Weaving yoga into your daily routine can have umpteen health benefits, as it teaches you to control your mind as well as body. Very similar to meditation, but equally different, yoga can be a great means to unwind your body and rewire your thoughts. Certain yoga poses are very effective when it comes to dealing with anxiety and depression. Check out these 8 poses that will help calm your mind and body.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana Or Bridge Pose
This pose can help stretch your legs and back and can also reduce high blood pressure. It can prevent fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, headaches and backaches.
1. Lie on your back on the floor. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor. Make sure your feet are placed at a hip-width distance and slide your arms along the sides of your body, with the palms face-down.
2. Press both the feet firmly on the floor, take a deep breath and slowly lift your torso up, starting from your tailbone, then hips and then the spine. Your knees should be hip-width apart from each other.
3. Next, lift your chest up by pressing into your arms and shoulders. Use your legs and buttocks to lift your torso higher.
4. Hold the pose for 8 breaths and then gently release the pose by breathing out and lying back on the floor.
Balasana Or Child’s Pose
This is a resting pose that can be easily done even by beginners. It can ease your stress and soothe your mind.
1. Start by kneeling on the floor or a yoga mat with your big toes touching each other and then sit on your heels.
2. Bend your torso forward until your forehead touches the floor and your chest is resting on your thighs.
3. Curl your shoulders downward, resting your hands along the sides, palms facing out, next to your feet.
4. Hold the pose for 5 breaths and then gently sit back up.
Garudasana Or Eagle Pose
This pose focuses on easing your legs, back and shoulders and can help improve your balance and concentration.
1. Start off by standing straight with your arms resting on the sides.
2. Spread your arms wide as you exhale, like you are going to hug somebody, take your right arm beneath your left, wrap your underarms together and then your wrists and press your palms together.
3. Bend your knees in a chair pose, balance on the right foot while you cross your left thigh over the right.
4. Next, hook your left foot behind your right calf.
5. Pull your hips back and sit down low.
6. Hold the pose for a minute and slowly unwind your limbs. Repeat the same for the opposite side.
Uttanasana Or Standing Forward Bend
This is pose can unwind your hamstrings, hips and thighs and can help reduce mild depression, fatigue, and stress.
• Start off by standing straight, your arms by your sides. Lift your arms up high, exhale and bow forward, bending your knees enough to place your palms straight on the floor. Make sure your head is pressed against your forelegs.
• Feel the stretch in your spine towards the opposite directions, and then pull your hips up and straighten your knees to intensify the stretch.
• Hold the pose for 8 breaths and then release the pose, first bending your knees and inhaling while you pull your torso back up.
Savasana or Corpse Pose
This is a pose that will help relax all your body muscles. It can help you lower your blood pressure, calms your nervous system and slows down your breathing.
1. Lie flat on your back on the floor or yoga mat. Keep your legs together but not touching each other, facing sidewards. Rest your arms on your sides, slightly wide apart, palms facing up.
2. Keep your eyes closed and relax all the muscles in your face, limbs, fingers, toes, spine, and buttocks.
3. Breathe in and out deeply while you focus on each area.
4. Hold the position for 5-10 minutes or more.
Utthita Trikonasana Or Extended Triangle Pose
This pose can help stretch your whole body and can improve your digestion. It is also known to reduce anxiety, sciatica and osteoporosis.
1. Stand with your feet apart at a distance of 3-4 feet.
2. Stretch your arms out sideways, keeping your palms facing down.
3. Turn your right foot 90 degrees to the right and the left foot about 45 degrees to the right.
4. Shift your hips a bit towards the left as you slowly shift your chest and arms to the right.
5. Bend at your hips, lowering your torso to the right so the left side of your body is facing up, while you place your right hand on the mat or the floor (or on your shin if you can’t reach the floor).
6. Stretch your left arm upwards, palm forward, straight towards the ceiling. This should form a straight line form that runs down your left hand, through your shoulders and your right hand.
7. Keep your face straight or turn it left to deepen the stretch, while your chest faces forward.
8. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and repeat the same for the other side.
Uttana Shishosana Or Extended Puppy Pose
This pose is great to relax your shoulders and calm your heart.
1. Start by kneeling on the floor or a yoga mat with knees slightly wide apart, your big toes touching each other and then sit on your heels.
2. Inhale, lifting your arms up, stretching your spine. Slowly bend forward as much as you can, without shifting the position of your lower body. Place both your arms on the floor, straight in front of you. Your face should be between your arms, touching the floor.
3. Relax your body, slide your body forward as you inhale, starting with your arms and keep your hips and buttocks perpendicular to your knees. Your face and chest should touch the mat when you attain this pose.
4. Hold the pose for 8-10 breaths and slowly inhale and slide your arms back as you assume your initial position.
Janu Sirsasana or Head to Knee Forward Bend
This pose can help stretch your spine, lower back, calf, knees, and tight hamstrings. It can help cope with mild depression, fatigue, anxiety, sleep disorder and menstrual cramps.
1. Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out straight before you. Keep your feet together, toes curled outward.
2. Bend your left leg and place the sole of your left foot on your right inner thigh. Make sure your right leg is straight and your right foot curled outward,
3. Slowly lower your left knee towards the floor without changing the position of your left foot. Walk your hands on your sides and place them straight on the floor before you while you bend forward as much as you can.
4. Hold the pose for 8-10 minutes and then repeat the same for the opposite side.