When anxiety takes hold, it can be difficult to find a way to refocus your mind. Yoga has been shown to do amazing things for people living with anxiety, as well as depression.
There are a number of particular poses that can be good for anxious feelings, take a look below at 6 of the best yoga poses for anxiety:
“The tree pose may help you whenever you have racing thoughts, or if you need to focus inward,” says Jay Iqbal, a lifestyle blogger at Uktopwriters and Eliteassignmenthelp. “All you’re doing is positioning yourself with one leg bent, while your other leg is straight and acting like the stem of the tree.”
This classic standing pose may help you focus inward, quieting racing thoughts.
This pose is beneficial for:
- Tibialis anterior
Here’s how you do the tree pose:
- Standing, bear weight with right foot. Then, slowly lift right foot off ground.
- Slowly turn your left sole toward the inside of your left leg.
- Place left sole on the outside of left ankle, calf, or thigh.
- Don’t press your foot into the knee.
- Bring hands into any comfortable position (e.g. a prayer position, or hanging at sides).
- Hold for up to 2 minutes.
- Repeat on opposite side.
This seated posture helps you find your center by focusing on your breath. Plus, it focuses on the following muscles:
- Knee muscles
- Ankle muscles
Here’s how to do this pose:
- Kneel with your knees together, and your feet slightly wider than your hips.
- Keep tops of your feet flat on the floor.
- If uncomfortable, put a cushion or block under your buttocks, thighs, or calves.
- Place hands on thighs.
- Sit up straight to open the chest and lengthen the spine.
- Hold for up to 5 minutes.
This relatively simple posture lets you focus on your breathing and go into internal reflection, as you address your anxiety. A meditative experience, it’s easy to do:
- Sit still, with your legs folded into each other (Indian style).
- Sit up straight with your eyes closed.
- As you sit there, focus on your breathing – take note of your inhales and exhales.
The purpose of this yoga pose is to give you time to reflect, thus helping you reduce your anxiety.
This pose is restorative, allowing for complete relaxation of the mind and body.
The legs-up-the wall pose targets the following muscles:
- Pelvic muscles
- Lower back
- Back of the neck
To do this pose:
- Sit with right side against a wall.
- Lie back as your swing legs up along the wall.
- Buttocks should be close to the wall (either up against the wall or inches away).
- Relax and soften in your back, chest, and neck. Let body melt into the floor.
- Hold for up to 10 minutes.
This pose targets the following muscles:
- Rotator muscles
- Spinal extensors
Here’s how to achieve this pose:
- Knee and sink back onto your heels.
- Fold forward, walking your hands to front of you.
- Let torso fall heavy into your thighs, and rest forehead on the floor.
- Keep arms extended forward, or rest them along your body.
- Hold for up to 5 minutes.
The triangle pose gives you a boost of energy that helps ease tension in the neck and back. Plus, it targets the following muscles:
- Latissimus dorsi
- Internal oblique
Here’s how to the triangle pose:
- Stand with feet wider than the hips.
- Face left toes forward and right toes in at a slight angle.
- Extend arms out from shoulders, with palms faced down.
- Extend torso forward as you reach out with left hand.
- Hinge at hip joint to bring right hip back. Take left hand to leg, floor, or block.
- Extend right arm up toward the ceiling.
- Gaze in any direction.
- Hold for a minute.
- Then do opposite side.
As you keep in mind these 6 different yoga poses, always consult a doctor before doing any yoga exercises to ensure that you’ll get the right results in your regimen. And although yoga might be uncomfortable at first, that’s okay – just keep practicing and know your limitations. Otherwise, discontinue if the pain and anxiety aren’t alleviated.
Kristin Herman writes and edits at Bigassignments.com and Do my assignment. She also freelances for online magazines, such as Bestaustralianwriters.com. As a project manager, she oversees writing projects nationwide.