Best Yoga Poses to Curb Anxiety and Stress

These easy to do poses will calm you down in a jiffy

In the current situation, where the pandemic has once again forced us into our homes, restricting movement and putting us face to face with an uncertain future, it is natural to suffer from bouts of anxiety. Due to social distancing, isolation, lockdowns, unemployment, financial loss and various other factors, there has been a staggering rise in the number of cases of people suffering from mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and paranoia. If not addressed, anxiety can manifest in serious physical and mental health issues. 

We asked Celebrity lifestyle coach and yogapreneur, Grand Master Akshar to share his top asanas and pranayams to help with stress and anxiety. “Anxiety is a form of mental disorder which can adversely affect your ability to function normally on an everyday basis. This can be a debilitating condition as it causes an overwhelming feeling of fear and oppression. Anxiety can affect the way that you breathe, sleep, eat, and hamper your concentration and focus,” says Akshar. He suggests the following poses that you can do at home to alleviate anxiety.

 

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)

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Lie on the floor, and bend your knees with your feet on the floor

Keep heels as close to the sitting bones as possible. 

Exhale and push your tailbone up lifting the buttocks off the floor. 

Your thighs and inner feet are to be parallel. 

Interlock your fingers and place your hands below your pelvis extending the arms to align over your shoulders.

Lift your sternum toward the chin. 

Exhale and slowly release down onto the floor.

 

Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

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Sit with your right foot over your left thigh.

Lift your left foot and place it on your right thigh facing up.

Pull your feet closer to your hips.

Drop your knees to the floor.

Place your palms on your knees facing up.

Repeat with the other leg.

Naukasana (Boat Pose)

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Lie down on your back.

Bring your upper body 45° off the floor and lift your legs up to 45°. 

Keep your knees straight or bent depending on your level of practice.

Engage your abdominal muscles.

Straighten your back.

Vasishtasana (Side Plank)

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Begin in table top position and straighten your legs to lift up to Santholanasan (Plank).

With your left palm on the ground.

Turn to the right and lift your right hand off the floor.

Place your right leg over your left. 

Keep knees, heels and feet in contact. 

Ensure arm and shoulders are in one straight line.

Turn and look up at your right hand.

Repeat the same on the left side.


"Yoga can be a very effective solution for mental health disorders such as anxiety as yoga relieves stress and calms the mind. Make sure that you start your practice with sukshma vyayam which means complete warm up for the body before you attempt any postures," concludes Akshar.