9 Yoga Poses for Anxiety and Depression | Pranayama for Anxiety

yoga poses for anxiety and depression

Our aim is to spread awareness of yoga. In this article, you will learn information on the best yoga poses for anxiety and depression.

A feeling of unease, apprehension, worry and agitation can be regarded as anxiety. Looking from a psychological point of view, the American Psychological Association (APA) defines anxiety as an “emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increase in blood pressure.”

To feel or be anxious is completely normal and is moreover, necessary for survival. But, when a person starts to feel anxiety at disproportionate levels, it may end up harming one’s mental health and peace.

Stress, on the other hand, is a mental or emotional factor which causes tension to the brain and body. Most of the time, stress is caused from adverse or demanding circumstances. It’s the body’s reaction to any sort of change that requires adjustment or response. It usually is a normal part of life.

Anxiety and Stress are actually related to one another. Together, they can be a really harmful source for disturbing a person’s mental health. The effective solution to this problem will be discussed in this blog.

Causes of Anxiety and Stress | Yoga poses for anxiety and depression

Anxiety and Stress are two different things. Anxiety, being the state of nervousness and apprehension and stress, being the emotional and mental factor leading to anxiety.

Anxiety and Stress can be caused by a number of factors which can be classified in two categories:

Internal Factors: The feelings and those thoughts which pop up in one’s head and immediately cause tension and a feeling of uneasiness, come under internal factors i.e., not affected by any external force but, by oneself. Unrealistic expectations which lead to uncertainty and low self-esteem created by negative self-talk and inferiority complex tend to be the most common cause of stress and anxiety.

External Factors: Some events or situations may tend to affect a person quite hard and may lead to the feelings of Anxiety and Stress. Major life changes, such as, death of a beloved, divorce, etc., work or school, family, financial difficulties, relationship incompatibility are some common factors that tense up a person.

Symptoms of Anxiety and Stress | Yoga poses for anxiety and depression

Anxiety and Stress is quite common and normal and is usually, self diagnosable. Symptoms include:

  • Behavioral changes i.e. irritability or restlessness
  • Unwanted thoughts, lack of concentration, major self-deprecation and low self-esteem
  • Fatigue or sweat and an increase in heart rate
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive worry, fear, panic or feeling impending doom

Why Yoga Poses for Anxiety and Depression?

  • Anxiety and Stress hampers the mind and body of a healthy person. Yoga turns out to be just the perfect exercise as it is a mind-body practice.
  • It combines controlled breathing and meditation to physical poses which help in relaxing the body as a whole.
  • Yoga helps in reducing the blood pressure and heart rates.
  • Provision mental peace is satisfied by doing Yoga.

9 Best Yoga Poses for Anxiety and Depression

Following are the best yoga poses anxiety and depression. All you need a calm mind, dedication, and a yoga mat to perform it:

1. Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana) | Yoga poses for anxiety and depression

This pose act as a healer to our body encouraging us to enter into meditative state. Butterfly Pose helps one to stay grounded in moments of anxiety as it encourages internal reflection.It is known as the Butterfly pose because the movement of the legs during the posture appears to be like a fluttering butterfly. This posture is also called as the Cobbler Pose because it is similar to the sitting posture of a cobbler working.

Steps

  1. Try to maintain a straight posture while sitting on the floor
  2. Bring your feet closer to the pelvic area and join your ankles
  3. Free your knees and let them touch the surface of the ground
  4. Try to and maintain balance
  5. Hold your toes with your hands
  6. Inhale and exhale
  7. Do it for 3-5 minutes

Benefits

  • A good stretch for the inner thighs, groins and ankles
  • It assists in intestine and bowel movement and also removes fatigue from long hours of working
  • It provides relief from menstrual discomfort and menopause symptoms
  • It also helps in smooth delivery if practiced constantly until late pregnancy

 

2. Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana) | Yoga poses for anxiety and depression

A great posture for beginners, Extended Triangle Pose is particularly thought to elevate and remove anxiety and stress. Energy feel can be equally distributed by tilting helping one feel calmer and one feel much more balanced.

Steps

  1. Stand on your feet
  2. Make wide gap between your feet
  3. Now bend on to your either side while on hand touching your feet and another hand in air parallel to the other hand
  4. Try from other side as well
  5. Exhale the air and relax

Benefits

  • It is believed to strengthen thighs, calves, ankles and knees
  • It enhances the abdominal organs, hamstrings, hips and groins
  • It relaxes the brain and helps in getting rid of stress, fatigue and tiredness
  • It is very effective in relieving symptoms of menstruation, sciatica, infertility and flatfeet
  • It regulates the flow of blood and cures blood pressure and diabetes very efficiently
  • It helps you in keeping your joints protected thus making them strong and supportive

 

3. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) | Yoga poses for anxiety and depression

An inversion which is powerful enough to open up space around one’s heart, the Bridge Pose allows one to think and focus more clearly. It manages anxiety, depression and insomnia. Bridge pose considered as an assessment pose as well as a tremendous therapeutic pose. If done appropriately and consistently it has the most noticeable benefits.

Steps

  1. Lay down on the floor
  2. Bend your knees
  3. Put your feet on the floor
  4. Raise your hip and then your back gradually upwards
  5. Inhale and try to maintain balance
  6. Exhale and relax

Benefits

  • It creates space between your vertebrae and relieves pressure on the disks
  • It is believed to strengthen back, glutes, legs and ankles
  • It opens chest, heart and hip flexors
  • It outstretches the chest, neck, shoulders and spine
  • It calms the body and alleviates stress and mild depression
  • It triggers organs of the abdomen, lungs and thyroid
  • It cures fatigue and indigestion

 

4. Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana) | Yoga poses for anxiety and depression

A rather difficult pose, Half Moon Pose is believed to encourage a calm and soothing energy to enter one’s body and helps to relax. Major benefits of this pose being better posture and improved self-esteem.

