Yoga Asanas for Anxiety

Movement or Yoga asana is the foundational practice to relieve anxiety. Within yoga asanas, two types of practices take center stage for anxiety:

1) Traditional Hatha Yoga – where the asanas are held for longer durations with awareness and focus on the sensations coming from the body. The holds also build physical resilience.

2) Dynamic movements – to release excess or restless energy from the body. This prepares the body to be still and is usually followed by slow stretches to restore the body’s homeostasis balance.

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The various Hatha yoga based asana routines that help with anxiety are as follows:

1. Dynamic Movements

To help the body move quickly and release excess energy. This is followed by slow postures with long holds that are ideal to turn the focus inward.

2. Cyclic Meditation

This well researched practice for stress works extremely well for anxiety as expressed by Eka users. Just like we feel the need to stretch and relax after a long walk, this practice is wonderfully designed by SVYASA tuning into the body’s natural desire to move followed by its automatic need for stillness immediately after. The practice is repeated in alternating phases of movement and stillness, bringing about deeper and deeper states of relaxation with each cycle. The beauty of this practice is that it also includes the relaxing sound meditations of Aaakar, Uuukar and Mmmkar in different parts of the practice.

3. Surya Namaskar

This practice falls under the category of dynamic movements. The well known set of dynamic postures in surya namaskar are used as a way to rhythmically move the body with the breath. After the movements we can sense the subtler feedback coming from the body which deepens the awareness of our body.

4. Hips & Spine Practice

The postures in our hips and spine practice help us feel grounded, an aspect associated with the mooladhara chakra, our root chakra. In our daily life we are constantly being pulled in different directions within the outer world – from electronic devices to thoughts, worries and anxieties. If this sounds like something that happens to you, this practice will help you connect with the stability and solidity of earth and our body, gradually bringing the focus inward, giving you that much needed balance.