Postures to help with Anxiety

Begin your short practice seated in a comfortable position, on the floor, on a cushion or even on a chair. Focus on having a nice straight lengthened spine and that your chin is parallel with the floor. Close your eyes over gently, and begin to breathe in through your nose, sipping the air in keeping the breath controlled and steady and maybe counting to 4 or 5, and then exhale through the nose also, trying to control the breath out also counting to 4 or 5 so the inhale and exhale are the same length. Stay with this focus on the breath for a few minutes until you feel a sense of calm. Feel your lungs expanding as you inhale, and our shoulders relaxing as you exhale. If your attention runs away from your breath to other thoughts, pull it back in to your breath and counting.

When you are ready and feeling calm, bring yourself around onto all fours.

  1.    Cat & Cow pose –On all fours, your knees should be hip width distance and your hands should be directly below your shoulders. Your spine is neutral here. Inhale as you drop your belly and lift your gaze and your tail bone towards the sky.  Exhale as you slowly tuck your chin towards your chest, lift your mid-back towards the sky and scoop your tailbone under. Repeat for 5 breaths.

  2.  Downward dog – From the hand and knee position, inhale look forward and tuck toes under, then as you exhale lift your knees off the floor driving your pelvis towards the ceiling pushing through your hands pressing the floor away from you as your lift through your pelvis and lengthen the spine. Your chest is going in the direction of your thighs. Begin to straighten your legs, and bring the body into the shape of an A. Sink your heels in the direction of the floor. Relax your head. Hold for 5 deeps steady breaths.
  3. Child pose-  great for promoting relaxation by encouraging steady focus on breathing and helps calm the nervous system down. From an all fours position, take your knees out wide but keep your toes touching then lower your hips back onto your heels, stretching forward with your arms. Let the chest rest on the thighs and just stay with your nice controlled breath for 10 full longs breaths
  4.  Tree pose – another great posture for promoting concentration, focus and awareness with the intention of taking your mind away from whatever is troubling you and placing it on the physical self and balance. From a standing position, make one leg heavy and then place the sole of the other foot onto the inner leg, either at ankle height or up at the thigh keeping a nice lo ng lengthened stance.
  5. Warrior 3 – Like tree pose is a great posture for promoting awareness of the physical body and therefore directing focus away from thoughts and worry.

    From Mountain pose, step one foot a foot lengths forward and shift all of your weight onto this leg. Inhale the arms over your head. As you exhale, lift the back leg leg up, hinging at the hips to lower the arms and torso down towards the floor. Look down at the floor and stare at a point for balance. Aim to hold for 5 breaths.

Finish by laying either flat on your back in Savasana (Dead mans Pose) or laying with your feet straight up a wall as a supported posture that can help to calm and sooth, closing your eyes over and bringing all your awareness back to breath, scanning the body with each inhale and letting go of any tension with every exhale.