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12 Yoga Moves to Overcome Anxiety

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12 Yoga Moves to Overcome Anxiety

The lazy days of summer are drawing to a close, and as things start amping back up at work and school, it’s easy to get a little bit overwhelmed and very stressed out. No matter what your source of anxiety, these yoga moves will help you relax, refocus, and release some of that pent up tension.

1. Controlled Breathing

This is a great way to start your practice. Sit in a seated, cross-legged position. Lengthen your spine as you inhale, and as you exhale place your hands on your knees, palms facing up. Take a moment to think about the intention of your practice and relax into the seated position.

On your next inhale, breathe in deeply to a slow count of four, but don’t exhale just yet. Hold your breath for four counts, then exhale for a slow count of eight. Repeat this controlled breathing for up to a full minute to calm your mind.

2. Downward Facing Dog

Come onto your hands and knees, and on your next inhale, straighten your legs, so your body forms an inverted V. Let gravity pull your heels toward the ground, and leave your neck in a neutral position.

Relax into this posture, letting gravity release built up tension in your neck and the backs of your legs. You can hold downward dog for 10 deep breaths or up to five minutes! Start out with what’s comfortable for you, and work up to holding the pose for a bit longer as you practice more.

3. Extended Puppy

Move back to all fours, then walk your hands out in front of you and lower your chest toward the floor with your bottom still in the air. Rest your forehead on the floor, breathe, and relax. Feel the muscles lengthening along your spine and in your neck. Hold this for 10-15 deep breaths.

Up next: More yoga postures to release tension!

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Read more: Anxiety, Fitness, General Health, Health, Mental Wellness, Yoga, , , , , , , , ,

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!

96 comments

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10:19AM PDT on Apr 16, 2014

thanks

12:23AM PDT on Apr 4, 2014

thanx for sharing

2:18AM PST on Feb 12, 2014

I love this article! I work as a psychologist and although I often teach mindfulness strategies to assist with anxiety symptoms, I also strongly encourage yoga practice. I also recently wrote an article on the how yoga can help anxiety which you can view here if you're interested http://www.nourish-mindbody.net/?p=58

5:18PM PST on Dec 28, 2013

When I'm stressed, yoga helps me tremendously. The poses truly work with the systems in the body to calm it down, give it energy, or perform other curative treatments. I liken some of the yoga poses to a few of the manipulations you might get in chiropractic treatments or in acupuncture. The body has many pathways, which control many systems. These kinds of applications works well on those pathways and systems without having to resort to prescription medication or other kinds of therapy. Granted, some stressors or other emotional factors might need additional help, as I did after my beloved mother died. But, for a great many physical and emotional issues, yoga can work wonders. Thank you for posting!

5:26AM PST on Dec 23, 2013

I prefer simply to crawl into bed and pull the duvet over me and wait until panic attacks are over.
But not all anxiety are causes by tension , so to to yoga to relax even more can make anxiety worse.
I think it is better to visit a psychologist and get help to figure out what is wrong.
Anxiety is a warning signal from the body. We are a body, and anxiety is a signal that is a message about something is wrong .

What caused the anxiety will not go away by doing yoga, but understand want causes it and learn to behave in new ways in life....

9:17AM PST on Dec 20, 2013

Thank U!

6:02AM PST on Dec 5, 2013

good to know ty

4:26AM PDT on Sep 27, 2013

Thanks

7:25AM PDT on Jul 18, 2013

ty

3:26AM PDT on Jul 9, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

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