Yoga & Breathing For Anxiety

April 06, 2020

Yoga & Breathing For Anxiety

Globally we are going through a very difficult time. As a result you might be feeling anxious. Anxiety affects people in different ways from physical symptoms through to challenging thoughts and feelings. We can harness the positive effects of yoga to help manage anxiety and encourage the body and mind into a calmer state.

D&B Marketing Manager and Yoga Teacher Alice recommends you make a cosy space to practice these breathing techniques and yoga postures. Light some candles, put on relaxing music and get comfy with cushions and a blanket.

1. Easy Seated Pose (Sukhasana)

 

Deakin and Blue - Easy Yoga exercises for breathing and anxiety - Swim Yoga

Why is it helpful?

Placing your hands on your body brings immediate presence to the places you’re touching helping to regulate the nervous system.

How to do it?

Come to a comfortable seat placing a cushion underneath your sit bones. Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. Bring your awareness to your lower hand and breath deeply into it so that you’re taking full diaphragmatic breaths. Focus your attention on each inbreath & outbreath for three to five minutes. If your mind drifts compassionately bring it back to your breath.

 

2. Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana Pranayama) 

Deakin and Blue - Easy Yoga exercises for breathing and anxiety - Swim Yoga

Why is it helpful?

This breathing technique helps to slow down the breath, easing anxiety and stress. By giving your mind a point of focus you will feel calmer and more at ease.

How to do it?

Come to a comfortable seat placing a cushion underneath your sit bones. Place the tip of the thumb and index finger on the left hand together and rest the hand on the left knee. You will use the thumb and ring finger of the right hand to close off the nostrils.

Firstly take a few deep breaths. Then place the middle and index finger of your right hand between your eyebrows. Close off your right nostril with your thumb and inhale through your clear left nostril for a count of four. Close off the left nostril with the ring finger and exhale through the right nostril for a count of four. Inhale through the right nostril for a count of four, close it off with the thumb and exhale through the left nostril for a count of four. That is one full round. Repeat this for at least ten rounds. You can extend or shorten the counts depending on how you feel.

 

3. Supported Wide Legged Forward Fold (Upavistha Konasana)

Deakin and Blue - Easy yoga breathing exercises for anxiety - swim yoga at home

Why is it helpful?

Forward folds are very nurturing as they invite an energy of calm by protecting the front of the body as you fold. They can feel especially nurturing when using props to support the body.

How to do it?

Start seated with your legs extended out in front of you. Separate your legs into a V shape that is comfortable. If your spine is rounded then put a cushion underneath your sit bones. Place as many cushions as you need underneath your arms or torso to support you as you fold forward, relaxing your head. Breathe deeply and hold for up to three minutes.

 

4. Supported Child’s Pose (Balasana)

 

Deakin and Blue - Easy Yoga exercises for breathing and anxiety - Swim Yoga

Why is it helpful?

Child’s pose is one of the most comforting postures in yoga and when you add cushions to rest on it can be incredibly nurturing for your nervous system. Once you try this pose you will want to do it everyday!

How to do it?

Start on your hands and knees and slowly lengthen your spine as you push your bottom back towards your heels. Place your torso on one or two cushions so that it is fully supported. Hug your arms around the cushions. Turn your head to one side and breathe deeply for one minute then swap your head to face the other direction and rest for another further minute.

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Interested in taking your yoga practice further? Join Alice for our weekly Wednesday Stretch & Unwind. We run these sessions on Facebook Live at 5pm and they last 20 minutes as Alice guides us through stretching exercises, gentle yoga poses and breathing for 20 minutes. No prior experience necessary. Just pop on your D&B and a comfy pair of trousers or leggings, set up a yoga mat (if you have one) and join us. Can't make 5pm? The sessions are filmed and uploaded to our Facebook page so you can watch the latest session in your own time.



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