Anxiety is generated by the mixture of fear, worry, agitation and discomfort, factors that are caused by the innumerable interactions present in our daily life, both in the professional environment and in social activities and even in the family context. But, in fact, it is not exactly the situations that cause us anxiety, but the way we react to them, with all the concepts, ideas and opinions that are created in our mind.
Epithet, in Ancient Greece, had already reflected that “men are disturbed not by events but by their opinion of events.”
So before we change the world and the whole system that oppresses people, especially in big cities, we can change ourselves , and the way we interact with the outside world. This is a way not only to heal and strengthen ourselves but also to participate in a greater transformation, which concerns our whole environment.
The contribution of yoga in this context of combating anxiety and daily stressis quite rich and powerful. There are yoga postures that are particularly useful in this process, being able to relieve and even cease some types of anxiety. In addition, with yoga and meditation you will experience a gratifying sense of inner peace, as well as empowering yourself with unending energy and unique mental clarity. You will embrace love, joy and kindness.
To relax with yoga, and keep stress and anxiety far away, try these 10 postures that are listed below.
10 yoga postures to relieve anxiety
1 – Stork’s Pose (Padahastasana)
Benefits: Reduces tension in the shoulders, neck and back. Align the spine and legs. It helps in the digestion and the solution of gastric problems. Blood flow to the brain improves, unclogging the mind, providing clarity of thought.
How to do it: Stand, leaving your hands resting on each side of the body, feet and heels together. Keep the spine straight. Inhaling deeply, raise your hands up. Exhaling slowly, bend your body forward … keeping your gaze on your belly button. So the neck is loose. Let the palms of the hands rest on the floor or at least the tips of the fingers should touch the toes.
Hold for 10 deep breaths.
2 – Posture of the Extended Triangle (Utthi Trikonasana)
Benefits: Increased flexibility and strengthening of the legs and hips, elongation of the spine, waist and trunk, in addition to the expansion of the rib cage and the work of balance and concentration. Calms the nervous system; indicated for cases of tachycardia and hypertension, reduces pain in the lower back.
How to do: Keep your legs apart, about 5 spans. Rotate your right toes out about 90 degrees. The heel of the left foot rotates, forming a 45 degree angle to the right foot.
The legs are active and the weight of the body distributed between the two legs. The iliac crests are parallel with the shoulders (Pay attention to the alignment of the trunk). Raise your arms at shoulder height and with a side bending hold the right leg in the area of the shin or touch with the fingers or palm of the right hand on the floor. The left arm is raised toward the ceiling. The look accompanies the hand that is above
The tendency in this posture when there is stiffness in the buttocks and back leg musculature is to raise the waist and do a lateral flexion of the spine giving the false impression of greater elongation and depth of posture (since the hand seems to touch the ankle with ease). Conquer the posture gradually.
Stay between 5 to 8 breaths and then repeat to the other side.
3 – Dog Posture Looking Down (Adhomukha Svanasana)
Benefits: This posture comes with a multitude of benefits. Whether it’s toning the belly, developing joint flexibility, stretching the back muscles of the legs and the entire length of the spine or just to stop a moment of anxiety, this pose offers everything.
How to do: Stand erect, stand upright. Let your hands rest along your body. Take a deep breath and as you exhale (let the air out), bend your body forward, placing your palms on the floor, shoulder width apart (for this you can bend your knees).
Your face should be down with your eyes fixed on the ground. Stretch your legs, placing – one at a time – backwards, spreading shoulder width apart. It should be lined up your hands and feet. Do not bend your knees and elbows.
Inhaling deeply, keep your abdomen in. Hold the posture for a count of 15 breaths.
4 – Half Arch Stance (Ardha Chakrasana)
Benefits: Releases this extra tension from your back. Expands the rib cage and promotes the elasticity of muscles associated with breathing, increasing lung capacity. It stimulates the energetic, nervous and endocrine system completely and the hormonal promoted by this posture contributes to the prevention and treatment of some cases of depression, infertility and impotence.
How to do: Keep your feet together. Rest your hands at the waist; your thumbs should be pointing toward your spine. Delivering yourself to a deep breath, lift your hips, to the maximum possible level. The ideal level would be until you feel a small tingling in the spine. They remain in this posture for a count of 10 breaths … slow, see?
Taking a deep exhalation and then inhaling, descend slowly to the starting position.
5 – Posture Reclatched angle (Baddha Konasana)
Benefits: One of the restorative postures. Helps undo tension in the shoulders and pelvis; promotes crotch opening, helping to increase the flexibility of the region. Because a hardened hip can cause back pain as well.
