More and more people nowadays seem to suffer from anxiety, and a 2018 survey by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) found that 40% of respondents said they were more anxious than the year before.
Anxiety is one of the most common emotional conditions of the day, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. Anxiety is actually treated easy, but even despite this, many patients still feel uncomfortable seeking help.
There are several factors which can trigger and affect the level of anxiety, including hereditary aspects, genes, brain performance and its chemical structure, and life experiences.
Usually, anxiety manifests itself in various different forms.
The first type is generalize anxiety disorder, or GAD, which is based on overthinking and worrying without a particular reason for it. This type of anxiety also wrongfully puts the focus on things which matter the less, such as money, business ventures and the need to hold power and control.
The second type of anxiety is known as panic disorder or PD. Panic disorder is noted in patients which are worrisome about being attacked by another person. Even though unfounded, these thoughts can lead to severe changes in behavior and fearfulness of the environment itself. This type of anxiety is more seen in women.
The third type of anxiety is social anxiety disorder or social phobia. This sort of anxiety affects a person’s ability to hang out, communicate or be present among a crowd or a few people, too. Social anxiety manifests itself through a variety of symptoms, such as a faster heartbeat, stomach issues, nausea, excessive sweating and general feelings of panic.
As for the more severe forms of anxiety we have to mention phobias, which put the emphasis on a single and unique fear as well as OCD. OCD or an obsessive-compulsive disorder is a condition which has a patient obsessing with something and then reacting in a compulsive and irrational manner.
Finally, it is worth mentioning PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, which is a form of anxiety caused by an unfortunate or negative event.
Thankfully, stress and anxiety can be abated by practicing yoga, and below are 10 yoga poses you can try out at home to relieve anxiety.
1. Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
Ustrasana is a great pose for beginners and it helps stretch your back and abs, improves your flexibility and helps manage blood pressure and heart rate, ergo lessening anxiety and stress.
This pose requires you to kneel on your mat and place your hands on your hips. Align your knees and shoulders and make sure that the soles of your feet face the ceiling.
Push your hips and tailbone out, and arch your back. Slide your palms over your feet and straighten your arms. Your neck should be in a neutral position. Hold this pose for around 30 to 60 seconds.
2. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
The bridge pose is another stretch that does wonders for your neck, chest, and back, and all you have to do is lie flat on your back, bend your knees, and put your feet on the floor. Align your knees and ankles, inhale, and lift your back off the floor.
Roll your shoulders and make sure your thighs are parallel to the floor. Now lift your torso as much as you can from the floor and hold that position for about a minute. Try to relax and inhale slowly.
3. Baddha Konasana (Butterfly Pose)
This may quite well be the easiest pose on the list. For this pose, you need to sit up straight and stretch your legs.
Now, as you sit, bend your knees and put the soles of your feet together, this should allow your knees to drop to the sides. If you struggle to keep your knees flat don’t worry and just try and stretch as much as you can.
4. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
This excellent anxiety-relief pose will help you stretch your back and hamstring. To do it you need to sit up straight with your legs in front of you.
Raise your arms over your head and push them slowly forward. If you can’t reach the tips of your toes with your pals that’s ok, just stretch as much as you can.
5. Dandasana (Staff Pose)
This also an easy one and excellent for alleviating anxiety. Sit up straight with your legs stretched in front of you, with your feet upward.
Push your buttocks to the floor and keep your head straight to stretch your spine. Now put your palms next to your hips. This will relax your torso and shoulders.
Breathe deeply and hold this position for the next 20-30 seconds.
6. Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
Not the most difficult, but also not the easiest pose on the list, the triangle pose is great for relieving stress and anxiety. Put your right foot in front of you at about 90 degrees and your left foot behind at about 15 degrees, and make sure the center of your right heel is in line with the arch of your left foot.
Raise your left arm and try to touch the floor with your right. Try to form a straight line with both your hands and keep your waist straight and body balanced.
It’s okay if you cannot touch your toes or the floor with your right hand, just stretch as much as possible or rest your hand on your shin. Your head should be in a neutral position.
7. Marjariasana (Cat & Cow Pose)
To do this pose you should get on all fours, where your hands are under your shoulders and knees are hip-width apart.
Look up straight, inhale, and raise your tailbone. Then push your navel down and hold that pose for a few moments. This pose is the cow pose.
The cat pose is the opposite. You drop your chin to your chest as you arch your back to relax your bottom. Repeat these two poses five or six times and you should be relieved of your anxiety in no time.
8. Balasana (Child’s Pose)
This great pose will stretch and relax your back, neck, and shoulders. To do it, kneel down with your big toes touching and stretch your arms in front of you as you lean forward.
Push your body between your thighs and try to touch the floor with the crown of your head. If not, keep your head where it feels most natural. It’s up to you how long you’ll hold this posture.
9. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
This posture is not for beginners, so if you don’t feel like you can do it, don’t. But if you are a ballsy person, you need to lie flat on your stomach with your legs as wide as your hips.
Arch your back and try to reach your ankles with your hands so as to have your chest and legs off the ground. Hold this pose for about 20 seconds and release.
10. Savasana (Corpse Pose)
It doesn’t get more relaxing than this. This is more of a meditation than a stretch, but it is soothing and comforting and all it requires you to do is simply lie down with your palms facing up, close your eyes and clear your thoughts for about 10-12 minutes.