Yoga poses for Anxiety: The 13 Best Yoga Poses for Anxiety

Best Yoga Poses for Anxiety, combines exercise with meditative movements and makes it a great way to reduce anxiety.

The ability to be present in each yoga poses for anxiety can help you quiet negative mental chatter and boost your overall mood.

Does Yoga Poses for Anxiety Really work?

Well, research suggests that it does very effectively.

The compared research result found that yoga significantly reduced feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression.

Additionally, a study from 2017 found that even a single session of hatha yoga was effective in reducing stress from an acute psychological stressor. [1]

A task or event that prompts your immediate response, like a fight-or-flight reaction is a psychological stressor.

Moreover, in this study, the stressor was a math task. And,  after doing a video-instructed yoga session, participants experienced reduced blood pressure and reported increased levels of self-confidence.

The 13 Best Yoga Poses for Anxiety

Best Yoga Poses for Anxiety are usually arranged in an order that flows from pose to pose. Moreover, it’s all about what feels best for you.

So here is the list of  13 Best Yoga Poses for Anxiety…

1. Tree pose or Vrikshasana

This Yoga for Anxiety is a classic standing pose that helps you to focus inward, quieting racing thoughts.

Additionally, it also works on your abdominals, psoas, quadriceps, and tibialis anterior muscles.

Yoga instruction

  • To start, come to standing position, 
  • Now, keep your weight on your right foot and slowly lift your left foot off of the ground.
  • Then gently turn the sole of your left foot toward the inside of your left leg.
  • Get it on the outside of your left ankle, calf, or thigh.
  • Avoid pressing your foot into your knee; it should be pressing against your thighs.
  • Now get your hands into a prayer position and stretch it all the way above the head.
  • Hold this pose for 1- 2 minutes and repeat on the opposite side.

See, also… Best yoga poses to relieve bloating.

2. Triangle pose or Trikonasana

This energizing yoga poses for anxiety, can help ease tension in your neck and back. 

Moreover, it works on the internal oblique, latissimus dorsi, hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus maximus, and medius muscles.

Yoga instruction

  • To begin, come to a standing position with your feet wider than your hips.
  • Now get your left toes forward and your right toes in at a slight angle.
  • And now lift your arms to extend out from your shoulders and make your palms face down.
  • Get extend of your torso forward as you reach forward with your left hand.
  • Now, hinge on your hip joint to bring your right hip back and get your left hand to your leg, the floor, or a block.
  • Gently stretch your right arm up toward the ceiling.
  • Keep your gaze in any comfortable direction.
  • Hold this pose for up to 30-120 sec and then repeat the opposite side.

3. Downward facing dog pose or adho mukha svanasana

This yoga for anxiety is known to generate lost energy due to fatigue or when you are exhausted.

In addition, it softens the calcaneal spur, eradicates stiffness in shoulder blades, and relieves the shoulder, abdominal, and thigh muscles.

Yoga instruction

  • Start by Lying down on your mat keeping the stomach and face down and maintaining the distance of legs one foot apart.
  • Put your palms next to the chest fingers pointing toward your head.
  • Now, as you breathe out, press your palms down to raise your body up.
  • Very gently move your head inwards and simultaneously walk your legs forward to bring your body in an inverted “ V” shape.
  • And make sure your legs are stiff and knees are not bent and your feet parallel to each other.
  • Breathing deeply, hold the pose for 45-90 sec.

4. Standing Forward Bend or Uttanasana

This restorative yoga poses for anxiety is a standing pose that may help relax your mind while releasing tension in your body.

Moreover, it works on spinal muscles, hamstrings, piriformis, gastrocnemius, and gracilis.

Yoga instruction

  • Begin with, Standing on your feet, keep a hip-width distance between them, your hands on your hips.
  • Now, breathe out as you hinge at the hips to fold forward, keeping a slight bend in your knees.
  • Get your hands to the floor or rest them on a block.
  • Now, tuck your chin into your chest.
  • Release all the tension of your lower back and hips, make sure that your head and neck should hang heavy toward the floor.
  • Hold this pose for 30-90 sec.

