By Faye Martins
A regular practice of Yoga poses for anxiety, breathing exercises, and meditation techniques is a very effective and hopefully enjoyable way to ease overwhelming stress. Many different Yoga poses will help to release tension and anxiety. The best results from specific postures depend on the time of day, season, and the practitioner’s health.
About Poses in General
You may have heard about heart-opening asanas (backbends), but forward-bending Yoga poses are also soothing and nourishing. Forward Folds also help to calm you down because they encourage you to relax into the pose while pulling your senses inward, which allows you to rest for a few moments in your inner essence.
Forward Bending Yoga poses also allow you to curl your body into itself while protecting your heart and abdominal areas. Additionally, Forward Folds open up your hips and first chakra area, which releases stagnant survival energy and helps you to feel more empowered and grounded.
Supported Standing Forward Fold
Asanas for stress have existed for thousands of years. This is a very accessible and easy Forward Fold that may be practiced in any private location. To practice Supported Standing Forward Fold, come to a wall in your home, office or Yoga studio.
Place your feet approximately one foot from the wall and rest your bottom against the wall. With an exhale, slowly bend forward and hang over your slightly bent knees with your arms hanging over your head and resting gently on the floor, if your flexibility permits.
Close your eyes and breathe deeply and fully for several breaths. When you are ready, with your next inhale come back up to a standing position. Pause and reflect on how you feel. Do you feel quiet or energized? Is your mind clearer? Do you feel more relaxed? Notice the state of your being before moving back into your day.
Restorative Child’s Pose
This is one of the most relaxing and nourishing Yoga poses for alleviating anxiety. To practice Restorative Child’s Pose, you will need a Yoga bolster or thick blanket. You may also wish to place a blanket under your knees if you are practicing on a hard surface. If you have a Yoga bolster, place it lengthwise on your Yoga mat.
If you do not have a Yoga bolster, roll a blanket up with two blocks inside to approximate the same size and shape as a Yoga bolster. Place your knees on either side of the bolster and lay your entire torso over the length of the bolster with your arms stretched out in front of you.
Turn your head to one side and rest on your cheek. Feel the support of the bolster underneath you and breathe deeply. Hold the pose for several minutes. When you are ready, slowly come out of the pose, pause for a moment, and become aware of how you feel.
If you have the time, rest in Shavasana for five to ten minutes after practicing Restorative Child’s Pose. A regular practice of Yoga poses for anxiety and stress will positively change your life.
Child’s Pose, or Balasana, is a gentle and restorative yoga pose that can immediately relieve anxiety and stress. To get into this pose, kneel on the mat with your knees hip-width apart. Slowly lower your hips back towards your heels while reaching your arms forward, allowing your forehead to rest on the ground.
In Child’s Pose, you are encouraged to surrender and release any tension or worries in your body and mind. It provides a sense of security and comfort as you fold inward, creating space for deep relaxation. As you breathe deeply in this position, imagine releasing negative thoughts or emotions with each exhale.
This calming posture stretches the muscles of the lower back, hips, thighs, and ankles while gently massaging the digestive organs. It can help alleviate physical discomfort often associated with anxiety symptoms, such as tightness in the chest or shallow breathing.
Child’s Pose is an invitation to find stillness within yourself amidst life’s chaos. It allows you to disconnect from external distractions and turn inward to reconnect with your breath and inner peace.
Spend a few moments in this nurturing pose whenever you feel overwhelmed or need a moment of calm throughout your day. Remember that each time you come into Child’s Pose, you can embrace self-care and prioritize your mental well-being.
Cat/Cow Poses, or Marjaryasana/Bitilasana in Sanskrit, is a gentle and fluid yoga pose that can help alleviate anxiety and stress. This dynamic combination of movements stretches the spine and releases back, neck, and shoulder tension.
To practice the Cat/Cow Poses, start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees hip-width apart. As you inhale deeply, arch your back like a cat by tucking your tailbone under and lifting your chest towards the ceiling. This is Cow Pose.
As you exhale slowly, round your spine upwards like an angry cat, drawing your belly button towards the sky while dropping your head down. This is Cat Pose. Continue to flow between these two poses with each breath cycle for several rounds.
Cat/Cow Poses help to release physical tension stored in the body due to stress or anxiety. The rhythmic movement of flexing and extending the spine stimulates blood circulation throughout the body, promoting relaxation.
Moreover, this combination of poses encourages deep breathing, which activates our parasympathetic nervous system – responsible for reducing stress response – leading to a state of calmness both mentally and physically.
Regularly practicing the Cat/Cow Poses and other relaxing yoga postures can create space for emotional release while improving spinal flexibility. It’s important to listen to what feels suitable for your body during this pose; move gently without strain or discomfort.
Downward Facing Dog Pose
Downward Facing Dog Pose, also known as Adho Mukha Svanasana in Sanskrit, is a famous yoga pose with many benefits for the body and mind. This pose is often part of the Sun Salutation sequence and is considered a foundational posture in many yoga practices.
To perform Downward Facing Dog Pose, start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees hip-width apart. Press through your palms and lift your hips toward the ceiling, coming into an inverted V shape. Keep your spine long and straight while actively pressing down through your heels.
This pose stretches the entire body from head to toe, helping to relieve tension in the back, neck, shoulders, and hamstrings. It also strengthens the arms, legs, and core muscles. In addition to its physical benefits, Downward Facing Dog Pose can help calm the mind by promoting relaxation and reducing stress.
As you hold this pose, focus on deepening your breaths and allowing any anxious or stressful thoughts to melt away. Feel yourself grounding down through your hands and feet while reaching up with energy through the spine. Stay present in each moment of this rejuvenating posture.
