8 Yoga poses to overcome Anxiety and bring Calmness
Sometimes, it’s the outside environment that brings negativity and stress in us and other times, it comes from within by overthinking and imagining all the worse possibilities leaving us feeling overwhelmed and anxious.
When our mind loses control of our thoughts, it leads to distraction from the present moment, feeling lost and even helpless otherwise if we had self-awareness then surely we won’t put ourselves consciously through brain clutter thoughts and mental stress.
Think about it, Whenever you feel anxious or restlessness, where it comes from? Did it arise from the present moment? or did it arise by thinking about the past or worrying about the future? Chances are it’s the latter.
So how can we escape that endless overthinking and anxious thoughts?
It’s simply by being mindful, bringing ourselves to the present moment and living it to the full extent. Cut off the chain of such negative thoughts by quickly moving your body and indulging in Yoga postures that will calm your nervous system and bring self-awareness.
Here are the few Yoga poses to release stress and helps to overcome anxiety and mental stress:
I will start with my favourite, Ragdoll pose. It’s a great posture to release anxiety and stress. It helps to shift your lost thoughts to a still mind. It’s also beneficial to release any tension in the neck and shoulder.
Stand tall with your arms at your side. Take a deep breath as you lift your arm up and over your head. As you exhale, fold over your legs until you feel a stretch in your hamstring. You also have the option to bend your knee if your muscles are too tight. Hold your opposite elbows with your hands and let your head and neck hang heavy. You can shake your head “Yes or No” to release any tension.
Now breathe in and out and hold the pose until you feel calm and mindful.
One of the effective variation to unwind your body and cool down your nervous system. It stretches your hips, thigh and ankles. It creates a feeling of comfort in our mind which slows down our thought process.
Start with a tabletop position by coming on your hands and knees. Your knees will be directly under your hips and your hand will be directly under your shoulder. Take a deep inhale and as you exhale, shift your weight back and place your hips on your ankle. Your toes touching each other with your knees spread wide. Extend your arms in the front and place your forehead on the mat or ground.
Now, Breathe long and deep. Try to shift your focus from anxious thoughts to your breath. Match your inhales to your exhales.
This Posture is a heart opener as it stretches your chest and shoulder. Opening our chest along with a backbend gives a very different sensation as it’s not usual for our body to open up like that. Whatever is holding you down, release it from your heart and imagine a white light coming through while in this pose. You will feel calm and light.
Stand your knees with arms by your side. Place your hands on the lower back for support.
Take a deep inhale as you shift your hips forward(as much as you can) and lean backwards. Once settled, Try to reach for your ankles to deepen your stretch and backbend. Let your head and neck hang heavy and Breathe. Let go of all the tension and negativity, just Beathe full and deep.
To come back in a normal position, shift your hands from ankles to lower back for support and gently come back to the neutral position.
Just by breathing right and deep, you reward your body with a sense of calmness and focus. Anulom Vilom is a very powerful yet simple breathing technique to stop anxious thoughts.
Sit with your legs folded with your hands resting on your knees. place your right hand’s thumb to the right side of your nostril and take a deep inhale from your left nostril, and then slowly exhale from your right nostril. Now, take another deep breath from your right nostril and exhale from your left nostril.
Keep this going until you feel in a better mind of state and calm.
Cat’s and Cow Pose
Cat’s and cow pose helps to release all the tension in your body. It not only open our chest but our back as well. When we stretch our body and move with a flow, it not only shut our mind but keep our anxious thought distracted as we shift our focus to move our body to release the rigidity in our body.
Start by coming on your hands and knees with your knees under your hips and hands under your shoulder. As you inhale, lift your head and tailbone toward the sky by arching your back, letting your belly hang loose. This is Cow Pose.
As you exhale, round your spine up towards the sky, pulling your belly up towards your spine. Tuck your chin on your chest and release your neck. This is a cat’s pose. Do a few rounds of cat’s and cow’s until you feel the heat.
A Pose that can’t be done without a focused mind. It builds your balance and tests it as well. It’s important to bring our attention to the present moment when we are feeling helpless, worried and stressed. To break that negative chain of thoughts that are keeping you distracted and panicked.
Stand tall with your arms at your side. If you are starting with your right leg, shift your weight to the left leg; lift your right leg and place your feet on your left thigh. Now, raise your hands up and over, palm touch; prayer position.
You can select one object in front of you and concentrate as it brings stillness to your body. Breathe in this pose and maintain your balance.
Head to Knee Pose
A seated forward bend lengthens your spine and relaxes your shoulder, head and neck. A few deep breaths in this posture soothe your central nervous system, making you calmer and bringing you to the present moment.
Start with a seated position and your legs extended. Bend your right knee and place the right foot against the left inner thigh or against the side of the knee, whichever is comfortable for you. As you inhale, extend your arms overhead and as you exhale, hinge from your hips and fold forward while maintaining a long spine. You can rest your hands either on the floor or on your legs. Hold that pose for a few minutes and breathe deep. Relax your upper body on your torso. Switch side and repeat.
Savasana is my preferred posture to meditate and relax at the end of my practice. In Savasana, you keep the body immobile and focus on your breathing. Observe your environment, your body. Let go of the thoughts which brings nothing but negativity, anxiety and only steal your present moment.
To begin with, Lie down on a flat surface with your legs separated, your palm facing the sky. Find a comfortable position in this pose with your eyes closed. Keep your body still and quiet. Breathe slowly and deeply. Match yours inhales to your exhales. Bring your mind to stillness and if anytime you find yourself distracted, shift your attention to breathing, how your chest rise and fall with each breath
If you are curious about Yoga and might be drawn to welcoming it into your daily life. Give this post a chance to convince you: