Anxiety is the most common mental illness, it effects about 40 million Americans. If you haven’t been diagnosed with anxiety chances are you still experience stress in your everyday life.
Practicing yoga is a great stress relief, with each breathe you feel your body let go of worry, tension, and anxieties. The focus yoga puts on the body helps give way anxiety to thoughts of mindfulness and peace.
Symptoms of anxiety disorder:
– You feel panicked, uneasy, or scared
– Frequent heart palpitations
– You have trouble sleeping
– Excessive worry
– Poor concentration
If you’ve experienced or are currently experiencing any of these symptoms make sure to let your family physician know so you can help get it under control; your not alone.
When anxiety finds its way to me I like to do a sequence of yoga poses. You may be thinking “how are yoga poses going to help me right now?!”, Yoga is a great untapped resource by a lot of people. The poses help by releasing stressors and anxieties with concentration on the body and breathing.
Giving your mind something other than your anxieties to focus on. If your willing give these poses a try and tell me how you feel afterwards. The outcome will be a welcomed relief and you’ll have a smile on your face once the sequence is finished.
I am in no way shape or form a doctor or a yoga instructor, I am sharing what I know to help me. If you’ve had or have back problems or shoulder problems do not try this without consent from your doctor.
Sit on your knees that are spaced shoulder-width apart. Take a deep breath and lower your torso down towards your thighs, extending your arms forward. Rest your forehead on the mat and breathe deeply.
you’re basically laying down with arms at your side, mentally the corpse pose can be difficult. The goal is to relax your mind as much as your body, so anxiety and stress fully leave.
Half Moon Pose
Start by bending your standing leg without lifting the back leg off the floor. Use your whole arm for balance as well, moving the weight of your body forward so it is directly over your front hand and foot. Stay there for a few breaths, allowing the intensity to build in the standing leg until you start to feel solid and stable. Then, press down through the ball and heel of the foot as you direct the center of your kneecap toward the toes. Be sure to turn and open the outer thigh enough to maintain that direction of the knee. Lastly, keep your leg steady as you revolve the shoulders, chest, and abdomen upward.
Half Standing Forward Fold
Begin in Standing Forward Fold with your hands or fingertips on the floor at the side of each foot. You can also rest your hands on your shins, or press your palms into yoga blocks at the sides of your feet. Inhale as you raise the front of your torso away from your thighs, straightening your elbows. Lift your collarbones and sternum away from the floor. Reach the crown of your head forward and your tailbone behind you. You can bend your knees slightly to help straighten the torso and spine. Press your fingertips or palms into the floor, to help lift and straighten your torso. Lift your head slightly and gaze forward without compressing the neck. Your torso should be straight. If your back rounds, bend your knees or place your hands higher until your spine is straight. Engage your quadriceps (the front thigh muscles) and draw them up toward the ceiling. Do not lock your knees; keep them slightly bent. Bring your weight to the balls of your feet. Keep your hips aligned over your ankles. Slightly lift and lengthen your torso with each inhalation. Hold the pose for up to one minute. Exhale as you release into standing forward fold. Repeat 5-10 times.
Legs Up The Wall
Lay with your feet against the wall, bottom touching as well, with your arms down to your sides. Take deep breaths to both center your mind and calm down.
Begin by lying on your back with arms at your sides. Slide your hands under your buttocks and keep them there. Then inhale and lift your upper back and head off the floor, pressing your forearms and elbows into the floor. You can keep your legs straight out in front of your, bend at the knee or the most complicated- folded like the Lotus pose. While in fish pose, take several breaths and lower torso and head back down.
Begin standing in Mountain Pose with your arms at your sides. Bend your knees. Balance on your right foot and cross your left thigh over your right. Fix your gaze at a point in front of you. Hook the top of your left foot behind your right calf. Balance for one breath. Extend your arms straight in front of your body. Drop your left arm under your right. Bend your elbows, and then raise your forearms perpendicular to the floor. Wrap your arms and hands, and press your palms together (or as close as you can get them). Lift your elbows and reach your fingertips toward the ceiling. Keep your shoulder blades pressing down your back, toward your waist. Square your hips and chest to the front wall. Draw your belly in and up. Gaze at the tips of your thumbs. Breathe smoothly and evenly. Hold for up to one minute, focusing on your breath and keeping your gaze fixed and soft. Gently unwind your arms and legs and return to mountain pose. Repeat on the opposite side.
If these poses worked for you then check out my bedtime yoga routine too. It helps curve the restlessness so your not anxious and you drift off to sleep in no time.