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COVID-19 Mental Health

Yoga for Anxiety and Stress

This practice will help you when you are stressed out or maybe you are feeling a little anxious, having panic attacks or if you need to move from darkness into the light.

Your breath is very deeply connected with your emotions so when emotions have such strong control over breath then while using the tool of the breath you can calm various emotions like anxiety, stress and depression. Yoga can help with anxiety and stress.

Yoga practice is really good to do at such time especially this year when the entire world is suffering from Coronavirus, stress and anxiety disorders are very common. COVID-19 has restricted people into there own homes and these circumstances can not heal anxiety, stress and depression.

You can do yoga early in the morning or just wind up your day with a peaceful yoga session at the end of your day.

Hop onto the mat to start yoga if you are suffering from anxiety, stress or depression.

In this type of yoga, you need to focus a lot on your breath.

So grab a block (if you don’t have one grab a pillow or cushion) it’s always good to sit on a block. When you are having a high stressed day or a little bit anxious then it’s good to have a block as support. 

Use the block to elevate your hips, as you sit a little bit taller, the spine automatically comes in a straight line. Relax your shoulders now.

Child’s pose

child yoga pose for stress

Child’s pose is a resting yoga pose.

Steps

  1. Kneel down on the mat. Touch your toes on the mat and sit down on your heels. 
  2. Separate your knees as your hips are and if not comfortable you can keep them close to each other.
  3. Bring your feet and knees together.
  4. Bring your belly down to your thighs, your head down towards the mat as you move forward.
  5. Initially use a yoga block or pillows to keep your head as it is a little difficult to keep on the floor.
  6. Reach your hands forward all the way down.
  7. Touch your fingers on the top of the mat.
  8. Take a deep breath in and let it go.
  9. Give yourself some time to relax and let go.
  10. Reach to the left side of your mat with both of your hands to stretch the right side of your back.
  11. Take a breath and hang in there for a few seconds.
  12. Now reach to the right side of the mat with both of your hands to stretch the left side of your back.
  13. Take a breath and hang in there for a few seconds.
  14. Come back to the centre.
  15. Roll all the way up.

Adhomukhasana (Downward dog pose)

downward dog pose

Steps

  1. Standstill on the mat, bend forward and place your palms on the mat.
  2. Now take your legs backwards a step one at a time.
  3. You have to shift your bodyweight equally.
  4. Slowly and steadily you have to pull your one heel up from the floor and press another one on the floor.
  5. When you will pull the heel up you have to bend the same knee slightly.
  6. Keep on repeating this thing with both the legs alternatively for a couple of times.
  7. This pose will help you release tension from hamstrings and calve muscles.
  8. Synchronise your breath with every moment of this asana.
  9. Now keep both of your heels down on the floor.
  10. Move your hips from one side to another.
  11. You can raise your heels up also.

Marjaryasana (Cat-cow pose)

Steps

  1. Standstill on your mat, bend your knees and touch them on the floor.
  2. Your feet will touch each other.
  3. Place your palms right under your shoulders and inhale.
  4. Push your hip line up and drop your back downwards and look up towards the roof.
  5. Exhale, drop your hips in, pull your abdomen in, move your back towards the roof and look down towards your abdomen.
  6. Keep on repeating this process for a couple of times while maintaining inhalation and exhalation.

Viparita Karani (legs up the wall pose)

Steps

  1. Lie down on the mat.
  2. Fold your legs and bring them close to your hips.
  3. Inhal and bring both the knees together.
  4. Keep your palms on the side of the legs over a mat.
  5. Pull your legs up from the ground, straighten your knees and stretch them towards the roof.
  6. If you are not able to do it this way you might as well take the support of the wall.
  7. Stay in this yoga position for a couple of minutes.
  8. Now bring your legs down.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

Shavasana will give you the benefit of self-awareness this may seem an easy asana but it is hard to relax that’s why make sure that whenever you are suffering from stress and anxiety you definitely try this asana.

Steps

  1. Keep your palms on your stomach.
  2. Inhale and exhale for some time.
  3. If you wish to keep your left palm on your heart you can do that.
  4. You can do this for a few minutes
  5. Now slowly bring your palms on the sides over your mat, palms should face the roof.
  6. Straighten your legs one by one on the floor apart from each other.
  7. Relax your feet and drop them outwards.
  8. Lie down in this pose for as long as you wish.

Anulom Vilom(alternate nostril breathing) 

This yoga pose is also called Nadi Shodhan. Nadis are various energy channels. It is a breathing technique that helps to clear blocked energy channels in your body. 

Steps

  1. Sit down on the mat, straighten your legs and bend your left knee and bring your left heel close to your body by your groin area. 
  2. Similarly, bend your right knee and move it towards the front of the left leg. Basically, sit in a cross-legged position
  3. Straighten your spine, relax your shoulders. 
  4. Put your left hand on the left knee and right hand on the right knee.
  5. close your eyes. Now place your right thumb on the right nostril and close it. 
  6. Inhale slowly through the left nostril. 
  7. Now release the right thumb and place the middle finger and index finger on the left nostril and exhale correctly from the right nostril. 
  8. In the same yoga pose inhale from the right nostril, release the fingers and place the right thumb on the right nostril and exhale from the left nostril.

Dandling pose/ Ragdoll pose

ragdoll pose for anxiety and stress

Steps

  1. Inhale, soften and bend your knees slightly.
  2. Exhale, bend your upper body but make sure that your spine is straight.
  3. Slowly drop your hands and neck downwards, release your arms and touch the floor.
  4. Try to straighten your knees and legs.
  5. Exhale and stay in this position for a few seconds.
  6. Inhale and come halfway up.
  7. Soften Your knees slightly again.
  8. Exhale and go back in ragdoll position.
  9. This time do not keep your palms on the floor instead touch your elbows with opposite palm in a crisscross.
  10. Move from one side to another side with your hands.
  11. Come back up slowly and stand straight.

Bhramari

This yoga asana is very much beneficial for stress, anxiety and depression. It will also help you to calm down from panic attacks. 

Steps

  1. Sit down on the mat in Sukhasana.
  2. Keep your spine straight.
  3. Close your eyes.
  4. Place your index finger just above your eyebrows and other fingers on your eyelids.
  5. Close your ears with your thumb.
  6. Concentrate your mind on the area between your eyebrows.
  7. Keep your mouth closed.
  8. Breath out slowly from your nose and make a humming sound of OM
  9. Make sure that you do it five times at least.
Credit: Yoga with Adriene

All these yoga asanas will make you free from any sort of stress, anxiety and depression. Combination of these yoga poses will heal your mind and help you loosen up from stress, anxiety.

If you are a beginner, you can check our Yoga for Beginners post.

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