5. Hero pose or Virasana

Now, this yoga poses for anxiety is a seated posture and can help you find your center. Additionally, focusing on your breath may help you find ease in the stillness of the pose.

Moreover, it also works on the quadriceps, erector spinae, knee muscles, and ankle muscles.

Yoga instruction

  • To start, get into a kneeling position, remember knees should be together, and your feet should be slightly wider than your hips.
  • Now, place the tops of your feet flat on the floor.
  • You can use a cushion or block under your buttocks, thighs, or calves if this feels uncomfortable.
  • Now, place your hands on your thighs.
  • And sit up straight to open your chest and lengthen your spine.
  • Hold this pose for 2-4 minutes while breathing deeply.

6. Child’s pose or balasana

This yoga for Anxiety is a relaxing pose and may help ease stress and fatigue. Moreover, it also works on rotator muscles, gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and spinal extensors.

Yoga instruction

  • Start with a kneeling position, and sink back onto your heels.
  • Now, fold forward, walking your hands out in front of you.
  • Get your torso to fall heavy into your thighs, and rest your forehead on the floor.
  • And ,keep your arms extended forward or rest them alongside your body.
  • Hold this pose for 3-5 min while breathing normally.

See, also…Yoga for Emotional Health.

7. Extended Puppy pose or Uttana Shishosana

This heart-opening yoga poses for anxiety stretches and lengthens the spine to relieve tension. And, also works on erector spinae, trapezius, deltoids, and triceps.

Yoga instruction

  • To start, come to a tabletop position.
  • Stretch forward your hands a few inches and sink your buttocks down toward your heels.
  • Now, press into your hands and engage your arms muscles, keeping your elbows lifted.
  • Get your forehead resting on the floor gently.
  • Allow your chest to open and soften during this pose while holding this pose for 2-3 min.

8. Head-to-Knee Forward Bend or Janu Sirsasana

This pose may help soothe your nervous system and work on your groin, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, and spinal extensors.

Yoga instruction

  • To begin, sit with your left leg extended.
  • And now press the sole of your right foot into your left thigh.
  • You can place a cushion or block under either knee for support if needed.
  • Breadth in as you extend your arms overhead.
  • Breadth out and hinge at the hips, lengthening your spine to fold forward and grab your left foot.
  • Hold this pose for 1-2 min and repeat for the opposite side.

9. Seated forward bend pose or paschimottanasana

This yoga for anxiety is thought to calm the mind while relieving anxiety. However, when you feel that your thoughts have been scattered throughout your practice, take this time to turn inward and come back to your intention.

Additionally, this pose works on your pelvic muscles, gastrocnemius, erector spinae and gluteus maximus.

Yoga instruction

  • To begin, sit with your legs straight out in front of you with your spine erect.
  • Or may keep a slight bend in your knees.
  • Breadth in and lift up your arms.
  • Now, slowly hinge at your hips to extend forward, resting your hands anywhere on your body or the floor.
  • Hold this pose for 1-3 minutes.

10. Fish pose or Matsyasana

This Yoga poses for Anxiety is a backbend and helps relieve tightness in your chest and back. And, works on your hip flexors, abdominals, intercostals, and trapezius.

Yoga instruction

  • To begin, sit with your legs stretched out in front of you.
  • Get your hands underneath your buttocks with your palms facing down.
  • Now, squeeze your elbows together and expand your chest.
  • And, lean back onto your forearms and elbows, pressing into your arms to stay lifted in your chest.
  • If you are comfortable, you can let your head hang back toward the floor or rest it on a block or cushion.
  • Hold this pose for 1-2 minutes while breathing normally.

11. Reclining Bound Angle pose or Supta Baddha Konasana

This relaxing yoga for anxiety can help you let go of anxiety while promoting a sense of calmness. 

