It’s difficult to avoid feeling overwhelmed by stress amid a pandemic. Anxiety alleviation requires a lot of mental strength, and yoga can help you develop that strength while keeping you grounded in reality.
Check out the Yoga poses below to help you cope with anxiety and maintain mental stability.
Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
The mountain pose gives the body a grounded feeling and a strong sense of self by placing both feet firmly on the floor.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart on your mat. Legs’ energy should be strongly rooted in the mat.
- Feel the ribs lift off the pelvis as you rise out of the waist.
- Keep your arms by your side and soften your shoulders away from your ears.
Legs Up The Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
The inversion nature of Viparita Karani has a relaxing impact on the nervous system. It affects the flow of prana and calms the mind’s disturbances. As we slow down and ‘be’ in the position, the relaxation response (parasympathetic nervous system) is triggered in the body/mind. To increase the relaxation reaction, use this stance with conscious breathing.
- Stretch your legs by placing your mat against a wall.
- Place your buttocks as near to the wall as possible. Curl to one side first, forcing your hip into the wall, and then pivot when your legs can stretch straight against the wall.
- With your hands facing up, relax your arms at your sides.
- Use an eye pad or close your eyes (scented is great). Concentrate on your breath to clear your mind.
- Take a few deep breaths here: 5 counts in, 5 counts out. Allow yourself to release tension in this pose by holding it for as long as you like. Here, your heart rate usually settles down quickly.
Tips: Use a bolster under your hips to help elevate them if it’s difficult to keep your back on the floor with your legs up. You might also play some soothing music or listen to nature noises.
Child’s Pose (Balasana)
By folding within oneself and establishing a secure place, forward folds tend to soothe the nervous system. It also extends the back of the body, making room for more relaxing, deeper breaths.
- Get down on your hands and knees and touch your big toes to begin. Legs should be hip-distance apart and hands should be directly underarms.
- Exhale as you bend forward, your torso resting on or between your legs, your forehead resting on the mat. Press onto your hands while maintaining your sitz bones on your heels and your arms extended.
- Keep this position as long as you need it. When you’re finished, use your hands to gently elevate your chest and sit back on your heels.
Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
This position stretches the sides of the torso, allowing for larger, deeper breaths in the diaphragm. It also helps a lot in the relaxation of the shoulders and the mind.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart on your mat.
- Fold your legs over and hinge from your hips. To avoid any lower back pulling, bend your knees as far as you need to.
- Allow the crown of the head to lie parallel to the mat by holding opposite elbows.
Butterfly Pose Variation (Tarasana)
Butterfly Pose stretches your low back, hips, and inner thighs, which can relieve pain and make you feel better overall. It can also have a calming, relaxing effect, which may aid anxiety and release negative energy.
- Sit on your mat and stretch your legs out in front of you, pressing your feet together. After then, pull them away from your body.
- Allow your spine to round by gently folding forward.
- If you have a neck strain, drop your head towards the heels or a stacked block.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
This is the easiest pose to accomplish physically, but the hardest to perfect mentally and spiritually. Savasana is a traditional resting pose in which your entire body melts into the firm earth beneath you. This basic pose invites you to surrender completely and let go of any sense of control or resistance, leading to a meditative state.
- Lie down on your mat, arms by your sides, palms up, legs relaxed, and feet turned toward the mat’s edges.
- If your lower back is causing you pain, place a pillow under your knees to help support it.
- Relax your face by closing your eyes and letting go of any stress.
- Deep breathing exercises should be practiced until you feel completely calm.