Use these three yoga poses to reduce anxiety while working on the body and mind to counter panic and restore tranquility.
1. Child’s pose
This pose is so simple and easy that even those with no background in yoga can do it and find relief from anxiety when necessary. To do the child’s pose, sit on your shins with your rear end resting on your feet underneath you. Lean forward until your chest rests on your knees and your head touches the floor in front of you, then take eight to 10 deep breaths. The position of the head below the heart increases blood flow to the brain, and the stretch that happens in the lower hips and back immediately relaxes the entire body.
2. The shoulder stand
Inversions are one of the most commonly practised yoga poses, and all of them provide anxiety relief by quickly stimulating blood flow to the brain, requiring mental concentration, and controlling breathing. Headstands and handstands may not be achievable for beginners, especially when an anxiety attack is coming on. In such a case, the easy shoulder stand will do the trick just as well. To do a shoulder stand, place a pillow under the head and neck for support and then use the hands and arms under the back for support to bring the legs and torso up above the head. Balance the pose and count eight to 10 deeps breaths to stimulate deep circulation that will quickly mediate anxiety.
3. The pigeon pose
The pigeon pose reduces anxiety by directly targeting an area of the body where stress, tension, worry and other anxieties are stored: the hips. To do the pigeon pose, get on your hands and knees and then place the knee of one leg on the floor so that the ankle comes to the opposite wrist. Extend the other leg out behind you and then stretch the body forward over the bent leg. If done right, you should feel an intense stretch deep in the ball socket of the hip joint, which is a feeling that brings up emotions for many people. Breathe deeply and hold the pose for eight to 10 breaths.