Yoga Moves to Combat Anxiety
A little bit about me before we begin. I am a yoga and meditation instructor, brand ambassador, and master Reiki practitioner on a mission to empower others by helping them work through emotions physically. It’s a journey that began when I discovered the emotionally healing powers of yoga while grieving the loss of my mother, who died of pancreatic cancer when I was 19.
I like to call myself an Embodier of Joy because joy, like smiling for Elf, is my favorite. I wake up each day and proclaim, “Yes. I get to do another day so let's seize this opportunity and allow space to win.”
Now, I understand that this may sound real “woo” especially before you have had your first cup of coffee… but my friends, I am here to tell you it works. Along with the movements you will see in the images below, speaking words of encouragement works and helps you prepare for what the day has in store for you. I decide each morning that joy will be in all that I do and everywhere I go – and so it is. You don’t have to take my word for it, see for yourself.
Let's start with one of my favorite mantras: May everything you do be a moving meditation. May everywhere you go be guided by peace. Your light is your vision and protection, may you use it to set your soul free. You are strong, you are brave, you are free. Allow yourself to be free...I AM FREE.
10 Poses to Reduce Anxiety
Easy Pose: I bring my hands into prayer and I sit cross-legged and close my eyes. This allows me time to reflect on the day, pray, and meditate.
Mountain Pose: Come into this pose to feel just like its name...a mountain that no matter the elements it faces, it still stands.
Butterfly Pose: This pose helps to open the hips and stretch the groin, hamstrings and wiggling of the toes. It's also known to evoke a little bit of childlike joy in me, which is my favorite.
Plank Pose: This has become one of my favorite poses because it used to be my least favorite pose. Now, I look forward to it because it helps me to shake off any self-doubt. It reminds me that I am strong enough to hold up my own weight, helloooo, who gon check me boo!?
Halfway lift: Stretches and lengthens your hamstrings, calves, and front and back torso. It also strengthens the back and spine, improving posture. Practicing this pose stimulates the abdominal organs and belly, improving digestion.
Seated forward fold: A yummy stretch for the hammies, the back, and a reminder to surrender to what you might be resisting at the moment. Resisting allowing yourself to be angry, grieve, frustrated or sad can very well be a road bump on your path to full liberation.
Cat/Cow: This is amazing to do first thing in the morning to awaken the spine and loosen up the hips.
Downward facing dog: The first inversion most people learn how to do. I bet you didn’t know it was an inversion but yep, it sure is… because your heart is above your head.
Standing forward fold: This stretches the hamstrings, hips, calves and strengthens the thighs and and knees. It also keeps your spine strong and promotes flexibility.
Forward Twists (R-L): Releases the sacrum and helps with flexibility, digestion, and all the amazing benefits as halfway lift. It is especially delicious if you, like a lot of us, sit a lot during the day. This is an excellent way to stretch and give your body a reprieve.
Sun salutation is one of my favorite ways to move my body first thing and can be done in my Printfresh PJ’s. I recommend holding each exhale for 2-3 breaths but find what works best for you.
Sun Salutation: Inhale Mountain Pose (interlace your hands above your head for steeple grip), Exhale Half-Moon to the Right, Inhale Center, Exhale Half-Moon to the Left, Inhale Center, Exhale Standing Forward Fold, Inhale right arm high, exhale release, Inhale Left arm high, exhale center, Inhale Halfway-lift, Exhale plank pose stay for the inhale, Exhale Downward facing dog.
A huge thank you to Alicia for sharing her favorite yoga poses to combat stress and anxiety. If you would like to connect with her and learn more about her offerings, please follow @aceyogala and visit aceyogala.com.