10 Effective Yoga Poses To Cure Anxiety

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Anxiety – a precursor to stress! Indeed! Every moment of our life is filled with countless, unexpected moments. Your body, mind and spirit share a very deep and intense relation; the slightest scratch on any one of the elements could leave the other two shattered. Yoga lets you indulge in gentle stretches that allow you to create a harmonious relation among all the three elements, thus keeping anxiety and stress at bay.

Top 10 Yoga Poses to Tackle Anxiety

Here are few such yoga poses that are easy to practice, and could rescue you from anxiety and panic attacks.

Warm Up:

Warming up is a vital element before any physical exercise. You can indulge in a gentle whole body stretch as a warm up, and the best qualifier here is Tadasana.

1. Tadasana – Mountain Pose:

This basic pose allows you to create awareness about your body and the way you breathe. Also, your blood circulation gets a surge. An energy boosting asana, it renders the energy levels you need to start a stress-free routine.

How to Do:

  1. Stand on your mat, with feet together, spine and head straight.
  2. Keep your hands alongside your body, palms facing your thighs.
  3. Inhaling deeply, lift your hands over your head and allow your palms to be joined in Namaskar Mudra.
  4. Tilt your head backward to fix your gaze to the fingertips.
  5. Stretch to the maximum possible level, keeping the feet firm and flat on the mat. If you are a regular practitioner, you can try to balance yourself on your toes.
  6. Breathing deeply, remain in the pose for a count of 20.
  7. Exhaling deeply, release, relax, and come back to the beginning position.

The Anxiety Busting Yoga Sequence:

Here is the list of yoga poses, which you can practice to tackle your stress:

1. Ardha Chakrasana – Half Wheel Pose:

Balance yourself while releasing that extra strain from your back, and anxiety from your head with this pose.

How to Do:

  1. Stand on your yoga mat, keeping the feet together, while the toes and heels remain in contact.
  2. Rest your hands on the waist; the thumbs should be pointing towards your spine.
  3. Indulging in a deep inhalation, gently bend backward to the maximum possible level. The ideal level would be until you feel the tingle on the spine.
  4. Do not bend your knees.
  5. Breathing deeply, remain in the pose for a slow count of 10.
  6. Taking a deep exhalation and then inhaling, release the pose and come back to the starting position.

This makes one repetition. Repeat 3 to 5 times.

2. Padahastasana – Standing Forward Bend Pose:

Release the tension you experience in your shoulders, neck, and back with this mild forward bend-cum gentle inversion pose. The blood flow to the brain improves, unclogging the otherwise clogged mind.

How to Do:

  1. Stand on the mat, letting your hands rest on either side of the body, feet and heels in contact.
  2. Keep the spine straight.
  3. Inhaling deeply, lift the hands up.
  4. Exhaling slowly, bend your body forward until it comes parallel to the floor.
  5. Inhale and then, as you exhale, bend forward, allowing your body to sway away from your hips.
  6. Let the palms rest flat on the floor or at least, the fingertips should touch your toes.
  7. Holding the breath and tucking your tummy, hold the position for a count of 60.
  8. Taking a deep exhalation, release and relax.

3. Adhomukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose:

This pose comes with a multitude of benefits. Be it for tummy toning or just to wind up from an anxious moment, this pose offers it all.

How to Do:

  1. Stand straight on the mat with your feet placed flat on it. Keep your spine erect.
  2. Let your hands rest along your body, palms facing the thighs.
  3. Take a deep inhalation and as you exhale, bend forward, allowing your palms to rest on the mat at shoulder width.
  4. Keep the fingers spread out.
  5. Your face should be down with your eyes fixed on the floor.
  6. Stretch the legs, one at a time, backward, spreading out at shoulder width. Your hands and feet should be aligned.
  7. Do not bend the knees and elbows.
  8. Inhaling deeply, tuck your abdomen inward, allowing the navel to come as close as possible to the spine.
  9. Breathing deeply, hold the pose for a count of 60.
  10. Gently exhale, release, and relax.

This makes one repetition. Repeat 5 times, pausing for 10 seconds in between repetitions.

4. Sukhasana – Easy Pose:

A great hip and spine strengthening pose, it corrects your posture. It amplifies the tranquility and peace, eliminating physical and psychological anxiety and stress completely. If you have utter silence and an erect spine, this pose would be the best bet for indulging in deep meditation.

How to Do:

  1. Sit on your yoga mat, keeping the spine erect.
  2. Cross your legs in such a way that your right foot comes beneath the left thigh, and vice versa.
  3. Close your eyes.
  4. Stretch the hands out and allow them to rest on the thighs in Gyan Mudra.
  5. Focus on some invisible object or force that could hold your attention.
  6. Let go of all other thoughts. Hold the pose until you are completely at peace.

This will take a while, but it can be done.

5. Balasana – Child’s Pose:

A completely relaxing pose, it is also a gentle forward bend that allows better flow of blood to the brain. It is a relaxation pose that you can practice in between challenging poses.

How to Do:

  1. Sit on your yoga mat in Vajrasana.
  2. Spread out your knees at hips width, allowing your hands to rest alongside your body.
  3. Take a deep inhalation and then as you exhale, bend forward in such a way that your forehead could rest on the mat.
  4. Stretch your hands forward, aligning them along the ears, and let the palms face the ceiling, while your elbows rest on the floor.
  5. Make sure your tummy rests on the thighs.
  6. Indulging in deep breathing, stay in the pose until you finish a slow count of 30.
  7. Inhale and come back to Vajrasana.

