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Is Anxiety Controlling Your Life? Reduce Your Anxiety With These 10 Yoga Poses

Christina D’Arrigo
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Dealing with anxiety can be really tough. It can prohibit you from being productive and living your life to the fullest. Many doctors resort to prescribing medication in order to combat these debilitating symptoms of anxiety.

However, the good news is that yoga can be a great tool to help you reduce anxiety.

You can absolutely use yoga as a form of intense physical exercise for fitness purposes, but the poses that I would recommend to reduce anxiety are a bit more passive. These poses involve forward bends to release tension from the muscles where we carry the most stress.
 

Yoga can be a great tool to help you reduce anxiety.

 
Forward bends in yoga allow the body to relax and calm down. It brings your focus inward and quiets the mind. Areas that you should focus on stretching are the neck, shoulders, low back, and hips.
 

Practice These 10 Yoga Poses to Reduce Anxiety

The following yoga poses relax and calm your body, and are really great to incorporate into your daily routine to calm those anxious feelings and generally reduce anxiety.
 

1. Seated Forward Fold

1-seated-forward-fold
 
Sit evenly with both sits bones on the ground and straighten both legs out in front of you. Flex your feet. On an inhale lengthen your spine, and on your exhale fold your torso over your legs.
 
Hold onto wherever you can reach on your legs (shins, ankles, or feet). Draw your shoulders away from your ears to keep as much length in your spine as possible. Breathe deeply, and remain in this pose for several full breaths.
 
 

2. Child’s Pose

2-childs-pose
 
Come to your hands and knees. Touch your big toes together behind you and sit your hips back towards your heels. Relax your torso over your thighs and bring your forehead to the ground. Have your arms by your sides with the back of your hands resting on the floor. Hold for several deep and full breaths.
 
 

3. Knees to Chest Pose

3-knees-to-chest
 
Lay flat on your back, and hug your knees in towards your chest. Hold onto the outside of your shins. Draw your tailbone towards your mat. Flex your feet and hold for several deep breaths. You’ll feel a gentle stretch in your low back, hip sockets, glutes and hamstrings.
 
 

4. Happy Baby Pose

4-happy-baby-pose
 
Lay flat on your back, and hug your legs in towards your chest. Take hold of the pinky toe sides of both your feet, and bring your knees towards your armpits so the bottoms of your feet are facing the ceiling. Hold for several deep breaths. When you’re ready to come out, hug your legs in towards your chest.
 
 

5. Supine Twist

5-supine-twist
 
Find Knees to Chest Pose. Drop both legs over to the left side of your body. Reach your arms out like a capital “T” from your shoulders. Turn your gaze in the opposite direction of your knees. Hold for several deep breaths and repeat on the other side.
 

 

6. Eka Pada Apanasana

6-eka-pada-apanasana
 
This pose translates to “Energy Moving Pose.” Lay flat on your back and hug your right leg in toward your chest. Flex your feet, and hold onto the right shin with both hands. Hold for several deep breaths on each side. You’ll feel a gentle stretch in your hips and hamstrings.
 
 

7.Supta Padangusthasana

7-Supta-Padangustasana
 
Lay flat on your back and hug your right leg towards your chest. Keep your feet flexed, and straighten your right leg towards the ceiling as you grasp behind your leg for support. Feel free to keep a bend in your knee to protect your hamstring.
 
Hold for several deep breaths for a stretch in your hamstrings, glutes, and low back. When you’re ready to come out, release your hands from your leg and set the leg down on the ground. Repeat on the other side.
 
Note: You can modify the pose with a yoga strap by placing it on the ball of your foot and holding the ends of the strap evenly in both hands.
 
 

8. Reclined Pigeon Pose

8-reclined-pigeon
 
Lay on your back and bring your feet to the floor, knees to the sky. Cross your right ankle over your left thigh, and keep your foot flexed to protect your knee. For more intensity, lift your left foot off the mat and hold onto the back of the left hamstring.
 
This pose stretches your hips, hamstrings, glutes, and low back. Hold for several breaths on each side.
 
 

9. Legs Up The Wall

9-legs-up-the-wall
 
Get yourself over to a blank wall. Sit with one hip flush against the baseboard, and then swing your legs up the wall as you simultaneously come to lay on your back. Bring your hands by your sides and turn your palms up towards the ceiling. Relax your legs completely as they’re resting on the wall.
 
Close your eyes hold for several deep breaths – maybe even several minutes. When you’re ready to come out, hug your knees to your chest and gently roll yourself onto your side. Use your hands to help you come up to a seated position.
 
 

10. Savasana

10-savasana
 
This seemingly simple pose has a lot going on – stay with me. Lay flat on your back with your hands palms-face-up and feet extended and relaxed. Close your eyes and deepen your breath.
 
Focus all your attention on your breath to quiet your mind. If a thought comes around, let it go and refocus on your breath. Relax for several minutes.
 
When you feel this pose is complete, bring little motions back into your body by gently wiggling your fingers and toes. Roll onto the right side of your body and rest for a moment in Fetal Pose. When you’re ready, use your hands to help you come up to a seated position.
 

Reduce Anxiety With Yoga: The Takeaway

In a society that measures success by how busy you are rather than how healthy you are, it’s no wonder so many of us are stressed the f*ck out and deal with anxiety on a daily basis. Take 15-30 minutes to honor your mind and body and use these yoga poses to reduce anxiety. You’ll feel better and be more productive!
 
Namaste.
 

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Christina D’Arrigo

Christina began her yoga journey in a Yoga For Dancers class back in 2008, and she is now an RYT 500 level yoga instructor in NYC. With almost a decade of yoga and over 25 years of dance experience, she knows a lot about the body and the way it moves. Christina runs the growing YouTube channel, ChriskaYoga, where she offers free yoga classes and tutorials.

chriskayoga.com

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