Steps

  1. Stand in triangle pose.
  2. Now stretch your arms in opposite direction
  3. Now, bend on one side touching your hand to your feet and your other hand parallel in air making an arc of 180 degree
  4. The leg must be raised in air making an angle of 90 degree with the hand in air
  5. Try from the other side
  6. Come back to triangle pose and relax

Benefits

  • Performing it significantly will benefit your ankles, knees and legs
  • It will strengthen your abdomen, buttocks and spine thus helping you in building am erect posture
  • It alleviates backpain and supports thighbones
  • It is useful in getting rid of stress, anxiety and mild depression
  • It is effectively fruitful in maintaining a good metabolism and equilibrium
  • It helps increase self awareness and assists in dealing with mood swings in  a better manner

 

5. Legs-Up-The-Walk Pose (Viparita Karani) | Yoga poses for anxiety and depression

A pose that helps in calming a busy mind. There are two variations to this pose. The first variation being the classic which helps to regain a sense of calm. The second variation uses a bolster and gives some physical benefits.

Steps

  1. Keep your back faced towards the wall
  2. Lie down
  3. Now, raise your legs by supporting your hips from hands and balance them on the wall such that they are parallel to the wall
  4. Keep in mind your body below abdomen should be perpendicular to the wall
  5. Do it for 2-3 minutes and then relax

Benefits

  • It regulates the blood circulation and keeps you fit and fine
  • It is believed to cure menstrual cramps and also alleviates swollen ankles and varicose veins
  • It fixes the reproductive problems like testicular, ovarian and semen issues in men and women
  • It stretches out the legs, neck and feet and also improves eye-ear problems
  • It is effective in treating mild depression and insomnia
  • It calms the brain and rejuvenates the human body

 

6. Camel Pose (Ustrasana) | Yoga poses for anxiety and depression

A great pose to deal with emotions, the Camel Pose helps one to literally, lift up the weighing down anxiety and stress. It works as a stamina booster and also inculcates a fresh and good feeling about oneself.

Steps

  1. Sit down on your knees and make some gap between your both feet
  2. Now, stretch backwards and try to touch your ankle with your hands
  3. Make sure your chest lifts up
  4. Do it for atleast 1 minute then relax

Benefits

  • It expands the spine and strengthens the bones and muscles
  • It detoxifies the body and improves digestion, appetite and excretion of food
  • It also acts on the endocrine glands effectively
  • It eradicates diseases related to ovaries, pineal glands, etc
  • It also relaxes the mind and enhances your concentration
  • It increases your thought process innovatively and assists you in maintaining a healthy lifestyle

 

7. Cow Pose (Bitilasana) | Yoga poses for anxiety and depression

It organizes your system in a well efficient manner. Unwanted anxious thoughts clouding the brain and thus, making a person feel low could be a hamper to health. Cow Pose can help to connect to the breathing and thus, feel calmer.

Steps

  1. Start on your knees and hands in a ‘tabletop’ position
  2. Now, inhale and let your belly sink towards the floor
  3. Lift your head to look straight forward
  4. do it for 2-3 minutes then relax

Benefits

  • It facilitates the movement of joints and supports your bones and muscles
  • It helps in maintaining proper coordination of your mind and body
  • It establishes an emotional balance and helps in dealing with stress quite significantly
  • It stimulates various glands and internal organs and strengthens your neck back and spine
  • Performing it regularly will relieve you from stress and fatigue thereby calming your mind

 

8. Cat Pose (Marjaryasana) | Yoga poses for anxiety and depression

It is typically practiced by switching between Cat and Cow Pose to open up and then relax one’s back and open the stimulated core. It is a soft backbend that loosens up the spine by stretching the back of the torso thus releasing tension in the neck. This asana has many strong health benefits for the mind, body, and soul. It’s one of those poses that helps you find freedom in the body instantly.

Steps

  1. Press your palms on the floor
  2. Touch your knees to the floor
  3. Attain a tabletop position
  4. Straighten your back and hips
  5. Inhale and keep calm
  6. Stretch your neck and look upwards
  7. Exhale slowly and calmly
  8. Return back to the tabletop posture

Benefits

  • It’s one of those poses that helps you find freedom in the body instantly
  • This pose improves the flexibility of your muscles and allows you to prepare for more complex poses
  • Cat pose will gently warm up your body for almost any session
  • It is also part of perinatal yoga as it tones the reproductive organs in women

NOTE: If you are pregnant avoid unnecessary abdominal contractions while doing cat pose.

 

9. Tree Pose (Vriksasana) | Yoga poses for anxiety and depression

This pose requires full concentration and thus, helps in switching off one’s busy mind. The Tree Pose helps in feeling more in control of one’s emotion and helps in releasing serotonin, also known as “happy chemical”. Performing it significantly will enhance your determination and your ability to focus in all areas of your life.

Steps

  1. Stand straight with your ankles and knees joined together
  2. Give more pressure on right foot
  3. Raise your left foot a bit
  4. Try to touch your inner right thigh with left foot
  5. Stretch your hands above you and keep them straight
  6. Inhale fresh air and keep calm
  7. Exhale and relax

Benefits

  • It expands the thighs, groins, thorax and shoulders
  • It works upon your strength of ankles and calves, and highlights the abdominal muscles
  • It is believed to facilitate a meditative state of mind and relaxes the brain and soul

Conclusion

This article aims to spread awareness of practicing yoga poses for anxiety and depression by playing a trifle role. These 9 Yoga Poses help in coping with anxiety and panic attacks and help to connect the body and the mind beautifully.

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