Soothe Anxiety With This Therapist and Yoga Teacher's Gentle Yoga Sequence

19/04/2020 - 11:58 AM

If you experience anxiety [1], you know how hard it can be to manage the constant buzz of stressed, agitated thoughts. There's no substitute for treatment from a mental health professional, but if you're struggling right now, you can ease your anxiety in a few ways [2]. Yoga is one of them.

All forms of exercise will benefit your mental health, but when it comes to anxiety, yoga is particularly effective [3]. According to a 2019 study, even one session of yoga [4] can ease symptoms of anxiety [5] while increasing feelings of positivity and calm. And no, you don't have to contort your body into the twistiest, most advanced poses to reap mental health benefits. In a previous interview, licensed therapist [6] and registered yoga teacher Katie Heeran [7] told POPSUGAR that just a single, simple pose or calming breath can ease some anxiety.

If you have 15 minutes, Heeran created this gentle, restorative yoga practice to calm your anxious thoughts, center your mind, and bring you back to your body. "This sequence is effective for anxiety because it gets you both literally grounded (to the floor or Earth) as well as physically grounded in your own body," she told POPSUGAR via email. Anxiety tends to pull us into mental spirals that are hard to break out of; feeling grounded in your body can help, and yoga is a simple, effective way to do it.

If you're ready, roll out your mat, take a deep breath, and begin.

Resting Half Frog

Place a blanket under your knee if you feel discomfort.

Supported Bridge

Supine Twist

Closed Child's Pose

While holding this Child's Pose, Heeran recommended taking a full-body scan. Notice every part of your body that's touching the floor, and feel those areas get heavy. "With each inhale, try silently saying a short mantra that resonates with you," she suggested. "I like inhaling with, 'I am' and exhaling with 'being held.' You could also say, 'I am' and 'OK' or whatever else soothes you."

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