10 Yoga Poses to Help Improve Coronavirus Anxiety
We all have moments in life that make us feel worried, anxious, uncertain and stressed. The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is naturally causing many to experience heightened levels of these undesirable feelings. One of the best ways to cope with coronavirus anxiety is by practicing tried and true ways to relax, like yoga and controlled breathing. We're taking a look at the best yoga positions to help reduce stress, ease tension, and lessen distress.
How Can Yoga Help?
Yoga involves deep, controlled breathing while your mind focuses on the posture you're trying to accomplish. You may be familiar with Ujjayi breathing, the technique commonly referred to as "the ocean breath" in asana and Vinyassa Yoga practices. When we practice deep breathing and stilling the mind during yoga, our daily stressors will begin to dwindle, allowing us to primarily focus on our postures. Your yoga practice is customizable, and choosing poses tailor-made, especially for your anxiety release, can help reduce fears and reluctance. Regular yoga practice incorporating controlled breathing and the right poses can help alleviate some of the feelings of anxiousness associated with the novel coronavirus.
10 Yoga Poses to Help Alleviate Feelings of Anxiety
The following movements are easy to do for all levels and are extremely helpful for easing anxiety during this trying time. So, all you awesome yogis out there, are you ready to feel calmer? Remember, always take long, full, calming breaths during your practice. Grab your mats, throw on your favorite leggings, and let's get started.
Child's Pose helps to stretch the hips, thighs, and ankles while releasing tension and helping us to let go. This pose gently relaxes the muscles in the front of the body while allowing the opportunity to breathe into the back body to stretch the back torso. For folks who carry tension in their lower backs, this pose will help relieve back pains by helping circulation to the muscles, joints, and disks of the back. It promotes flexibility while being a deeply relaxing form of stress relief.
If you're experiencing coronavirus related tension and anxiety, you'll likely feel rigidity in the body. Cat-Cow Pose will help move your body in a fluid way in sync with your breathing. The shape of each pose encourages full, slow, and deep breaths, allowing you to feel more soothed.
Big Toe Pose
This pose will lengthen and strengthen tight hamstrings and calves while stimulating the liver and kidneys. Since this pose is relatively easy, it's a great way to calm the brain to relieve stress and anxiety. If you're having a hard time sleeping lately due to excessive nervousness, Big Toe Pose has been linked to helping relieve insomnia. A yoga strap can help you do this pose if you are a beginner or learning this pose.
We know what you're thinking, planking isn't easy or relaxing. You're right! However, it can be really helpful to teach us how to better handle challenging situations in a more calm way. When we feel extra anxious, things like self-confidence and determination often go down the drain. Use Plank Pose as a reminder that even when things aren't easy, you can still find stillness, calm breaths, and accomplish anything you set your mind to.
When we're feeling anxious, finding balance will help us feel less scattered and more connected. Balancing poses, like Tree, help anchor you in the moment, allow you to focus solely on your balance and breathing while connecting you to nature. To feel even more grounded, try imagining your standing leg is a tree root growing deep beneath the earth, uniting you with the ground below.
Are you experiencing tension headaches from added coronavirus-related stress? Inverted poses like Legs-Up-the-Wall gives blood circulation a gentle kick-start toward the upper body and head. Better circulation creates a comforting rebalance after you've been stressed, had a headache, or experienced lack of sleep.
Bridge Pose is intended to open up space around the heart. Creating this opening will help take focus and energy away from an overactive mind. If this pose is a bit difficult on your back, you can still experience the calming, quieting effect by placing a block underneath the sacrum.
Half Moon Pose
While it may not be the easiest on the list, this balancing pose is another great way to remind ourselves that we can thrive during a challenge. You'll feel your hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest, and spine stretch all at the same time. The most important thing to remember is to keep trying to find your slow, steady Ujjayi breaths, even when you're in a harder position. Half Moon helps with fatigue and some studies have shown it can even help lower blood pressure. This pose will help strengthen your abdomen, too, so you'll be ready for all your at-home workouts during quarantine!
Fish Pose is excellent for stretching the throat, chest, abdomen, and hip flexors. While strengthening the upper back muscles, this pose also opens the lungs to improve breathing. It can also help relieve respiratory ailments by allowing more space in the upper body. Fish pose also stimulates the muscles of the abdomen to help relieve any constipation. Practicing Fish Pose will help energize the body and reduce fatigue. A yoga brick foam or cork yoga brick can help you do this pose if you are a beginner or learning this pose.
Tip: If you're working from home, Fish Pose has also been linked to better focus and concentration!
Shavasana / Corpse Pose
At the end of every yoga practice, we lay down on our mats, place our palms face up, and prepare for Shavasana. Did you know Corpse Pose, which for a good reason is the easiest to do physically, is the most difficult for the mind to master? Allow yourself to melt into your mat, thank your body for your practice, and let go.
If you're experiencing coronavirus-related anxiety symptoms, you're not alone. In these times, when things are unusual, surreal, and uncertain, the best we can do is try and help ourselves find peace, balance, and stillness in our daily lives. Stay calm, stay healthy, and NAMASTE❤