Great news! I found out that my fractured elbow has healed and I can officially go to the gym again! I’m excited to go back to yoga classes. (My favorite studio in NYC is Yoga to the People.) This post from Plated shows a few yoga poses that are particularly helpful for decreasing stress and anxiety.
Americans are stressed. It feels like we all have too much on our plates (no Plated, pun intended). Fortunately we know that exercise helps protect us from stress and anxiety. Yoga especially can focus your attention on the present, take your mind away from the frenetic state of worrying, and improve your overall mood. We’ve cut to the chase and compiled 11 simple yoga poses that are known to reduce stress and anxiety.
1. Easy Pose: Start with something easy. Focus on your breath in this pose and sit still with a straight spine for at least 60 seconds.
2. Child’s Pose: Kneel down, then bend forward with your arms stretched forward or by your side. Gently rest your forehead on the floor and draw long, deep breaths as you feel stress and anxiety subside.
3. Legs-Up-On-Wall Pose: Modern yogis will tell you: This pose can relieve tired legs and feet, and ease mild backaches.
4. Transition Pose: Hug your knees to your chest and roll three times on your back so your spine feels a sensation. Rock with momentum so you land crouching on your feet. Next, place your hands down under your shoulders and jump the legs back, then bringing your hips up into down dog.
5. Seated Forward-Bend Pose: Though still basic, this pose is slightly more challenging. Keep your toes pointed up and bend toward your knees. This will stretch your hamstrings, spine, and lower back.
6. Puppy Pose: Easier than it looks, this pose can help counter our tendency to crouch and slouch the shoulders when holding stress in the body.
7. Cat Pose: Slow down and focus on your breath with the cat pose, which soothes and massages the spine. Try arching and rounding your back 10 times in a row while deeply inhaling and exhaling.
8. Cow Pose: Place your wrists directly under your shoulders, and your knees under your hips to get into this pose, which gently stretches out your back.
9. Head-to-Knee Forward Bend: Here, you reach both arms out for the extended foot. Some practitioners say this pose helps relieve anxiety, fatigue, headache, menstrual discomfort, and insomnia.
10. Bridge Pose: Reduce anxiety, fatigue, backaches, stress, headaches and insomnia with this one.
11. Corpse Pose: This pose is about total relaxation and putting your body completely at ease.
Featured Image via Downtown Rob