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You don't have to suffer from anxiety to enjoy yoga, but these 10 poses will certainly help if you do.

The average adult experiences mild anxiety from time to time, it’s a natural reaction to bouts of stress and hectic situations. However, if you suffer from any form of major anxiety, then you know what it’s like to live in your own personal hell.

Anxiety can take a toll on your mind and body, deteriorating your health and quality of life. There are tons of medications on the market that a doctor could prescribe to you that would help control the major anxiety levels, but they come with a bag of side effects that you just don’t want. If you can, you should always try and find natural, healthy ways to ease things like stress, anxiety, or depression.

Often, people suffer in silence and retreat into their own minds and bodies to deal with the overwhelming sensation that anxiety brings. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Yoga, for example, is an excellent source of natural ease when it comes to this. It’s been long practiced throughout many cultures and for good reason. Not only can it help with anxiety, it touches other aspects of your life, as well. Things like weight control and joint pain. But for now, let’s discuss 10 easy and awesome yoga poses to ease your anxiety.

Things You Will Need:

  • A yoga mat or soft surface for sitting
  • A quiet space with uninterrupted time
  • Comfortable, unrestricting clothing

1. The “Easy Position”

If you deal with regular anxiety, then you know how to look for the signs. Our breathing becomes rapid and shallow, like we’re unable to catch a breath or slow down. Controlling this can immediately help ease your mind and body and help you come out of a panic attack.

You’ve probably seen this pose in movies, but that’s because it’s one of the most popular. To do this pose, simple sit straight up and cross your legs Indian style. Let your knees rest and fall towards the floor, but keeping your back strong and straight. Place a hand on each knee and close your eyes. Concentrate on your core, pay attention to your breathing and note how you take a breath in and out, carefully begin to slow each inhale and exhale until you find yourself calming down.

I often do this pose in the mornings when I wake, just as a great way to start my day; calm and collected. It puts you in a great mindset to carry out the rest of the day’s events.

2. The “Cat & The Cow Position”

When dealing with an anxiety attack or long periods of stress that comes with it, your muscles begin to tense and you experience something called body rigidity. Our shoulders become tense and it’s hard to calm down once you’re at this stage.

But in order to loosen up this rigidness, we need to breath to our full potential. That’s why this move involves two positions; the cat and the cow. These put you in poses that allow your lungs to inhale and exhale to the max, which will allow you to quickly gain control and shake the tense shoulders.

Get down on your mat, hands and knees to the floor. Then proceed to inhale while doing the cat poses which is arching your back in an upwards movement while keeping your arms nice and straight. Then exhale in a cow pose which is to arch the small of your back towards the floor. Repeat this until you feel your body loosening up.

3. The Plank “Position”

Not only is the plank position great for working the abdominal muscles and strengthening your back, but it’s also great for stress and anxiety. Why, you ask? You’re just holding yourself in a straight position, after all. Well, it’s more complicated than that. The plank requires major core strength, something that can help increase confidence and lower certain anxieties.

To do the pose, simple lay face down on the mat and prop your body up with your toes and forearms. Keep your back stiff and straight and concentrate on your breathing as you hold the pose and engage your core. It’s hard the first few times, but once you can hold the pose for longer than a minute, you’ll begin to see results.

4. The “Forward Fold Position”

This particular pose can be hard to master at first because it requires a strong lower back. But it’s definitely worth it to practice because of the benefits it offers to help ease anxiety.

Stand straight up on your mat, feet together and arms raised straight in the air. Take a big inhale and then exhale as you bend at the waist and lower your entire upper body to the floor. Keep your legs nice and straight, though. You’re basically folding your body in half. But the movement encourages breathing control and gives you a way to imagine your stress and worries leaving your body.

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