For any of us who have ever suffered from anxiety, we know that calling it unpleasant is an understatement. People who suffer from anxiety physically experience hot flashes, tightness of the chest, nausea, headaches, tension, trembling, headaches or backaches. Mentally, they may experience a sense of helplessness, paranoia or impending doom. Most anxiety is stress induced and can be easily cured. In some cases the cause comes from an internal psychological root. In either situation, there is one medicine to cure any form of anxiety – A Yoga Asana sequence specifically tailored to calm the nerves of the body and mind.

To calm the mind and cleanse yourself of anxiety try this Yoga sequence to target the tension.

  1. Tadasana Samasthithi (Mountain Pose)

    • Stand firmly with your feet together and arms down at your side.

    • Tuck in your tailbone, straighten and lengthen the spine and release your shoulders down your back.

    • Tuck in your chin slightly and gaze forward.

  2. Tadasana Urdha Hastasana (Upward Salute)


    • From Tadasana Samasthithi, raise your arms straight up, opening up the rib cage and keeping your shoulder blades dropped away from your ears.
  3. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)


    • With an exhale, bend forward while maintaining a straight spine and bring your hands to the ground. Bend as much as you feel comfortable with. You should feel a pleasant stretch in the hamstrings.

    • Let your head hang loose and relax here for a few breaths.

  4. Prasarita Padottasana (Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend)


    • Rise up slowly, unrolling vertebra by vertebra and then place your feet about 3 feet apart.

    • With an exhale, bend at the hips and place your hands on the imaginary line created from your right to your left foot.

    • If you can, bring your head onto the floor in between your hands, otherwise you can use a block to rest your head or let it hang loose.

  5. Adho Mukha Swanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)


    • Straighten your arms to lift your head and walk your feet in to the center.

    • Bring your right leg back followed by the right and then push your hands into the earth as you pull your hips up into the sky. Imagine an invisible rope diagonally pulling your tailbone up and rooting your arms into the ground. Feel the opposing stretch opening up your spine.

    • Your neck is relaxed and your head is either resting on the mat or hanging loosely.

    • Stay here for five breaths.

  6. Balasana (Child Pose)


    • Bring your knees down onto the ground and push back to rest your torso over your thighs.

    • Place your forehead on the ground for an extended Child’s Pose and then bring your arms at your side.

    • Let go of all tension and melt here for a few breaths.

  7. Adho Mukha Swanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)


    • When you’re ready, push your self back into a Downward-Facing Dog.
  8. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)


    • Gently walk your feet between your hands for another Standing Forward Fold.

    • Slowly come to a standing position vertebra by vertebra.

  9. Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)


    • Stand with your feet about three feet apart, extend your arms outward parallel to the ground and gaze at your right hand.

    • Rotate your right foot 90 degrees to the right.

    • With your next exhale, glide forward and gently lower your right hand behind your right foot.

    • Bring your left shoulder back to really open your chest.

    • Gaze up to your left hand and breathe. When you’re ready, rise back up to center and repeat the process for the other side.

  10. Ustrasana (Camel Pose)


    • Walk your feet in and come back to Tadasana Samasthiti and slowly come on to your knees.

    • Place your knees about one foot apart and stack your hips directly above the knees to create a 90 degree bend of the legs. The tops of your feet are flat on the mat.

    • Extend your thighs and torso upward, open your chest and slowly start to lean back with your hands placed on your sacrum first, then onto your heels.

    • If you aren’t feeling any discomfort in the neck, gently release it and let your head relax.

  11. Adhomukha Virasana (Childs Pose)


    • Push yourself back to sit on your heels as you rest your torso on your thighs and bring your forehead to the ground.

    • You can keep your arms straight ahead for an extended Child’s Pose or place them at your side for a basic Child’s Pose.

    • Let everything go and relax in this rejuvenating pose.

  12. Savansana (Corpse Pose)

    • Come to lie flat on your back with your feet at the corners of your mat. Allow them to fall outward.

    • Place your arms out at your side with your palms facing up. Let go of all thoughts and tension as you release all muscles and your body melts into the ground.

    • Enjoy this deep relaxation for at least 5 minutes.

Chuckling at Crisis

Once upon a time, I too experienced anxiety. It affected me during a particularly stressful period of my life and I was certain the crisis would never end – Yoga saved me. I began practicing Yoga on a daily basis and the issue faded and vanished from my life just as quickly as it had come. The transformation and transition was smooth and went almost unnoticed, as if magically evaporating.

Reflecting now and looking back on that definite doom that I “knew” would never end, I can’t help but smile and chuckle. I’m sure that with consistent practice of this sequence, you too will eventually be finding it funny when you reflect. Then, we’ll both be saying, “Thank you, Yoga.”

Silvia Rodrigues

Silvia Rodrigues is a Yoga Instructor, Graphic Designer and artist who is currently completing her 500-hour Yoga Teacher Certification Course. She is a Portuguese native who was raised in Santa Cruz, California but decided to go back to her roots and is now enjoying life in the beautiful town of Cascais, Portugal. Silvia believes in keeping the body fit by staying active... Read More

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