Stress is a part of life. Work, relationships, and responsibilities can create tension, anxiety, and stress, often making it difficult to function. If you’ve had a panic attack or suffered from anxiety, you know that anxiety can stop your day in its tracks. That’s because when your mind and body are disconnected, your system responds to the situation by sending stress hormones into battle.
If you’re experiencing generalized anxiety and want a natural way to alleviate anxiety symptoms. In that case, there are multiple yoga poses or asanas such as Dandasana, Balasana, and Shavasana that enable mindful breathing and energize the parasympathetic nervous system to help calm your mind and body release endorphins that create feelings of relaxation and happiness.
Here are 10 easy yoga poses to start with to help ease anxiety.
1. Baddha Konasana
This basic yoga pose is easy to start with if you are experiencing anxiety. Keep your back straight, let your thighs open, and relax during the pose. This helps stretch both your inner thighs and bring blood flow to the pelvic floor. It also releases tension points that can make us feel tight and stressed in the back, hips, and groin areas.
If you’re looking for a restorative posture that offers relaxation, try Balasana by curling into a natural fetal pose. This pose rejuvenates the body by giving a nice long stretch through the back, soothes the spine, relaxes taut muscles, and even helps loosen stressed tendons and joints through the knees.
This pose can offer physical alleviation for your neck, shoulders, or back pain, but it has calming emotional benefits that can help ease anxiety.
At its center, this asana focuses on creating core strength. Even though the pose looks easy, Dadasana activates your breathing and helps engage your core. When you release the pose, your back relaxes, releasing stress and anxiety trapped in your body.
With this asana, core strength is also key to centering your body and releasing stress. As the pose opens your neck, shoulders, and chest area, it also gives your back and abdominal muscles a strengthening workout that enhances confidence and helps release tension.
You’re probably familiar with this asana called Cat/Cow Pose. As you arch your back and drop your stomach in natural rhythm with your focused breathing, the flexible movements and increased circulation assist with blood flow and mental relaxation.
If you’re looking for a simple seated pose, try this asana. To engage with the pose, take a seat and bend forward. This helps lengthen your spine and loosen the muscles at the backs of your legs. Take as many deep, calm breaths as possible. Pay attention to your breath. As you do, you may notice your mind calming and body relaxing.
7. Setu Bandhasana
Setu Bandhasana, also known as bridge pose, helps bring your mind and body into alignment like a bridge connecting your physical and mental states.
Lie on your back and bend your back and knees upward in the curved shape of a bridge. Hold the position for as long as it feels comfortable, and then release. Remember to breathe.
This pose not only gets your blood moving, but it stretches tight muscles in your neck, chest, back, and hips. It makes your back and legs stronger. It also stimulates your stomach and thyroid gland. These physiological elements relieve anxiety by calming signals to your central nervous system and brain.
One of the best yoga poses to relieve anxiety involves doing nothing. Shavasana, called Corpse Pose, lets you lie still and regenerate after a vigorous workout. This asana creates pure relaxation as your body melts into the floor and your mind floats in an internal sea of nothingness. This pose helps integrate your nervous system with neuromuscular data.
Even tight muscles will ease, and anxious thoughts will recede after 5-10 minutes spent lying quietly flat on your back, fully relaxed, during Shavasana.
Good circulation brings more oxygen into your body’s cells which helps reduce anxiety and promote health.
Ustrasana is a backbend that helps expand your heart and back to improve circulation and calm stress.
10. Utthita Trikonasana
This final asana technique involves the opposition of two forces. With a twisting, stretching movement, this pose opens the spinal column to release negative trapped energy and create a synergy with the positive life force in your body.
You can either pick a pose and stick with it or try several poses until you find the asana that works for you and helps alleviate anxiety symptoms.