Additionally, it also works on pelvic muscles, groin muscles, adductors, and psoas.

Yoga instruction

  • To begin, lie on your back and bring the soles of your feet together.
  • If you want you can keep cushions under your knees or hips for support.
  • Place your hand on either side of your stomach area and focus on your breath.
  • Stay in this pose for 4-5min.

12. Legs-Up-the-Wall pose or Viparita Karani

This restorative yoga poses for anxiety allows for complete relaxation of your mind and body. 

And worked on the lower back, front torso, hamstrings, pelvic muscles, and back of your neck also.

Yoga instruction

  • To start, sit on your right side against a wall.
  • Now, lie back as you swing your legs up along the wall.
  • Get your buttocks very close to the wall as is comfortable for you. And, this could be right up against the wall or a few inches away.
  • Now, relax and soften in your back, chest, and neck. 
  • Hold this pose for 3-5 minutes and breadth normally.

See, also…Easy beginners Yoga.

13. Corpse pose or Shavasana Yoga poses for Anxiety

This yoga poses for anxiety is one of the most popular yoga poses for relieving stress, anxiety and reducing depression symptoms. 

Additionally, it can be done as the last or closing pose to your yoga session. 

Moreover, you can also meditate while performing the corpse pose and relax and recharge your body.

Yoga instruction

Lay down on your back on a hard surface.

Gently close your eyes and get your feet a comfortable distance apart and relaxed.

Place your arms straight along your body with the palms facing up and make sure to keep your arms slightly away from your torso.

Shift all your attention on your toes and just observe them while breathing slowly.

Do not let your mind wander, bring it back gently to your body if that happens do not sleep either.

Hold the pose for about 12-15 min.

What Causes Anxiety Disorders?

Typically we feel anxious in numerous situations in our life. However, when it’s constantly disturbing and snooping with our day-to-day life, we call it Anxiety disorder. 

There are a number of causes that lead to anxiety diseases. The areas of brain centers that control fear and feelings may be involved in some cases. 

Inheritable and environmental factors may contribute to the development of this problem. 

Some of the common external factors which beget anxiety diseases include:

Work Stress.

Stress in a particular relationship.

Financial problems.

Pressure due to some serious illness. 

Side effects of some long term medication

Types of anxiety disorders

Generalized anxiety disorder

Most people feel anxious and upset when facing some nerve-racking situations like competitions, exams, speaking publicly, etc. 

These are all constant worries and fears that distract daily life activities. 

Symptoms include sleep disorder, indigestion, restlessness, fatigue, etc.

Panic disorder

Repeated Unanticipated fear attacks with no warnings can lead to numerous problems in day-to-day life. 

Symptoms like sweating, shortness of breath, elevated heart rate, etc.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Some people witness obsessive thoughts and obsessive behavior which come so extreme which they might not be able to control. 

It’s defined by unwanted thoughts and actions which they feel compelled to accomplish. For e. g. Excessive double-checking of things similar as a door, locks,  switches, etc.

Phobia

However, in this condition called phobia, a person has intense fears of things that aren’t that dangerous. 

Common phobia includes fear of creatures, fear of heights, fear of closed closets, etc.

Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

Fear of being seen negatively by others and being lowered in public is the main character’s point of SAD. Meeting strange people and performing in front of others will be contributing trouble to these people with SAD.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD)

If a person has experienced–trauma in life either physically or emotionally which can cause an anxiety problem, it is called PTSD.

Conclusion

These Best Yoga Poses for Anxiety are arranged in an order that flows from pose to pose. Try some or a few of these yoga poses for anxiety to help you calm down.

Although recent research supports yoga practice as a way to anxiety relieve, it may not be suitable for everyone. 

And you should always seek your doctor’s advice before starting any new yoga or exercise program. It will help you identify any possible risks and recommend appropriate modifications.

When you feel that practicing yoga is triggering your anxiety instead of alleviating it, discontinue the practice.