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10 Best Yoga Poses for Stress and Anxiety

There is nothing as good as the bliss, tranquillity, and relief that comes after a good yoga session. Yoga cheers and improves one’s mood by increasing the serotonin levels in your brains. 

Serotonin is one of the neurotransmitters that makes you feel better. Sadly, it is often scarce in people suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression. 

Yoga is a physical exercise that comprises different breathing techniques, body poses, and meditation. According to studies conducted by Harvard, yoga poses help with stress, anxiety, depression, and soothes your mind and improves your energy, overall health, and well-being. 

With our lifestyle taking a drastic turn, many people suffer from bouts of anxiety and other mental health issues. Yoga has a calming effect on the body, and many yoga poses.  

There are hundreds of yoga poses, but certain poses are surprisingly good for stress, anxiety, and depression. In this guide, You just need a perfect yoga mat, which brings in some comfort and makes it beneficial. We will discuss some yoga poses that you can practice for good mental health. 

Yoga and its connection to mental health By Nikolai Blinow

Here are the best yoga poses for stress and anxiety:

1. Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

Sukhasana yoga pose infographic

This is a classic position for meditation. You might think this is not a yoga pose, but a sukhasana or easy pose is a powerful pose for regaining the confidence that you need while dealing with chronic stress, anxiety, and depression. 

This pose helps you feel grounded. The symmetry counters you. These two factors make it a great pose of yoga for anxiety as you will feel grounded, and nothing can knock off your balance. 

Moreover, it is a great yoga pose for depression as sitting tall with perfect posture gives you a sense of confidence, clarity, and strength. 

As you practice this Easy Pose, you can recite some mantra or simply concentrate on your breath. These are excellent methods of keeping your mind clear.

2. Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Downward Facing Dog - Adho Mukha Svanasana yoga pose
Source: yogauonline.com

If you are even a little familiar with yoga, you might be aware of the downward facing dog pose. This pose is quite famous for all good reasons. 

Along with stretching your spine and strengthening your shoulders, legs, and arms, this pose also increases your brain’s blood flow. 

By increasing blood circulation in the brain, you will feel more energetic and will experience mental clarity. This makes it an excellent yoga pose for stress and Anxiety. 

3. Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Ūrdhva Mukha Svānāsana)

how to upward facing dog yoga pose

Another great yoga pose for Anxiety and depression is upward facing dog pose. This pose helps you get rid of any pent up emotion in your chest by opening your heart. 

It also aids in regulating the respiratory system and brings clarity to the mind and heart. This pose is also beneficial for improving posture, strengthening arms, spine, and wrist. It stimulates the abdominal, is therapeutic for asthma, and helps relieve fatigue and mild sciatica. 

4. Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana)

how to shoulder stand yoga pose

Shoulder stand is an excellent yoga pose for stress, anxiety, and depression. Just like a downward-facing dog pose, this pose also increases the blood flow to the brain. This helps in getting mental clarity and balancing the emotions.

Please note – do not try this pose if you have shoulder or neck problems, high BP, or are menstruating.

5. Standing Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana)

how to Standing Forward Fold Pose - Uttanasana

This is the most common yoga pose. I bet you are familiar with this. Uttanasana is simply touching your toes. 

This yoga pose is best for releasing tension in shoulders, neck, and back. It directs the blood flow towards your brain, and regular practicing makes you feel great. 

6. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

how to Balasana - Child Pose
Source: stylecraze.com

This is one of the most comforting and restorative postures. In this pose, you are grounded, and you can enjoy immense comfort. 

It gives you a sense of being supported by the earth and gives you an excellent emotional comfort. This is a great yoga pose for Anxiety and depression. 

This pose also aids in releasing tension in the spine and calms the nerves. 

7. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

how to corpse pose - Savasana
Source: verywellfit.com

This pose is the most easy, comforting pose in yoga. It helps control your mind and free you from anxiety, stress, and depression while bringing clarity to your mind. 

While physically, it is easy, mastering the mental aspect of this pose is challenging. By focusing on a mantra or your breathing, you can unlock the deep state of bliss and calmness. 

This pose is always performed at the end of a yoga session as it allows you to harmonize all the energy that you have cultivated during your session. 

8. Tree pose (Vrikshasana)

how to tree pose - Vrikshasana
Source: diyayoga.com

Balancing oneself like a tree requires full concentration and helps switch off your busy mind. Once you master this pose, you will feel strong and steady and will feel more in control of your emotions. 

This posture helps in releasing serotonin, the “happy chemical”!

9. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

how to bridge pose - Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Source: gymguider.com

Bridge pose opens up the space around the heart. It gives you space to focus and think more deeply and clearly. 

This is great yoga for Anxiety. It is very beneficial for the nervous system. It is soothing, calming, and great for toning down the stress. 

Fresh oxygenated blood is pumped to the brain, which helps manage depression, insomnia, and stress. 

10. Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana)

Butterfly - Baddha Konasana yoga pose

Butterfly pose is a relatively simple pose that makes you feel grounded when you are anxious. This pose encourages internal reflection and helps you focus on your breathing. 

This pose encourages you to go to a meditative state and gives you meditative healing power. 

Most Common FAQs about Yoga and Anxiety

Does yoga help with anxiety and stress?

There are various uncomfortable physical symptoms when you experience anxiety and stress, such as tightness, tension, and pain sensitivity. Yoga poses help ease these discomforts caused due to Anxiety. Yoga poses, also known as asanas, work to lengthen, stretch and balance the muscles. Along with physical discomfort, yoga also helps with anxious thoughts. Regular practice of yoga relaxes your mind and body and helps in gaining a sense of ease and calm. 

What type of yoga is good for Anxiety?

A concise answer is, any type of yoga! Yoga is very well known for its benefits in calming down the mind and body. It all comes down to your general preference and what makes you feel comfortable. The most recommended type of yoga for Anxiety is Vinyasa flow, also known as hath flow and Restorative yoga, also known as Yin yoga or gentle yoga. Other not-so-popular but very effective yoga types that are good for Anxiety are Bikram yoga and Aerial Yoga. 

What is the 333 rule for Anxiety?

When you are in the middle of feeling stressed or are having a panic attack, it is important to bring yourself back to the present instead of throwing your mind in negative thoughts. One of the best ways to stay in the present is to follow the 333 rule. Whenever you feel anxious, simply look around and name three things you see, three things you hear, and three things you feel (parts of your body). Whenever you feel your brain is running 100 miles per hour, this trick will help you bring yourself back to reality and make you feel grounded, help center your mind and live the present moment instead of stressing about the future. 

Does Anxiety go away with time?

If you suffer from anxiety, you might wonder if it will go away with time? Well, to be honest, Anxiety won’t vanish forever. It is like any other feelings like sadness, frustration, anger, happiness, love, etc. Just like you can not get rid of any of those emotions from your mind, you can not eliminate Anxiety from your brain. However, the good news is that with time, you can learn to manage your anxiety better. One of the best ways of managing Anxiety is to practice yoga asanas. Yoga has been proved to be beneficial for anxiety, stress, depression, panic attacks, and other mental disorders. 

Conclusion

Along with these yoga poses, many other yoga asanas have benefits on mental health. If you struggle with stress and anxiety, we recommend joining a yoga class and practicing yoga. 

All the above mentioned yoga poses for stress and anxiety will make you feel better and are easy to practice. We wish you good luck on your healing journey!

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