6. Paschimottanasana – Seated Forward Bend:

Unwind your distracted mind with this basic, yet tough yoga pose. Along with de-stressing, it also gives your back a good stretch while massaging your abs. It improves digestion, eases PMS, and strengthens the kidneys, uterus, and ovaries.

How to Do:

  1. Sit on the mat in Sukhasana.
  2. Keeping the spine straight, stretch the legs to the front while your toes point to the ceiling.
  3. Taking a deep inhalation, lift your hands overhead, keeping your elbows straight.
  4. Fix your gaze on the fingertips while elongating the spine to the maximum possible extent.
  5. Taking an exhalation, bend forward from the thighs.
  6. Simultaneously, bring the hands down, trying to touch the toes.
  7. Bend your head and allow it to rest on the knees.
  8. Hold the toes and pull them backward until you feel a tingle on the hamstrings.
  9. Tuck your tummy in, and indulging in deep breathing, hold the pose for a count of 30.
  10. Exhale, release gently, and relax in Sukhasana.

7. Matsyasana – Fish Pose:

This is also a kind of inversion that allows better flow of blood to your brain, beating mood disorders and associated anxiety issues.

How to Do:

  1. Lie on the mat on your back, legs kept together, toes pointing to the ceiling, and hands alongside the body, palms beneath your butts, resting on the floor.
  2. Curling your tailbone, hug your elbows close to your side.
  3. Inhaling deeply, push the head along with the torso from the floor.
  4. Tilt the head slowly, allowing the lower region to rest on the mat.
  5. Keep your chest up by firmly pressing the elbows and hands on the mat.
  6. Indulging in deep breaths, hold the pose for a count of 30.
  7. Exhale, slowly release, and relax in Savasana.

8. Sethubhandasana – Bridge Pose:

Relax and unwind your back and chest while de-stressing your brain with this simple yoga pose.
How to Do:

  1. Lie on the mat on your tummy while your arms rest alongside the body.
  2. Taking a deep exhalation, raise your legs upward and straight as high as possible, keeping the knees straight.
  3. Stretch the hands backward as you lift your body up to your chest level.
  4. Indulging in normal breathing, hold the pose for a count of 20.
  5. Exhale, release, and relax in the starting position.

9. Viparita Karani – Legs Up The Wall Pose:

A great way to relax, this inversion pose gives an enhanced blood supply to the brain. This means your anxiety and stress will vanish, leaving you calm and composed. Just hold the pose for a minimum of 5 minutes to reap its benefits.

How to Do:

  1. Sit on your mat, close to the wall, aligning your left side along the wall while your knees rest on the chest.
  2. Gently, let your lower back rest on the floor.
  3. Simultaneously, stretch out the knees, straightening them in such a way that the legs can rest on the wall.
  4. With the elbows, keep the upper body supported from collapsing.
  5. Slowly and gently relax the lower back along with your elbows, allowing them to rest on the mat entirely.
  6. Stretch your hands outward to the sides, making a perpendicular with your body.
  7. Breathing deeply, hold the pose, closing your eyes, till you feel completely relaxed and refreshed.
  8. For releasing, bring the knees back to your chest and roll on to your right.

10. Anuloma Viloma Pranayama – Alternate Nostril Breathing:

A simple yet powerful breathing technique, it helps in the purification of the nervous system as a whole, paving way for better circulation. The result – your anxiety will nowhere be present near you. Do it regularly and you will start noticing the benefits within a few days.

How to Do:

  1. Sit on the yoga mat in Sukhasana or Vajrasana.
  2. Let your hands rest on the thighs in Gyan Mudra.
  3. Lifting the right hand, shape your palms into the Pranayama Mudra. [The right thumb will be used for closing your right nostril, while the right middle and ring fingers will be used to close your left nostril].
  4. Close the right nostril.
  5. Indulge in a slow and deep inhalation via the left nostril.
  6. Close your left nostril and hold the breath until you finish a slow count of 10.
  7. Open the right nostril, allowing complete exhalation.
  8. Now, inhale through the right nostril; close the right nostril completely, hold the breath until you finish counting 10, and exhale via the left nostril.

This completes one round. Do 30 such rounds.

Relaxation Pose:

Shavasana – Corpse Pose:

Relax yourself completely with this asana. Just do this if you do not have time for any other yoga asanas mentioned above.

How to Do:

  1. Lie down on the yoga mat in supine position.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Relax your body in such a way so that it resembles a corpse.
  4. Keep your thoughts clear, free from all other factors. The focus should be on your breathing alone.
  5. Stay in this pose until you feel completely relaxed and rejuvenated.

Surya Namaskar – A Wholesome Way To Bust Anxiety:

This is a complete sequence that you can do. Just 5 times a day – that is enough to keep you away from all the anxieties. It has other benefits too. Composed of 12 different powerful yoga asanas, 25 minutes of this cardio-cum-toning workout is a good stress buster. Hold each pose and indulge in deep breathing, and feel the relaxation creeping in.

Check out the picture below to understand how to do this.

A cup of warm ginger tea, a whiff of chamomile oil, or a book – all these can help you unwind, but the results are definitely short-lived. For long lasting, permanent results, you can always look forward to yoga.

Word Of Caution:

If you are suffering from any other health issues, please check with your physician before you embark on this journey with yoga.

What techniques have you tried to keep anxiety and stress away? Let us know. The space is right below

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