Nothing compares to the serenity, joy, and relaxation you can feel after practicing yoga. Many first-time yoga practitioners are shocked to discover how elevated their mood is following a yoga session.
Serotonin boosts make us feel happy after a workout. Serotonin boosts mood. Unfortunately, people suffering from depressive disorders often have low serotonin levels.
Yoga is different from other types of exercise. Yoga is a more relaxed type of fitness, distinct from modern, intense workout classes. As a result, yoga gets our blood pumping. It improves our mood while also lulling us to sleep using meditation and breathing exercises. Yoga is a fantastic option for people who suffer from anxiety because of this approach.
Although there are many yoga poses, some are better for dealing with anxiety and depression. In this article, we will discuss some poses that you can use in your practice to improve your mental health.
When you are practicing, it is essential to breathe deeply and steadily. It will help you stay calm during difficult times. It is necessary to do this during your yoga practice to stay grounded when things get tough.
Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
Easy pose is the classic position for meditation. You sit on the floor with your legs crossed and your spine straight. This pose can help you regain the confidence to deal with anxiety, depression, and chronic stress.
When you stand like this, your spine is connected to the earth. It makes you feel deeply grounded and stable. The symmetry of this posture also centers on you. It helps you overcome anxiety and feel that nothing can throw you off balance.
Perfect posture can help you feel better mentally and physically. Sitting tall with an ideal posture gives you a sense of clarity, confidence, and strength.
Here’s how to do an easy pose:
- Sit cross-legged on a yoga mat.
- Align your torso with your hips, maintaining a straight and firm spine.
- Extend your tailbone.
- Back and down with your shoulders.
- Place your hands on your knees.
- Take deep, relaxing breaths while closing your eyes.
- Pay close attention to your heart.
- Stay as long as you like.
You may repeat a mantra or watch your breath as you sit comfortably. Both of these are lovely ways to keep your mind clear.
Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
If you have explored yoga, you probably know the downward-facing dog pose. This pose is standard because it is advantageous for the spine, arms, shoulders, and legs. It also boosts cerebral blood flow. You may feel more energized and intelligent, making it easier to deal with stressful or anxious situations.
Follow these steps to perform downward-facing dog:
- Get down on your hands and knees, flat on the ground.
- Press your toes into the ground to lift your hips.
- Stretch out your arms and legs.
- To raise, push on the floor with your hands on your hips.
- Your body should assume an inverted V position.
- It is acceptable to bend your knees if your legs feel tight.
- After a few breaths, gently release the stance.
rdhva Mukha Svnsana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose)
Another great way to deal with anxiety and depression is the upward-facing dog pose. This position opens your heart, helping you release any pent-up emotions. It also helps to balance your respiratory system, giving your heart and mind clarity.
Follow these steps to perform the upward-facing dog pose:
- On your yoga mat, lie flat on your stomach.
- Keep your feet’s balls looking up, and your toes pointed down.
- Place your palms down around your shoulder blades on the mat.
- Press into your palms to elevate your upper body while gently rotating your spine.
- Keep your shoulders back and lift your chest and head.
- Stretch the entirety of your body from head to toe.
- Take a few long breaths here before releasing the posture gently.
Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana)
Shoulderstand is an outstanding yoga pose for relieving anxiety and depression. Like a downward-facing dog pose, a shoulder stand increases blood flow to your brain, which helps you to feel more clearheaded and balanced. It’s vital to mention that if you have neck or shoulder difficulties, high blood pressure, or are menstruation, you should avoid this pose.
That being said, here’s how to make a shoulder stand:
- Lie on your yoga mat; arms spread alongside your body.
- Bend your knees and raise your legs to your chest.
- Raise your bent legs over your head by pressing your hands into the floor.
- As you move your hips closer to your head, place your hands on your back to support yourself and straighten your legs.
- Continue to press your palms into your back; imagine your body becoming long and straight.
- Take a few deep breaths before gently relinquishing the stance.
Standing Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana)
You might know this pose as standing forward fold. It’s when you touch your toes. This pose is good for removing tension in your neck, shoulders, and back. It also sends blood to your brain. This stance can make you feel fantastic!
Here’s how to go about it:
- Hold your hands at your sides and stand tall.
- As you lean forward, place your hands on your hips and gently bend your knees.
- Try bending your knees more if your chest does not meet your thighs.
- Grab your ankles with your hands down.
- Stay still for a few breaths before softly rising.
Child’s Pose (Balasana)
The child’s pose is one of the most tranquil and pleasant yoga stances. When you are in this pose, you can feel the support of the ground beneath you. When you are anxious or sad, it can provide you with comfort. Aside from being soothing, a child’s pose helps to release tension in your spine and soothe your nerves.
To do the child’s stance, do the following:
- Kneel on your mat, big toes touching, and knees slightly wider than hips.
- Bend forward and stretch your arms and chest forward.
- With your arms spread over your head, place your head on your mat or a blanket.
- Take deep breaths here for as long as you like before gradually returning to your sitting position.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
The name of this pose might be scary, but it’s one of the most gentle and easy poses. It’s great for controlling your mind and freeing yourself from stress, anxiety, and depression. This pose can also invite clarity into your experience.
This pose can be challenging because it is hard to keep your mind focused. However, if you focus on your breath or a mantra, you can stay in the pose longer and feel more calm and blissful. This pose is frequently done towards the end of your yoga session to integrate the energy and insights gained.
Steps to corpse pose:
- Lie down flat on your back.
- Place your arms a few inches out from your body on the ground.
- Turn your palms upward.
- Maintain a modest split in your knees and toes pointing outwards.
- Keep your eyes closed and let all your muscles relax, beginning with your toes, ankles, shins, calves, thighs, left knee, right knee, and so on, until you’ve relaxed every part of your body.
- Continue to breathe slowly and deeply from your abdomen when relaxed.
- You may stay as long as you like.
- When you’re done, roll onto your right side for a second before rising.
Many yoga poses can have a positive effect on your mental health. If you struggle with mental health issues, we recommend finding a studio that is best for you and attending as often as possible. The yoga will make you feel good, and the sense of community in the studio can give you the social support you need to feel better.
Read more: How to Relax With Yoga
Frequently Asked Questions About Yoga Poses For Anxiety
Is Yoga Good for Anxiety and Panic Attacks?
Yoga can help ease the body and also help with anxious thoughts. Negative thinking patterns and worries are common for people who have panic disorder. They can use meditation, visualization, and focusing on breathing to let go of anxiety and fear.
What Exercises Get Rid of Anxiety?
Research shows that aerobic exercise can benefit people suffering from chronic anxiety. A simple bike ride, dance class, or brisk walk can be a powerful tool for these people.
How Does Yoga Release Anxiety?
Experts believe that yoga helps reduce anxiety by reducing the number of stress hormones in the body. The body releases hormones that cause stress during the fight, flight, or freeze. This kind of reaction can make you feel anxious.