Anxiety can be very difficult to cope up with. Anxiety disorders are often accompanied by panic attacks which makes the individual live a life of persistent fear and low self-esteem. While medication can alleviate symptoms of anxiety, it can’t cure the underlying problem and is not a long-term solution. Not to mention the side-effects. Hence, the individual has to find different coping mechanisms in order to keep anxiety at bay.
Practicing yoga on a regular basis can bring down the levels of anxiety. With yoga, anxiety can be controlled to a point where it’s not a prevalent issue for you. With anxiety, our mind is constantly dwelling on the past or the future. Yoga trains our mind to come back to the present moment – the only moment that we should care about. The yoga asanas mentioned below are simple poses which are specifically meant to combat symptoms of anxiety.
3 Simple Yoga Poses for Anxiety
1) Child’s Pose (Balasana)
If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, then you are surely familiar with this pose. Child’s pose is a simple yoga asana which is usually practiced before or after a strenuous yoga session to calm the mind and body. It’s considered the resting pose and it can be practiced independently in order to release anxiety and reach a state of calm and relaxation.
- Sit on the floor on a yoga mat.
- Begin the session in Vajrasana (the thunderbolt pose), keep your spine erect, and gently close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths.
- Now slowly bend your body forwards toward your thighs and let your forehead touch the ground.
- Place your arms adjacent to your feet with palms facing upwards. Relax completely. Make sure you’re comfortable in this pose before moving ahead.
- Now take long, deep breaths. Inhale deeply and exhale completely. If it helps, when you’re inhaling, count to 4, and count to 6 when you’re exhaling.
- Continue to practice for 5, 10, or 15 minutes as per your convenience. Once you’re done with the practice, return to Vajrasana and slowly open your eyes.
2) Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
Apart from alleviating anxiety, legs up the wall pose can also ease back pain, lower high blood-pressure, and help cure insomnia.
- Roll up your yoga mat about halfway and place it directly at the wall.
- Sit with your left or right side as close to the wall as possible.
- In one smooth movement, swing your legs up on the wall and rest your head and shoulders on the mat.
- Slowly ease your self forward until your buttocks touch the wall. You can either rest your arms on the side with palms facing upwards or you can rest them on your stomach.
- Now gently close your eyes and relax.
- Focus on your breath. Inhale deeply and exhale completely. Be in this pose for 10 minutes or longer as per your convenience.
3) Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
By practising this asana, you promote concentration and awareness, helping your mind focus on the present moment, thereby lowering anxiety.
- Stand with your feet together and find composure in tadasana (the mountain pose). Breathe deeply and find comfort, steadiness, and firmness in tadasana.
- Shift your weight onto the right foot. Bend your left knee and place the sole of your left foot on the inner right thigh.
- Gaze forward to help you balance.
- Lift your hands in prayer.
- Be in this position for 3-5 deep breaths or prolong it to 10 breaths if you’re comfortable in this position.
- Exhale deeply and bring your left leg back to tadasana. Repeat on the other side.
Watch this instructional video to help you with the technique:
Practice these 3 simple asanas whenever you feel anxious or stressful. You can also try Pranayama to help you combat anxiety. Once you’re comfortable in these asanas, you can move on to more advanced yoga asanas which can further reduce your anxiety levels. We’ll discuss these asanas in our next article. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to leave your comment.