Incorporating Downward Facing Dog Pose into a regular yoga practice can significantly benefit those experiencing anxiety or stress. It provides an opportunity to release tension from both body and mind while cultivating a sense of inner calmness.
Triangle Pose, or Trikonasana, is an assertive yoga posture that can help relieve anxiety and stress. This pose stretches the muscles and helps calm the mind and release tension from the body.
To get into Triangle Pose, stand with your feet wide apart. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and align your heel with the arch of your left foot. Extend your arms parallel to the ground, one reaching forward and the other resting on your right leg.
As you move deeper into Triangle Pose, focus on keeping both legs straight and engaged. Feel a gentle stretch in your hamstrings as you reach toward the ceiling with one hand while grounding through your feet.
The twisting motion involved in this pose helps to release tension in the spine and stimulate digestion. It also opens up tight hips and strengthens core muscles.
Remember to breathe deeply throughout this posture, allowing each inhale to bring fresh energy into your body and each exhale to release any built-up tension or anxiety.
Practice Triangle Pose regularly as part of a yoga routine for maximum benefits. Listen to your body’s limits and modify or adjust the pose for comfort and safety.
Warrior I Pose
Warrior I Pose is a powerful and empowering yoga pose that can help alleviate anxiety and stress. This pose, also known as Virabhadrasana I, stretches the chest, shoulders, and neck while strengthening the legs and core.
To practice Warrior I Pose, stand at the top of your mat with your feet hip-width apart. Take a big step back with your left foot, turning it out slightly to the side. Bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle while keeping your left leg straight behind you.
As you settle into this pose, feel the grounding energy through your feet as you press firmly into the mat. Lift your arms overhead with palms facing each other, or bring them together in prayer at your heart center.
Engage your core muscles to stabilize yourself in Warrior I Pose. Breathe deeply as you hold this posture for several breaths or longer if comfortable.
This pose strengthens physical muscles and helps cultivate mental resilience and inner strength. As you embody the qualities of a warrior through this pose, allow any tension or stress to melt away from both body and mind.
Remember to always listen to your body’s limits when practicing yoga poses. If any discomfort arises during Warrior I Pose, or any other posture, please modify or ask an experienced yoga instructor for guidance.
Incorporating Warrior I Pose into regular yoga practice can be beneficial for reducing anxiety levels while building confidence and self-assurance over time.
Seated Forward Bend Pose
Seated Forward Bend Pose, or Paschimottanasana in Sanskrit, is a calming and soothing yoga pose that can help relieve anxiety and stress. This pose involves sitting on the floor with your legs extended straight in front of you and bending forward from the hips to reach for your feet.
As you fold forward in this pose, it gently stretches the entire back side of your body – from your hamstrings to your spine. It also helps release shoulder and neck tension, where many people hold stress.
In addition to its physical benefits, Seated Forward Bend Pose can positively impact your mental well-being. The gentle compression of the abdomen encourages deep breathing, which calms the nervous system and soothes an anxious mind.
Try incorporating mindfulness or meditation techniques while holding this pose to enhance its effects. Focus on bringing awareness to each breath as you relax into the stretch.
Always listen to your body and go as far into the stretch as possible. With consistent practice over time, Seated Forward Bend Pose can become a powerful tool in managing anxiety and finding peace within yourself.
Corpse Pose, also known as Savasana in Sanskrit, is the ultimate relaxation pose in yoga. This simple yet profound posture allows the body and mind to let go and surrender completely.
To practice Corpse Pose, lie flat on your back with your arms relaxed by your sides and palms facing up. Close your eyes gently and allow yourself to sink into the floor beneath you. Take deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
As you breathe deeply, scan each part of your body from head to toe, consciously releasing any tension or tightness you may be holding onto. Allow gravity to work as you feel the weight of your body sinking deeper into the mat.
In Corpse Pose, it’s essential to cultivate a sense of stillness and peace within yourself. Let go of any thoughts or worries that may arise during this time. Instead, focus on feeling grounded and present in the moment.
This pose is not only beneficial for physical relaxation but also helps to calm an anxious mind. It can lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, and promote well-being.
So next time you feel overwhelmed or stressed, permit yourself to take a few moments in Corpse Pose. Allow this rejuvenating posture to bring tranquility back into your life.
Bridge Pose, also known as Setu Bandhasana, is a rejuvenating yoga pose that can help relieve anxiety and stress. It stretches the chest, neck, and spine while calming the mind.
Firstly, to practice Bridge Pose, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-distance apart. Secondly, place your arms alongside your body with palms facing down. Thirdly, press through your feet to lift your hips off the mat on an inhale. Finally, engage your glutes and thighs as you continue to lift higher.
As you hold this pose, focus on deepening your breath and relaxing any tension in the body. Feel the stretch in the front of your body while grounding through your shoulders and feet.
Benefits of the Bridge Pose
Bridge Pose helps alleviate anxiety, strengthens the back muscles, and improves digestion. It opens up energy channels in the body, promoting balance and well-being.
Incorporate Bridge Pose into your yoga practice to reduce stress levels naturally. Always listen to your body’s limits and modify or skip poses if needed for safety reasons. Practice Bridge Pose regularly for its calming effects on both mind and body.
Today, finding ways to calm our minds and relax our bodies is paramount. Yoga has long been hailed as a powerful tool for reducing anxiety and stress. By incorporating these yoga poses into your daily routine, you can experience a sense of peace, tranquility, and overall well-being.
Remember, it’s essential to listen to your body while practicing yoga. If any pose feels uncomfortable or causes pain, modify it or skip it altogether. The key is to find what works best for you.
Take a deep breath, and embrace the healing power of yoga in alleviating anxiety and stress from your life. Give yourself the gift of self-care through these beautiful poses that benefit your physical health and nurture your mental and emotional well-being.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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