There are days where you just wish you could lay in bed for some time and even when you finally get up, you are paranoid as to going to your daily activities because you don’t know what the day holds for you.
You feel stressed and drained both physically and psychologically, you get random panic attacks which are caused by anxiety and in the process, you get depressed.
Depression is a kind of illness or situation that affects one’s mental capacity and often times, it is as a result of a happening.
Such happenings might be losing someone dear to you, a breakup or even rejections from people you love. Also, depression is caused by prolonged physical and mental stress. There will be a detailed review of yoga poses for anxiety and stress relief in this post.
Anxiety, on the other hand, is a mental disorder, mostly characterized by worries about the future and fear as to the present. Its symptoms include increased and high breaths, restlessness, obsessive thinking, social isolation and much more.
You may ask, “How can yoga reduce stress, anxiety, and depression?”
Yoga is an exercise that helps to calm the mind and reduce stress while staying in shape. It is also one of the best ways to handle depression and this is because yoga helps the body to produce hormones that lightens up the mood.
Yoga also increases the circulation of blood to the brain. Though there are medical ways to handle depression and anxiety, yoga is the safest option because it does not have any adverse side effects as opposed to medication.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient discipline that has been used by millions around the world for years as a way to relieve stress and anxiety. This is through posture and specific movements that brings forth the union of the spirit, soul, and body.
Depending on the teacher, yoga poses for anxiety and depression can be taught in several ways. Each pose has its unique purpose, and when correctly done, it can produce the most spiritual and healing results. Yoga is so potent that it is believed to heal certain diseases and provide diverse health benefits.
Benefits of Yoga
Many health experts recommend Yoga for many reasons. This includes its promotion of relaxation which causes fast relief from depression and anxiety, helping to sleep if you suffer from insomnia, and much more.
Other Health Benefits of Yoga:
- Improves digestion and Circulation,
- Relieves arthritis, back, and legs pains,
- Weight Loss – Burns body fat and tones skin,
- Increase testosterone and fertility,
- Enhances the kidney and liver,
- Strengthens the thighs, knees, and legs,
- Stretches and tones the hamstring, calves, bums, and hips,
- Provides relief from menstrual cramps and symptoms of menopause,
- Relaxes the brain, thereby relieving stress.
How Yoga Poses for Anxiety and Depression Works
Yoga stretches your body and stimulates various hormones in the body. Also, it heals the nervous system and the stretch help to calm your mind and relaxes your body. During stretching, your body seems to release all of the pent-up tension that is trapped in your muscles.
Also, the healing of your nervous system helps to release happy hormones called endorphin. This hormone binds to the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain.
Endorphin also triggers a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine, so that you are left feeling happy with anxiety, and depression kept at bay.
Yoga Poses For Anxiety and Stress Relief
What You’ll Need:
There are only 3 basic pieces of equipment you’ll need for Yoga Exercises. And the great thing is, they’re all relatively cheap to buy on Amazon and they’re multi-purpose, meaning you can use them for a variety of different workouts and exercise routines beyond this one.
A light workout gear; I get all of my Women’s Workout & Training Pants from Amazon for less than half the price (the quality, price, and prints are awesome) A gym timer (free apps are available for download), and A floor mat to lay on the floor. If you’d like to get these workout gears, you can purchase from Amazon.
1. Bridge pose (Seth Bandhasana)
The bridge pose is a type of yoga for depression, anxiety, and stress relief. It relieves a tired back and strengthens the back muscles. It also gently eases off tension, making the body light.
- Lie down on the floor on your back, keep your arms on the floor on both sides with your palms facing down.
- Lift your legs and fold them at the knees. Ensure the ankles and knees are in a straight line. Gently spread your feet apart in inches.
- Lift your back off the mat gently and slowly, resting your body on your arms and legs. Stay in that position for some seconds.
Note: Your thighs should be raised equally and your chest must not touch your chin.
2. Child pose (Bala Asana)
This is one of the yoga poses for anxiety and stress relief. It works by calming the nerves and releasing the muscles of the spines.
- Kneel on your hands and knees while spreading your knees apart. Inhale gently as you do this and make sure stretch your toes to make your toenails touch the floor.
- Bend forward while stretching your arms and trunk forward. Make sure your forehead touches the floor. Hold this posture for 30 seconds.
3. Upward- Facing Dog pose (Urdhva Mukha Dhanurasana)
This pose is one of the most effective yoga poses for anxiety and stress relief because it helps to improve blood circulation in the body. It helps to relieve any ache or stress in the back by awakening the muscles in the back and also gives the feeling of general wellness.
- Lie on the floor with your body facing down. Keep your legs some inches apart.
- Place your palms near your chest on both sides, still facing down.
- Straighten your arms and legs while lifting your torso off the floor.
- Press the top part of your feet to the ground and lift your head straight and facing upwards, shoulders apart and raise your chest.
4. Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
The downward facing dog pose stretches the neck, the cervical spine and helps the free flow of blood in the body. It also helps digestion and strengthens the abdominal muscles.
- Bend your knees with your palm facing down.
- Align your elbows and knees and push your hips upward forming a reverse V with your body.
- Your hands should be spread apart and your legs apart with your toes pointing straight.
- Press your hands to the ground and straighten your neck. Stare at your navel while in the position.
5. Shoulder stand (Salamba Sarvangasana)
Shoulder stand as one of the yoga poses for anxiety and stress relief should not be done by people with neck or shoulder problems. Also, if you are having your monthly flow or if you have a high blood pressure do not attempt the pose. The pose balances and nourishes the nervous system.
- Lie on your yoga mat. Make sure to support your neck and shoulders with your stretched arms.
- Breathe out, bend your knees and lift your legs up to your chest level. Press your hands to the floor and support your back with your hands.
- Raise your hips and thigh into the air and straighten it out as you stretch.
- Align your elbows and fingers into your back as much as possible making sure you’re straightly stretched.
- Stay in this position for 5-7 minutes.
6. Standing Forward Fold pose (Uttanasana)
This is the simplest of all yoga poses for anxiety and stress relief. It helps to lessen back tension, neck, and shoulder and it calms the nervous system to reduce anxiety.
- For this yoga for depression exercise, stand straight and place your arms by your sides.
- Then place your arms on your hips and bend forward at the hips.
- Ensure your head and chest touches your thighs then bring your hands down and hold your ankles from the back, keeping your thighs in a straight position.
7. Plow Pose (Halasana)
The plow pose helps to enhance one’s posture while reducing the stress trapped on the back. It keeps a headache and insomnia in check and it calms the brain and gives it a good stretch.
- To do this pose, lie on your back, lift your legs 90 degrees off the floor, then support your hips by placing your hands on your hips.
- Raise your hips towards your chest and bring your legs down slowly and take them over your head and touch the ground firmly with your toes.
- Straighten your thighs and make sure they don’t touch your head.
- Remove your hands and straighten them out.
- Place them on the ground with your palms facing downward.