It is a given that there will be times where we feel anxious, stressed or overwhelmed about events happening in our life. Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults or 18.1% of the population every year. Yoga, however, can ease the stress and anxiety we feel. Try these simple and effective yoga poses to help ease your anxiety levels and bring balance to your day.
Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose or Viparita Karani
Place your half-rolled mtt perpendicular to the wall and place both legs up parallel to the wall with your bottom on the mat. Close your eyes and stay in the position for at least five minutes. This pose helps relieve stress, lower back pain, menstrual cramping, reduce insomnia, and lowers blood pressure.
Child’s pose or Balasana
Start on your hands and knees, hands being directly under your shoulders and legs hip-distanced apart. Slowly bend forward, resting your stomach and torso on your thighs, and your forehead against the mat. This yoga pose is great to relieve tension in the back, neck and shoulders where most people hold all their stress. Also, this pose can immediately bring balance to your body.
Standard Forward Bend or Uttanasana
Start with your feet together or feet hip-distanced apart. Then raise your hands overhead, and then hinge forward from your hips and fold forward down to your feet. This pose is very beneficial because you can practice almost anywhere, and it also relieves tension in the upper back, shoulders, and head.
Cat/Cow pose or Marjariasana/Bitilasana
Start in a table top position with hands under your shoulders and your knees below your hip bones. Inhale and lower your belly, draw your shoulder blades together and open your chest (cow pose). Exhale; press your palms to the mat and round out your back and draw your shoulder blades apart (cat pose). These poses stretch the lower spine, hips, back and core muscles.
Bridge Pose or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet planted on the mat hip- width apart. When you’re ready, have your palms press into the matt and raise your pelvis upward. This pose aids in bringing oxygen-rich blood to the brain which calms you down.