How many of us have to deal with stress on a daily basis due to some wild number of pressures put on us? Workload at the office or home can lead to stress or anxiety and this in turn can cause other major health issues. Yoga is not only a great physical stress reliever, but also calms you down mentally. Yoga for anxiety is rapidly becoming more popular as it is an exercise for both the mind and the body, and if practiced regularly, the stress relief will be quick and surprising.
yoga for anxiety
A yoga sequence from an experienced teacher is often planned out in a logical succession of postures to help you alleviate your stress and anxiety levels. Poses generally start slow and easy as a nice warm up, preparing both you body and mind for the class ahead of you. Then as the class continues, the postures ramp up and demand more concentration and focus. Remember throughout the class that the focus of all yoga poses should be on your breathing technique. Get into a meditative state and slowly you will feel a sense of calm.
This awareness and deliberate sense of consciousness is the key ingredient that yoga has for anxiety and what separates yoga from other activities like going to the gym. In the gym, many people just watch themselves lift weights in the mirror. In yoga you bring your awareness inside to help deal with stress both inside and out.
yoga for stress relief
Many yogis have treated yoga as one of the most beneficial ways to relax your mind and body for a long time now. Yoga has become very popular in time and people of all ages are practicing this form of exercise for various health problems or just for their overall well being.
Yoga has many styles and forms. At Evolation Yoga, we focus mainly on the primary hot series and an adaptive sequence of postures for our flow classes. We also introduce people to the world of yin yoga and more advanced styles. If you are looking particularly at stress management, then you should stick with hot yoga, flow yoga (often called vinyasa) or yin yoga; all of which are excellent classes of yoga for anxiety. You may see studios list their “hatha yoga” classes as well. Hatha yoga is an umbrella term that means the yoga you are practicing has an arrangement of physical and breathing exercises. Hot, flow and yin yoga are all styles of yoga that can also be classified as hatha yoga.
You can see the full definition of hatha yoga from the medical dictionary here:
“Hatha yoga is the most widely practiced form of yoga in America. It is the branch of yoga which concentrates on physical health and mental well-being. Hatha yoga uses bodily postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation (dyana) with the goal of bringing about a sound, healthy body and a clear, peaceful mind. There are nearly 200 hatha yoga postures, with hundreds of variations, which work to make the spine supple and to promote circulation in all the organs, glands, and tissues. Hatha yoga postures also stretch and align the body, promoting balance and flexibility.”
Hot, flow and yin yoga are some of the favorite forms of yoga for beginners who are new to this way of exercising their mind and body. The slower pace and their relaxing movements suit them best. Yoga by the end of the day is all about your personal preferences. Everyone should try including some or the other forms of yoga in order to maintain good health.
There are some simple poses in yoga that go a long way in helping you get relief from stress and anxiety. Let us look at some of them:
some poses in the primary hot yoga sequence
tadasana / tree pose
Grounding yourself and engaging every muscle from your toes to the tippy-top of your head is a wonderful way to unite your whole body and bring yourself together. Tree pose is often used in a yoga sequence due to its stress relief qualities. Standing up tall, raising the crown of your head to the sky, opening the front side of your body, and engaging every muscle you have are all ways to help reawaken your body and gain confidence.
pavanamuktasana / wind removing pose
You need to simply lie on your back and round your back slightly by grabbing your legs just under the knees with your hands. As you pull the knees down to your chest, you will be able to feel the blood flow and all the muscles stretching out well in your back and hips. This asana, similar to happy baby, is one of the defining postures used in yoga for anxiety classes.
bhujangasana / cobra pose
The next pose is yet another rejuvenating way to take away the blues. Lying on your stomach and raising your head off the floor and balancing your weigh on your hands. This can give you immediate relaxation and calm you down gradually. This pose is very easy to perform and can be done at the comfort of your couch.
savasana / corpse pose
The final, and most important pose, in the hot yoga sequence is savasana. This is the most neutral position your body can be in, meaning you are exerting the least amount of energy for the most amount of circulation benefits. This position is known to calm your mind and body at the same time, especially at the end of an intense hot yoga class.
common flow poses include
tadasana / mountain pose
Just like tadasana (tree pose) this is a powerful and engaging pose in which you are strengthening every muscle, straightening your back, and growing tall. All of which brings your entire body into a sense of unity. Some stress relief benefits of this posture also relate to savasana pose. Mountain pose, as well as corpse pose, are some of the only times in life where your body is completely straight and neutral. This instances, while maybe short, give your body and stature a fantastic boost.
gomukhasana / cow head pose
This posture begins by first getting into a comfortable position like Vajrasana. You just need to get onto your knees and bend backwards by touching the heels. You will feel the stretch in your spine and slowly you will begin to feel relaxed. Variations of this posture allow you to bring your arms together behind your back to relax the shoulders and arms. This posture again can be tried out in a leisurely manner. This pose can be later followed by the shashankasana which is basically a forward bending variation.
yoga for you
Whichever posture (or set of postures) works best for you, yoga poses for anxiety will help your body slow down for a while and creates a good avenue for you to concentrate on your breathing. The actual asanas help release tension in many ways. Yoga is nothing but a mind-body practice that is a culmination of the physical poses along with controlled breathing and meditation.
Yoga is the perfect activity for people who want to lessen their stress levels, get a solid workout in, and enjoy some quality personal time. While taking a class at a yoga studio is a wonderful environment for growth, not everyone has time each and every day to make it. These few postures above are a solid stress relieving routine when needed in a pinch.
Don’t allow stress to get the best of you!