Have you ever been overcome with a feeling of panic and worry and you don't know why? Or maybe sometimes you just feel uneasy and can't shake it?
Anxiety can come in all different forms. Dependent on who you are, your history and the situation. Some people suffer their whole lives with anxiety and others have it creep up on them later in life. No matter what the situation, anxiety can be crippling and you shouldn't have to just "deal" with it. There are so many yoga poses that can help stop anxiety dead in it's tracks and will help you live a happier, worry-free life. Join Hannah for her top 5 favourites poses to beat anxiety!
Sukhasana (Easy Pose)
Sukhasana may seem easy but it takes a lot of focus and concentration to complete it. Often times, the easiest looking poses are the hardest because you have to look inwards and turn off the mind. Sukhasana is perfect for any moment of the day when you need to reconnect with yourself and practice letting go.
As you find a comfortable seat, cross your legs and rest your hands to your knees. Sit up tall, lengthening the spine and close your eyes. Allow yourself to focus on the breathe. As you inhale, picture your ribcage and lungs expanding in all directions and as your exhale let out a sigh through the mouth. Sit in this pose until you feel like your heart rate has slowed down and your body begins to relax.
Balasana (Child's Pose)
Also known as "Child's Pose", this pose can be very relaxing and is used in most practices as a safe space to come to. Come to a kneel sitting on the feet and bring both knees mat width apart. As you exhale, bring the chest to the floor in between the legs and extend the arms straight out in front. As you connect your forehead to the mat, feel the body surrender to the pose. This is a very safe pose for beginners and you can stay here as long as you'd like. Breathe deeply.
Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
This pose is a bit more advanced and will require some practice for beginner students. Do not attempt by yourself if you have serious back issues.
Begin by lying on your back (option to have your knees bent) and as you inhale, lift your buttocks off the ground and slide your palms underneath. Allow the buttocks to come down and rest on the hands while tucking the arms and elbows in close to the body. Pressing the forearms and elbows into the floor as your inhale, lift your upper torso and head away from the floor very slowly. Avoid crunching the neck and make sure you only have a small amount of pressure with the connection of the head to floor. Stay here for 3-5 breathes and slowly come out of the pose by bringing the back down and releasing the arms from underneath.
Camel pose is an incredible pose for the entire body and mind. It strengthens the legs, stomach and opens up the shoulders and chest. Begin by kneeling on the ground sitting up tall. You have the option of feet flat or tucked, depending if you're going for full Camel (flat) or modified (tucked). Bring the hands behind and place on your lower back, as you begin to push the hips forward (never farther than the knees) melt the chest and heart backwards, looking up to the ceiling. You can stay here or grab for the heels for full Camel. Hold the pose for 5-7 breaths and then slowly moving in the reverse bringing the head back to center, sit down on the heels and hands to prayer while closing the eyes.
This pose is notorious for stirring up emotions and feelings, so if you feel dizzy or overwhelmed after just take a moment to come back to your center and relax.
Supta Virasana (Reclining Hero Pose) is an intermediate pose. Do not perform if you are not able to get your buttocks on the floor between the feet. You can also use a blanket underneath the back to help support as your lay back.
Begin by sitting up tall with the buttocks between the legs. Bring the hands behind, firmly placing them on the ground. As you exhale, start to lean the back torso towards the floor, coming down onto the forearms and elbows. Pause here, breathe. If you can go further back, slowly bring the arms flat and lay the back on the floor or blanket. Lift your arms up and over your head if it feels ok and begin to pull the ribcage in if it's darted out. Allow yourself to stay here for 5-7 full breaths. Moving in reverse, slowly come back up to Virasana. Breathe.
Join Hannah for Hatha Flow on Monday and Wednesday nights at 6:00 pm
Images by Instinct Photography