be done by sitting comfortably and focusing on your breath. You may also want to focus on a mantra or a certain word or phrase that you repeat to yourself.



Mindfulness meditation can help you to become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, and it can also help you to control your reactions to them. It can be used to help you deal with anxiety at the moment and prevent anxiety from occurring in the first place. Mindfulness meditation is a useful tool for coping with anxiety because it can help you control your thoughts and emotions and find a sense of calm and peace.


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Related Research

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Li AW, Goldsmith CA. The effects of yoga on anxiety and stress. Altern Med Rev. 2012;17:21–35.

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Malathi A, Damodaran A. Stress due to exams in medical students – role of yoga. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1999;43:218–24.

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2 thoughts on “Yoga for Coping with Anxiety”

  1. Thank you for teaching about coping with anxiety! This is a very helpful..helps me to calm down and relax..I was experiencing minor stress and anxiety after a long day of work. I practiced some yoga and meditation for stress and my anxiety is gone.

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