10 Yoga Poses for Stress & Anxiety
Practicing yoga is not only an effective stress reliever but also a way to ease symptoms of anxiety. By transferring focus and attention to the body and breath, yoga can help to temper anxiety while also releasing physical tension. Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting roughly 40 million adults nationwide, or about 18 percent of us.
The following yoga poses are organized into a sequence that can be practiced together in this order, or individually on an as-needed basis to help alleviate stress and anxiety. Remember to focus on your breath as you move through the poses. Closing your eyes may also help you relax and go within to achieve a more meditative state.
This sequence is primarily designed for beginners, with the exception of the headstand. If your practice is more advanced, try mixing in some standing balancing poses like Eagle Pose, Half Moon Pose, and Tree Pose. Try holding the standing pose for 30-60 seconds on each side. These poses can alleviate stress and anxiety by forcing us out of our monkey mind to focus on the present moment.
Yoga is a practice, not a competition. Start where you are and proceed with caution. To avoid injury, listen to your body and don’t push further than feels good.