Yoga Practice for Anxiety Relief: Find What Feels Good
Pranayama: Alternate Nostril Breathing
One of my favorite breath practices for calming frayed nerves is alternate nostril breathing. It's great for those moments when you're feeling blue or anxious. Sit up nice and tall, seal your right nostril with your thumb, and take a deep breath in through the left nostril. Pause, switch, and exhale out through the right nostril. Continue this alternating breath, focusing on the sensation of the breath. With practice, it becomes easier and helps calm the mind and body.
After pranayama, bring your hands together at your heart and take a moment to close your eyes. Accept where you are today and commit to taking this time for yourself. Stack your head over your heart, your heart over your pelvis, and take in the quality of air in the room. Notice any sounds around you and accept it all. This moment is for you.
Forward Fold and Twist
From a seated position, walk your fingertips forward and find a gentle forward fold. Relax the weight of your head and focus on your breath. After a few breaths, bring your right hand or elbow to the center and open up through your left arm. Feel the expansion in your chest. Switch sides and repeat. These movements help release tension and create space in the body.
Draw your left heel in and turn your waistline towards your right foot. Inhale, reach up, and bow down towards your knee. The goal is to eventually bring your nose to your knee, but go at your own pace. Surrender to the pose and breathe into the lower back body. Slowly roll up and switch sides.
Wide-Legged Forward Fold
Extend your legs out wide and walk your fingertips forward. Find a comfortable position that allows you to relax the weight of your head. Focus on your breath and let go of any stress or tension. This pose helps create space in the hips and release any built-up energy.
Lie flat on your back, hugging your knees into your chest. Feel the support of your yoga mat beneath you. Take a moment to give thanks for showing up for yourself and tending to your well-being. Open your knees wide and let your feet come together. Rest your hands gently on your hip creases and close your eyes. Stay in this position as long as you like, trusting the flow of the practice.
Remember, you have the power to transform any negativity or anxiousness into something that feels good. Take this time for yourself and find what feels good.