8 Yoga Poses to Reduce Stress & Anxiety

FITNESS  |  October 27, 2016
  • 1. Triangle
    1 / 8 1. Triangle

    Stand upright with legs about 1m apart. Turn right foot out, while keeping left foot pointed forward. Do not bend knees.

    Raise arms up to shoulder level, palms facing down. As you exhale, twist torso from waist towards the left, bring right hand to shin, ankle or beside right foot, and then extend left arm towards ceiling. Do not bend knees. Turn head and gaze at left hand. Hold for ?ve to 10 breaths. Return to standing position and repeat on other side.

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  • 2. Balancing half moon
    2 / 8 2. Balancing half moon

    Starting from triangle pose, place left hand on left hip. Bend right knee and walk right hand till it is directly under shoulder. Press hand ?rmly into mat. Use a block if needed. Straighten right leg.

    Next, lift left leg until it’s parallel to ?oor. Do not hyperextend right knee. Twist torso towards the left. Hold for ?ve to 10 breaths. Exhale and return to triangle pose. Repeat on other side.

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  • 3. Shoulder stand
    3 / 8 3. Shoulder stand

    Lie on back, with legs together and arms at sides. Press palms and elbows on ?oor. As you exhale, bring knees towards forehead.

    Lift hips and lower back off mat, and place hands on lower back. To bring feet towards ceiling, support torso with palms on back, and press elbows and triceps ?rmly on ground. Fix gaze on big toes. Hold for as long as you can. Slowly lower back and legs to mat.

    (Also read: 6 Common Yoga injuries – And How to Prevent Them)

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  • 4. Downward facing dog
    4 / 8 4. Downward facing dog

    Kneel on mat with palms directly under shoulders and knees hip-width apart. Spread ?ngers, tuck in toes and lift knees off mat, pushing tailbone towards ceiling.

    Keeping legs straight, lower heels to touch mat if you can. Let neck drop naturally but keep shoulders away from ears. Hold for ?ve to 10 breaths. In reverse order, slowly return to starting position.

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  • 5. Bridge
    5 / 8 5. Bridge

    Lie on back. Place hands along sides of body. Bend knees and bring heels as close to butt as possible. Knees and feet should be hip-width apart. Grab heels with hands.

    Using thigh muscles, lift hips off mat until thighs are parallel to ?oor. Press shoulder blades together to “open” chest. Press back of head into mat and bring chest towards chin. Hold for ?ve to 10 breaths. In reverse order, slowly return to starting position.

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  • 6. Cobra
    6 / 8 6. Cobra

    Lie on belly, with chin on mat. Bring knees, heels and feet together. Place palms on mat at chest level, elbows pointing to ceiling and directly above wrists. Keep ?ngers closed.

    Inhale and slowly lift head, shoulders, chest and rib cage off mat, bending back as far back as possible without lifting hips off ground. Look forward and hold for ?ve to 10 breaths. In reverse order, slowly return to starting position.

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  • 7. Seated forward fold
    7 / 8 7. Seated forward fold

    Sit upright with legs outstretched in front of you. Bend knees slightly if needed. Inhale and reach arms towards ceiling.

    Exhale and bend forward keeping back and legs straight. Grab shins, ankles or feet with hands. If you can, gradually lower torso until belly touches thighs. Hold for ?ve to 10 breaths. In reverse order, slowly return to starting position.

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  • 8. Child
    8 / 8 8. Child

    Kneel with knees and heels together. Inhale and reach arms towards ceiling. Exhale and bend forward to bring belly onto thighs. Place forehead on mat and press buttocks onto heels. Bring arms back to reach for ankles. Hold for ?ve to 10 breaths. In reverse order, slowly return to starting position.

    (Also read: The Best Yoga Poses For a Flat Tummy)

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