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5 Yoga Poses for Relieving Anxiety
Many people find significant relief from the symptoms of anxiety by practicing yoga. Whether you want to get through life feeling a little less nervous or you’re exploring various methods for dealing with a more serious condition, yoga can help.
While there are specific yoga poses you can focus on that have a powerful calming effect, it’s important to keep in mind that just having a yoga practice is a big first step. You may start noticing results starting with your first sessions. That’s because yoga encourages you to breathe deeply and smoothly instead of using the choppy and shallow breathing that tends to occur when your body tenses up. Yoga also trains your mind to focus on your breath and your practice instead of dwelling on distressing thoughts that only serve to reinforce your anxiety.
While you can feel good knowing that any time on the mat will probably be helpful, these are 5 poses that are especially beneficial when you feel anxious. As an added advantage, some of them can be done inconspicuously so you can even practice them while you’re working at the office or waiting for a flight:
Mountain Pose (Tadasana): The standing pose that’s the foundation for all postures teaches you how to center. Stand with your feet together, your weight evenly distributed, and your thigh muscles engaged. Lower your arms alongside your body with your biceps and palms facing forward. Keep your neck relaxed and stretching upward. Try to keep the front, back, and sides of your body aligned and parallel.
Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana): Open your hips and calm your nervous system with bound angle pose. Sit on the floor and draw your feet in toward your pelvis so the soles of your feet press together, and your knees drop off to each side. Hold on to your lower body wherever it’s comfortable, which may be your big toes or the sides of your feet or your ankles or your shins. Bend forward from the hips without crunching your lower back. It helps to think about aiming your chin past your feet rather than touching your head to the floor.
Corpse Pose (Savasana): It looks easy, but it’s an advanced lesson in letting go. Lie on your back with your shoulders relaxed, your heels spread wide, and your arms at your side. Try alternately tensing and relaxing each body part to see where you hold onto stress, and how you can release it.
Wide-Legged Forward Bend Pose (Prasarita Padottanasana): From mountain pose, place your hands on your hips, and spread your legs wide apart. Turn your toes in if needed to keep your feet parallel to each other. Exhale and start bending forward. Stop halfway and place your palms on the floor shoulder-width apart. Keep your back relaxed, and keep your legs stretching up so your weight rests back over your heels. If possible, place the crown of your head on the floor so it’s supported. If you don’t reach that far, use a prop like a block or a blanket to support your head.
Legs Up a Wall Pose (Viparita Karani): Sit on the floor facing a wall. Shift your feet to the side, and bring your buttocks as close to the base of the wall as possible. Then, swing your legs up the wall, inching your body in closer if you need to so that your legs are fully supported. Close your eyes and relax. Stay for at least 10 minutes or as long as you want.
For even greater relief, you may want to try combining your practice with other safe and effective options. One good place to start is learning more about cannabidiol, also known as CBD.
THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FDA AND ARE NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT OR CURE ANY DISEASE. ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE STARTING A NEW DIETARY SUPPLEMENT PROGRAM
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