Yoga Poses to Reduce Anxiety

Anxiety is much more common in the modern world. With the constant stimulus we receive from social media and just how contactable we are all the time, it's no wonder we can start to feel overwhelmed. Taking just 15 minutes out of your day to spend with yourself and focus on your breathing could make a world of difference to your mental health and anxiety.

I'm not promising a full proof cure for anxiety, but anything you can do on a bad brain day that could help you feel better is worth a try. Here are four yoga poses that lower your heart rate, let you focus on the present moment and help you relax into a calm five minutes. 

 

1. Legs up the wall (technical name I know!)

  • Put your yoga mat or a blanket up against a portion of empty wall
  • Move yourself so that your hips are on the floor and your butt is against the wall, with your legs vertically upwards leaning on the wall
  • If you need to, you may want to place a cushion under your hips for additional support
  • Place your arms on the floor, palms up, and close your eyes
  • Take some deep breaths, inhale for 4 counts, hold for 2, exhale for 4

There have been scientific studies to show that this yoga pose reduces the heart rate and noticeably reduces anxiety.

 

2. Seated forward bend

  • Sit on your yoga mat (or a blanket) and stretch your legs out in front of you
  • Reach your arms upwards toward the ceiling to stretch your spine
  • Reach your arms forward to touch the floor next to either side of your calf muscles
  • Make sure you can feel the stretch but no pain. You can get a pillow to place between your thighs and stomach to help get a better stretch
  • Alternatively, you can place pillows on top of your calves to lie your head on as you stretch
  • Stay in this position for a couple of minutes taking deep breathes, when you come out of the pose, do so slowly

 

3. Cat and Cow Pose

Some people may have heard this pose as happy cat, sad cat which when I first heard it, made my heart melt a bit.

  • Come onto all fours on your yoga mat. Your hips should be in line over your knees and your shoulder in line over your elbows
  • Inhaling, push your belly downwards towards to the floor, keep your hips and shoulder in position
  • Raise your head and open your chest
  • Exhaling push into your palms and draw your head downwards, to look at your navel. At the same time round your spine upwards, tucking your stomach in
  • Alternate between the two positions as you inhale and exhale, going slowly to slow feel the stretch and to slow the breath

 

4. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

  • Lie down completely flat on your yoga mat or blanket
  • Turn your feet slightly outwards and place your palms facing upwards
  • If you suffer with lower back pain or issues with your spine, you may want to place a pillow under your knees for support
  • Practice deep breathing here for as long as you feel you need (but try not to fall asleep!). You can place one hand on your lower belly to feel the rise and fall of your diaphragm

 

Whilst practicing these poses, it might be nice to play some calm background music to help you relax. Try to release the tension in any muscles that might be causing you pain or tightness. I hope this helps you take a little of time for yourself in this hectic world. Take care everyone!

Loads of HCX Love xoxo