In the past, I have briefly talked about the fact that I use yoga for my anxiety. It is one of the many tools that I use for natural anxiety relief. Therefore, I thought that it was only right that I dedicated an entire post to yoga, it’s pros, cons, and favorite poses.
Positive Aspects of Yoga for Stress and Anxiety
One of the biggest positives for yoga in my book is the fact that it is natural. I have voiced my personal position on anxiety medication for myself, as well as the reasons for why I try to stay as medication free as possible. However, because I try to stay away from medication sometimes I need to find other methods to keep my cool from day to day. This is where yoga has become a saving grace for me.
Another positive for yoga is that it can be used for more things besides just stress and anxiety. I also use it for the symptoms of anxiety. My anxiety causes a lot of stomach upset, dizziness, and just overall jitters. Many people also reach for medication for those symptoms, or just have to sweat them out. Yoga has given me an out for these symptoms as well.
Finally, I use yoga not just for the panic moments, but also to just start my day off right. I have two different categories of poses: emergency and preparation/restoration. When I get into my favorite poses, I will list which category the pose fits into. Yoga has provided me fast relief when I am actively having a panic attack, and also has helped me to start and end my day with a sense of focus and calm.
Negative Aspects of Yoga for Stress and Anxiety
The biggest negative for me is that yoga cannot easily be done anywhere. Therefore, it is mainly a method that I can use at home or places where it is not strange to lay on the floor and do yoga! This does limit it somewhat, however, if you are someone who is struggling with excess stress at night or in the morning, or has moments of anxiety throughout the day and works from home or in a place with a private space, yoga is invaluable.
You do need to be careful with yoga. My second negative would be that you must be very careful to avoid injury, and for some of it you would need to be somewhat able-bodied. Therefore, that could be one area where yoga could be limiting. However, for most individuals yoga is completely safe and beneficial.
Favorite Yoga Poses for Stress and Anxiety
Legs Up The Wall Pose
By far my favorite pose of all time, the legs up the wall pose is simple and effective. I use this pose both as an emergency and a preparation/restoration pose. Sometimes when I wake up and know I am going to be having a stressful day or am just feeling un-centered I will for sure be doing a few minutes of this pose. This pose is good for a long list of things, but I most commonly use it for anxiety, digestive issues, headaches, and actually menstrual cramps!
For more information, please visit: https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/legs-up-the-wall-pose
Child’s pose is definitely a preparation/restoration pose for me. It is commonly used as a pose to stretch before beginning a yoga session, or for relaxing between poses. It’s main focus is on the breath, which is why it is so incredibly helpful for me and anxiety. In this pose you really only need to relax and focus on centering yourself and the pattern of your breathing. It truly clears your mind.
For more information, please visit: https://www.yogaoutlet.com/guides/how-to-do-child_s-pose-in-yoga
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Reclining bound angle pose is another multi-purpose pose. It is incredibly easy to execute, and helpful for many things. It helps to stimulate your internal organs, which has helped me with some digestive issues, and it also helps the heart and circulation which has been really helpful for dizziness and chest tightness from anxiety. Therefore, it can overall reduce stress and anxiety. I will actually fall asleep in this pose at different times if I cannot relax to fall asleep.
For more information please visit: https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/reclining-bound-angle-pose
Reclining Hero Pose
This is 100% an emergency pose for me. The reclining hero pose is used for nausea. As an emetophobe with panic disorder, I commonly find myself in this loop: I get anxious over something, I begin to feel nauseous. I realize I am nauseous and begin to get even more anxious. Which causes more nausea! This pose is so incredibly effective for nausea I love it. It is a bit of an intermediate pose, which is why I first began only using the legs up the wall pose.
For more information on this pose, please visit: https://www.yogaoutlet.com/guides/how-to-do-reclining-hero-pose-in-yoga
Reclined Spinal Twist Pose
This pose began for me as a preparation/restoration pose, but then I just began instinctively doing it in emergency situations and now use it for that all the time. This pose just feels good. It stretches and massages your spine, abdomen, and shoulders, and really just helps you to feel relaxed and rejuvenated. It is fairly simple to do, and is great for overall health.
For more information, please visit: https://www.doyouyoga.com/how-to-do-reclined-spinal-twist-pose/
So that is it! Those are my favorite poses for anxiety and the symptoms of anxiety. Most of them are beginner level and extremely easy to complete, so go ahead and give them a try! Do you have a yoga pose that you enjoy using? If so, leave it in the comments!