Stretch and tone inner thighs, knees and groin. Restores your energy levels.
How to do it: Sit down, position the ischia (buttock bones) firmly on the floor, join your feet and relax your groin, lift the trunk and position the back of the skull aligned with the region of the sacrum (spine and head aligned).
6 – Posture of the Tweezers (Paschimottanasana)
Benefits: “The psychic effects is the increase of self-confidence, because there is the opening of the hip, feeling of self-control, of lightness, energy and awakens humility.” Plans of Professor Hermógenes in his book: Self-Perfection with Hatha Yoga. The Yogis call it the “Source of vital energy.”
The stretching posture of the back facing. In extreme pushups, air penetrates the lungs with some force the air is able to stimulate the … .. Inspiration and exhalation increase abdominal (heat) fire, aiding in the purification of internal organs. The liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys play an important role in clearing blood, which is vital for good health. A fresh supply of richly oxygenated blood to the abdominal area, where all illnesses begin, keeps the organs clean, healthy, and strong. This posture also acts in a beneficial way on the vagus nerve and heart.
How to do: We start sitting, legs elongated. Inhale and raise your arms. Release the air and slowly lower your torso by going against your legs (remember: each one at your limit!) Arms are relaxed at the side of the legs, feet point up, legs together, let’s relax the shoulders. Deep breathing … We are in this posture for at least 10 breaths (the sky is the limit). We return inhaling, unrolling the spine, bringing the head last and before raising the head turn the shoulder back, if necessary to lie flat on the floor and embrace the knees.
7 – Posture of the Child (Balasana)
Benefits: This posture helps relax the neck, shoulders, upper back tensions. In addition, it can help soothe the nervous system through steady and conscious breathing.
How to do it: Kneel on the floor and sit on your heels. Allow yourself to lean forward and relax. You can rest your chest on your thighs or you can spread your knees to the sides, keeping your feet together and lower your torso toward the floor. Your arms can be stretched forward or back.
8 – Seated Column Twisting Posture (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Benefits: Relieves tension of the thoracic spine. Strengthens the muscles of the abdomen and back;
Indicated in cases of constipation. By regular practice of this posture, the severe pains in the back, lumbar and hip will disappear quickly. Shoulder pain and shifting shoulder joints are relieved.
How to do: Sit comfortably, keeping your hips aligned, without lifting the hips off the floor; Extend your right leg (or bend at the knee and rest it on the floor); Flex the left leg, passing it over the left leg, which is extended (or support the left foot passing over the right knee, which is flexed and supported on the floor);
Take your right hand up to your left knee, bringing your left leg up close to your abdomen; Align your shoulders; Support the left hand (behind you) close to the hip and aligned with the spine and look back over your left shoulder;
Support by completing the palm of the hand on the floor, to gain ease in spine alignment and twisting. Try to use the knee as a lever to tighten the spine and raise the spine by allowing stretching between the vertebrae of the spine; Keep breathing slow and gentle, as your lungs will be limited by twisting;
Stay for 10 breaths and return slowly, inhaling deeply and undoing the twist carefully. Do the same process to the right side.
9 – Easy Posture (Sukhasana)
Benefits: Sukh means “easy, comfort, joy, happiness”. This posture reinforces the hip and spine, correcting your posture. It amplifies tranquility and peace, eliminating physical, psychological anxiety and stress completely. If you can remain in absolute silence and your spine erect, this posture would be the best way to start meditation.
How to do it: Sit down, placing a folded blanket under the bones of the butt (ischia). Cross your legs. Stretch your spine well and place your hands on your knees. Close your eyes and relax and breathe naturally, close your eyes and feel your body as a whole. Keep it that way, naturally … resting for 5 to 10 minutes. And when it comes to thoughts, memories … turn your attention to the breath
10 – Posture of the corpse (Savasana)
Benefits : Allows practitioners to relax, helping to slow down breathing and, in turn, lowering blood pressure.
How to do it : It sounds simple, but it makes all the difference if you follow step-by-step: Start by pouring into a free space. If necessary, you can modify this posture by placing a folded blanket under the head, a cushion behind the knees, etc. Put your arms and legs loose out at a 45-degree angle allowing your feet to relax to the sides and palms up. Perceive and relax each part of your body, focusing your attention on the following order: toes, legs, hips, spine, belly, arms, shoulders, neck, forehead, eyes, tongue and jaw and focus on your breathing.