A SIMPLE 10-MINUTE YOGA ROUTINE TO CALM ANXIETY
- Sep 23, 2021
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8 Anti-Anxiety Yoga Poses
Anxiety sufferers know their chronic symptoms are no joke. When anxiety takes hold of the nervous system, calming the body and refocusing the mind can seem nearly impossible.
Practicing yoga has been shown to have a number of physical and mental health benefits, including helping reduce anxiety symptoms. Yoga is a mind-body-spirit practice that combines relaxation techniques, mindfulness meditation, controlled breathing, and physical movements designed to improve balance, flexibility, range of motion, and strength.
Yoga may seem daunting for complete beginners as well as for individuals suffering from depression or anxiety. But the good news is that some yoga poses are so simple, they can easily be integrated into a quick, easy, daily routine.
In this post, we share 8 simple, prop-free yoga postures that help calm anxiety. Grab our downloadable yoga for anxiety cheatsheet to create your own 10-minute anxiety-busting yoga practice!
What are the best yoga poses for anxiety?
Yoga for anxiety doesn’t need to be complicated or intense. It’s especially important to practice yoga consistently to see long-term benefits, so be kind to yourself during your practice, accept your limits, and make it enjoyable so you will look forward to your daily yoga routine.
For a calming yoga practice that lasts under 10 minutes, hold each of the following poses for 1 minute*.
Child’s Pose (Balasana)
Child’s Pose is a resting pose that increases circulation while creating a gentle stretch of the hips, thighs and back. It’s a great pose to help calm the mind and relieve lower back tension. Tip: While you rest your torso on your thighs, focus on your breathing, inhaling deeply and releasing the torso a little more deeply into your thighs with each exhale.
Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
Upward-facing dog helps stretch the chest and abdomen. This pose strengthens the arms, opens up the upper back and shoulders, expands the chest and energizes your heart. Tip: Remember to press into your hands, extend your gaze to the ceiling (stretching your neck), and press the tops of the feet into the mat to lift the kneecaps away from the floor.
Tree Pose (Vrksâsana)
This balancing pose requires your full concentration and helps quiet your busy, anxious mind. Research has shown that balancing poses like the Tree Pose trigger the brain to release serotonin, a feel-good hormone. Mastering this pose will help you feel steady and balanced, physically and emotionally. Slowly lift your left foot off the ground and turn its sole towards the inside of your right leg. Rest it on the outside of your right ankle, calf or thigh. Tip: Avoid pushing your foot into your knee.
Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)
This powerful stretch helps opens the hips and strengthens the muscles in the thighs and buttocks. It can increase stamina, improve digestion, and focus your distracted or worried mind. Step your right foot forward and push your left heel into the mat. Extend your arms out at shoulder height and make sure they are parallel to the floor. Tip: Make sure your heels are aligned with one another.
Lotus Pose (Padmasana)
The Lotus Pose helps align your posture. Sit on the floor with an extended spine. Bend your right knee and place it on your left thigh, and vice versa. Keep your head and spine straight, close your eyes, and practice a breathing technique. Tip: Make this pose even more comfortable with our adjustable yoga cushion!
Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
Stand with your feet wider than your hips. Extend your arms out from your shoulders, palms facing down. Tilt your torso so you have one arm towards the floor and one arm extended toward the ceiling. Let your gaze fall where it is most comfortable. This posture strengthens the legs, stretches the shoulders, and equally distributes energy flow, helping you feel calmer and less anxious.
Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I)
This pose allows you to extend your body and stand strong, in contrast to the shrunken posture anxiety forces the body to take. Step your right foot forward, push your left heel into the mat. Put your arms up and look up. Tip: Combine this pose with affirmations that boost your confidence!
Warrior III Pose (Virabhadrasana III)
Begin in Warrior I, move your hands to your heart and lean forward with your gaze down until your back leg extends straight out. Reach your arms forward until your body forms a T shape. Tip: Don’t lock your knee.
Phew, that’s a lot of poses in 10 minutes! Good news: We’ve put together a handy cheatsheet to help you remember these 8 anti-anxiety yoga poses, plus one bonus posture. Download your cheatsheet and keep it with your yoga mat!
*Remember to pay attention to your needs and your limits, and to check if there are contraindications for pregnancy or a specific health condition (e.g. hip injury, chronic pain, etc.). If a pose is uncomfortable, don’t do it! Adapt your practice to your needs and level. Accept that your needs may differ from one day to the next!
What’s your favorite yoga pose? Let us know in a comment and share this post with your friends!
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