These 6 Simple Yoga Poses Can Help Ease Your Anxiety
Anxiety is no joke. Over 40 million Americans suffer from it, myself included.
Sometimes, anxiety is caused by a long, stressful day at work, a tense conversation with a family member or nothing at all.
From exercise to deep breathing and adult coloring books -- there are tons of ways to cope with anxiety. And one super simple, quick fix is yoga.
Before you declare you don't have the time, energy or patience for yoga, you should know you can do most of these poses in your bed.
Doesn't that make it sound more appealing? I thought so.
Without further ado, here are six easy yoga poses to help you calm down.
Start standing upright, looking straight ahead. Slowly hinge forward at the hips. Don't worry about touching your toes; you can even bend your knees a bit if you want to. Once you get there, just hang and breathe deeply. If you want to get even more relaxed in this pose, grab opposite elbows.
Start with a neutral spine. Slowly drop your belly, arch your back and look up. Take a few breaths before shifting back to neutral, and then curve your spine upward so you're looking at your thighs. Repeat this five times, and you can say "goodbye" to all that tension in your back.
There's something about curling up in a tight, little ball that does wonders for anxiety, and Child's Pose is exactly that. Start on all fours, and bring your knees apart and toes together. Slowly bring your butt toward your feet and rest with your arms extended, or bring your arms alongside your legs.
Extended Puppy Pose
Even though Downward-Facing Dog is supposed to be a restorative pose, it can be a little strenuous on the legs, back and arms. Enter Extended Puppy Pose: a modified version of Downward-Facing Dog that's a lot more relaxing. Start on all fours, extend your arms in front of you and bring your butt toward your heels slightly but not all the way (that'd be Child's Pose). Take five deep breaths.
An anxious mind leads to tight hips, and Pigeon Pose is a perfect way to stretch them out. Start in a Downward-Facing Dog, then lift one leg slightly before bringing your shin parallel to the front of your mat. This can be tough with tight hips so just do your best. It's OK if your shin is at a bit of an angle. Take a moment to adjust your hips. Sit upright before crawling your palms forward, dropping your head and relaxing your neck.
Standing upright all day certainly takes its toll on the body, and Legs Up the Wall is a great way to get the blood flowing in a different direction without the added stress of trying to balance in a headstand or handstand. For this one, all you have to do is find a wall, scoot your butt as close to the wall as possible and extend your legs upward. Hang out here for as long as you'd like -- just don't forget to breathe.
Get ready to say "om" and "so long" to your anxiety.