Yoga Heals: Postures for Stress, Anxiety and Depression




Got the blues? There’s a yoga pose for that. It’s okay if you’re feeling sad, lazy, useless… anything during the global crisis (or even before/after it). Just know that yoga is your friend and it can help you out of even the scariest of mood swings. 


Butterfly (Baddha Konasana)

If you’re feeling anxious, ground yourself in butterfly pose. 

When paired with focused breathing, butterfly pose has been said to encourage internal reflection, especially as our roots, the soles of our feet connect to meet. 

This pose encourages you to enter a meditative state, which is a powerful healer in and of itself. 

Break out of your cocoon and spread your wings, butterfly!

Triangle (Trikonasana)

Triangle pose isn’t just a pivotal (literally) part of the warrior flows. It is also an excellent pose to help soothe anxiety and depression. It has been said to help you cope a little better when the going gets tough. 

By tilting your body the way that we do in triangle, energy flow gets equally distributed, making you feel more calm and more balanced as an effect. Give it a try and let us know. 


Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Bridge is a powerful inversion pose that is believed to open up the space around your heart, allowing you room to focus and think more clearly. Bridge is also highly beneficial to the nervous system, because having your head below your heart has a cooling effect on the nervous system. In short, next time you’re feeling hot-headed, a bridge pose might save you from feeling overwhelmed with emotion.

Legs-Up-The-Wall (Viparita Karani)

If you’ve been to any of Alex’s Yin or Restorative classes, you’ll know all about this one. Legs Up The Wall is the perfect way to calm a busy mind, and find an instant mood-booster when the going gets tough. Just lay on your back, and prop your legs up against the wall. For more support, place a bolster or pillow on your lower back to elevate your hips a little. 

It is said that twenty minutes spent in this pose has the same beneficial effect on your nervous system as taking a nap.


Child’s Pose (Balasana)

As one of the most grounding poses in the Asanas, child’s pose is aptly named as it can provide a sense of calm and stability, especially if you are prone to anxiety and it’s affecting your sleep. 

But be very careful if you have knee or hip injuries. You’ll want to support your child’s post with pillows and blankets to make it as comfortable as possible. 


Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)

If your lovely mind is frequent to wandering (and bringing you headaches) you’ll want to add a seated forward bend to your list of remedies. Kiss the advil goodbye! This pose is all about mindful movement, and can not only help to relieve feelings of anxiety and stress, but also deal with the associated symptoms such as tiredness and headaches.


Cat/Cow (Marjaryasana/Bitilasana)

There’s a reason why we flush out some more strenuous  seated postures with a Cat/Cow sequence - it just makes us feel better, scientifically speaking! Yogis have dissected that the sequence perfectly combines grounding, relaxation and breath evening all while stimulating the core. 

When you’re suffering with low mood or anxious thoughts it can be useful to connect to your breathing to help you feel calmer.

Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

We all love a good dangle, and we need to give our neck and lower back somelove. Standing Forward Bend provides many physical benefits particularly for your those areas, while reducing stress, anxiety and depression. How? The heart beats are slowed down and the spinal nerves rejuvenated. It has also been said that depression felt in the mind can be removed if one holds the pose for two minutes or more.

Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

As one of the heart-heavy (or lightening, rather) poses, Fish can help you release any pent up emotions. Just be extremely mindful with your breathing when you’re in Fish pose, as it’s essential for even breath to help you feel calmer. 

Practice the pose regularly to build confidence and to grow emotionally. 


Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana)

Can’t sleep? Turn yourself into a dolphin. 

The shape of the pose means there’s increased blood flow to the brain to improve awareness and concentration, and can help with depression and insomnia. 

Warning: it might bring pleasant dreams of freedom and frolic in the sand and surf.


Tree Pose (Vriksasana)

Have you ever lost your mind during a balance pose? Then, you must’ve lost your balance as well.

The seemingly easy and beautiful Tree Pose is one of the more popular in mainstream yoga, thanks to its accessibility and gorgeous structure. But to attain the visual of turning into a strong tree, rooted into the ground, your full concentration is required.

You feel strong and steady when you master the pose, in turn feeling more in control of your emotions. The victory of holding the pose could also release serotonin, a “happy” chemical – and let’s face it. That always helps!

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

The simplicity of Savasana is where its powerfulness (both literally and physically) lies.

More than just mimicking sleep, this meditative pose is dedicated to fully recouping and relaxing from your practice (and your life.)

If you struggle with anxiety, the corpse pose triggers the relaxation response within your body and begins to cool your mind. So, it can be ideal to practice this pose with as many props as necessary to calm your spirit.

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