5 Quick ‘n Easy Yoga Poses To Reduce Anxiety

Kasia Litwinski
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We all have those moments where we give in to our worries — rational, or not. Anxiety has a knack of quickly becoming an obnoxious threat to our mental wellbeing. But once we plant our feet on our yoga mats, even white noise regresses to silence, and our worries begin to fade away.
 
There are countless yoga poses that can help mute our worries, and reduce our anxiety.
 
We’re all busy, and it’s when our schedules are jam packed that anxiety can easily creep in. Here are 5 quick and easy yoga poses to reduce, alleviate, and even prevent anxiety.
 
 

1. Mountain Pose

Coming from someone who has anxiety, this pose really helps me gain a sense of power. What better way to raise yourself above the problems that try to bring you down than by looking them square in the face, and standing tall? Keeping your head held high really brings out a confidence in yogis that we sometimes forget about when the going gets tough.
 
mountain-pose-ashton
 
How to do it:
1. Stand with your feet together
2. Hands by your side with your palms facing forward
3. Lengthen through the spine, and shine your heart forward
4. (This last step is the most important to follow) Smile ☺
 
 

2. Prayer Twist

This yoga pose allows you to open up your chest and heart chakra, and release any tension that you may be holding onto, while letting more positivity and love in. This pose is celebrated among yogis for bringing forth gratitude with the hands sealed together in prayer. Twists are detoxifying, which helps the body feel cleansed and rejuvenated. I invite you to use this pose as an opportunity to find something in your life that you’re grateful for, and focus on it while you’re in it.
 
prayer-twist-kendall
 
How to do it:
1. Begin in Chair Pose
2. Bring your hands to center heart
3. Twist to the right – left elbow rests on the outside of your right knee
4. Repeat on the left side
 

 

3. Child’s Pose

Okay, who does not like this pose? Our yoga practice often opens with this pose, and once here, we begin our deep, conscious breathing. It is through the breathing that our minds shift their focus from external worries to the rhythm of each breath. Each inhale brings the peace in, and each exhale breathes the tensions out, rhythmically ridding us of our anxiety. Throughout your yoga practice, it is a good idea to depend on Child’s Pose to ground us and help guide us back to the breath.
 
childs-pose-ashton
 
How to do it:
1. From kneeling: bring big toes together and spread knees
2. Melt your chest towards the mat and seat towards the heels
3. Extend your arms forward
4. Rest your forehead on the mat (or your arms or a prop)
 
 

4. Warrior I

The chest and leg expansion of this pose acts as a great tool to flow out of the shrunken state our anxious moments often compress us into. The deeper lunge you take, the more fire you generate inside of yourself and throughout your body, releasing any pent-up tension that your day-to-day distresses may bring about. The strong stance of a warrior reminds us of our own strength and capabilities. We are strong, and we are warriors in our lives. Let this pose be a reminder of our greatness – too great to be controlled by anxiety.
 
warrior-1-ashton
 
How to do it:
1. From Downward Dog, step your right foot forward
2. Plant right foot in between your hands
3. Pivot your back heel down to the mat
4. Inhale your arms up, gaze forward
5. Repeat on left side
 
 

5. Savasana

Laying down after a good yoga practice can be one of the most relaxing moments of your entire day. The tricky thing about this pose is the fact that you need to let go of the strength you have been building throughout your practice, and leave your limbs limber. This is a reminder of the approach we should take when tackling anxiety and life’s inevitable challenges. As individuals, we have limits to our patience, our wellness, our emotions — sometimes it truly is wisest to remain flexible and let life take its course.
 
keep-calm-and-savasana
 
How to do it:
1. Lay down flat on your back
2. Let your feet fall out to the side, totally relaxed
3. Relax your arms gently by your sides, palms facing up
4. Close your eyes
5. Let it all go – the breath, your expectations, and your anxiety
 
 
There you have it! Five yoga poses to reduce anxiety . While on your yoga mat, remember to maintain your conscious breathing, your calm mindfulness, and of course — your ability to have fun! As yogis, we should always keep it playful on our mats. When we practice yoga with a childlike state of wonder, awe, gratitude, and bliss, we can take these feelings off the mat and apply them to our lives – eliminating anxiety one playful, joyful yoga pose at a time.

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Kasia Litwinski

Kasia is a corporate gal who loves to hop into Crow Pose as soon as she gets off work and onto her yoga mat. She especially loves hot vinyasa yoga. With a background in Political Science and Communications, Catherine loves to be loud and uses quotes for advice. Take for example: “Let your love be so big and pure that it shifts the energy in the room.”

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