I find myself getting hung up on whether or not to use the word pose or asana...I also find myself getting hung up on every decision I've made in my life, every word I spoke or typed in public, and the one I'm most embarrassed to admit: whether or not people like me. This is my experience with anxiety.
For some of us it sneaks up slowly, the irritability slowly building and building until you suddenly feel like your going to snap, bolt out the doors of your job and never come back (nope, never happened to me). For others its smacks you suddenly out of no where, heart racing, sweating, shortness of breath and feeling like your having a heart attack: hello panic attack.
How Yoga Helps With Anxiety:
Yoga teaches us to be grounded in the present moment. Doing so helps to quiet our minds, slow our heart rates and reduce stress.
When you do yoga, you enter a meditative state, focusing solely on what your doing with your body, your breathing and sometimes repeating a mantra to yourself. It's not possible to think about chores or problems at home when focusing on all of that.
When I'm feeling anxious, this is one of the only things that can soothe me. I find it grounding to get down on the floor, so I usually go straight into childs pose and just breathe. Doing this helps me to clear my thoughts and collect myself.
Maybe you experience anxiety on a regular basis
or maybe your just having a bad day
either way ...
here are 5 easy yoga poses to help you with that.
1. Standing Forward Fold or Uttanasana
Legs straight or knees slightly bent
Keep back flat, spine straight
Bend forward reaching for floor in front of feet, or grabbing back of legs
If your fingertips don't reach the ground, use a block, or book or anything you have nearby that will raise the ground up to your reach.
2. Childs Pose or Balasana
Bring butt to heels
Torso drapes over legs
Arms outstretched in front of you, hands pressed firmly into ground
Forehead rests on floor
You can also do a wide leg child pose for more hip opening. To do this variation spread your knees apart to the width of the mat and allow your chest to fall between your legs and reach towards the ground.
3. Puppy Pose or Uttana Shishosana
This pose is great for those of us who tend to hold tension in our shoulders and upper back.
Begin on hands and knees, with your shoulders stacked over your wrists, your hips stacked over your knees, and the tops of your feet on the mat
Walk hands out in front of you, lower chest down toward the ground.
Keep hips over your knees and your arms shoulder distance apart
Forehead or chin down to the ground.
Draw your shoulder blades onto your back and reach your hips up high toward the ceiling.
4. Bridge Pose or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Begin laying on your back with knees bent, feet on the floor hip distance apart
Hands reach toward feet, fingertips touching back of your heels
Keep knees over ankles and toes pointed forward
Press into your feet to lift your hips and spine and chest off the floor
Wiggle shoulders closer together, roll arms onto their sides and clasp palms together underneath you
5. Legs Up the Wall or Viparita Karani
Also great for relieving headaches and lower back pain
Lay on your back and scoot your butt up to the wall (do what you gotta do)
Legs are straight up, hip distance apart resting against wall
Shoulders relaxed away from ears
Arms at sides, palms facing up or resting on belly
Aim for 5 to 10 deep breaths in each pose.
See if you can inhale to the count of 3 and exhale to the count of 5.
Remember, the mission is to focus on your breath. This is what clears your mind, and connects your mind with your body.
Let me know, do you feel relief from anxiety when practicing yoga?