Urban Sol Yoga

MIND. Body. Soul.

Yoga for Anxiety - 7 Poses to Find Your Calm

Yoga originated in ancient India and is a holistic practice encompassing physical, mental, and spiritual elements. It combines physical postures (asana), breathwork (pranayama), and meditation techniques. The rise in yoga’s popularity can be attributed to its ability to alleviate mental, emotional, and physical distress, making it an effective tool for relieving anxiety.

Anxiety can affect us both physically and mentally. We experience anxiety mentally in the form of worry or rumination, but it also manifests physically in the form of persistent muscle tension. The practice of Yoga can help focus the mind, release tension in the body, and promote a calming effect on the body’s nervous system.

The following Yoga poses are valuable companions for navigating anxious days. Starting with dynamic movements such as sun salutations can help discharge pent-up energy and release stress. Subsequent slower movements like folds and hip-openers facilitate a deep relaxation. The goal is to stay in each pose for 3-5 breaths, but they can be held for up to two or three minutes, like you would do in a more traditional Yin Yoga practice. Let your body be your guide.

7 Yoga Poses to Relieve Anxiety


Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Folds, like Standing Forward Fold, can help to naturally expand the exhale and activate the parasympathetic nervous system, otherwise known as our relaxation response. The act of folding forward in this pose encourages a sense of surrender and letting go.

Start by standing tall. Take a deep breath, and fold your body forward on your exhale, reaching for your toes. Imagine physical and mental tension rolling off your spine as you allow gravity to pull you down. Focus on releasing through the back of the neck.


Butterfly (Baddha Konasana)

The Butterfly Pose is one of the simplest poses. By keeping your spine straight and incorporating breathing techniques, the stress can melt away. It also permits internal reflection, allowing the practitioner to become one with themself.

If you want to practice meditation and calm down, try the Butterfly Pose. It’s an excellent place to start for those without much experience.


Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Bridge Pose is an inversion that permits the space to open up around your heart, reducing the stress you feel during an anxiety attack.

Inverted poses are one of the best ways to help with anxiety. It forces your brain to recalibrate and allows unique meditation. It provides more space for you to think and focus. Start lying down, walk your heels in closer to your glutes, arms along your sides, and lift your hips off the ground. To rest in the pose longer, place a block or a bolster under your hips.


Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Balancing poses like Tree Pose create mental focus, allowing your brain to switch off for a moment, turning its attention towards the pose and bringing about calm. You cannot find your physical balance by worrying about all the laundry you need to do later, or how busy your work schedule looks tomorrow, so balancing poses force you to focus.

To practice Tree Pose, stand tall on one leg and place the sole of the other foot against your inner thigh or calf (never directly on the knee). Imagine your body as a sturdy tree, unaffected by internal storms. Breathe and find balance.


Half Pigeon Pose (Ardha Kapotasana)

Half Pigeon is a restorative hip opener that allows us to surrender and let gravity do the work, enabling us to release all unnecessary tension. We hold onto a lot in the hips, both physically and mentally. Physically, the hips can feel tight and tense if we sit a lot throughout the day. Mentally, the hips are where we store a lot of emotions.

To practice Half Pigeon Pose, bend one leg and extend the other leg behind you. Bring the front ankle towards the opposite arm and the front knee behind the same wrist. You can keep your spine lifted, or, to make this more restorative, try folding forward, resting your head on a pillow, block, or stacked fists.


Melting Heart (Anahatasana)

Melting Heart Pose helps relieve stress and anxiety. It can also improve posture and respiratory function, and promote emotional balance and compassion. The pose involves deep stretches of the arms and shoulders, which can release tension and soothe the muscles around the spine and hips. It also encourages you to move your lower body up and your upper body down, which can calm the mind and body. 

Start in a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Keep your hips stacked over your knees and walk your hands forward, melting your heart down towards the floor. Rest your forehead on the floor and continue walking your hands forward until your arms are straight.


Legs Up The Wall

Legs up the Wall is a deeply relaxing fold and inversion.

To practice Legs up the Wall pose, lie near a wall and extend your legs up against the wall, softening your knees and ankles. It’s important to connect with your breath, notice any crunching or tension in your body. Stay here for 5-10 minutes. Feel the soothing sensation as blood flows away from your legs and towards your heart. This pose is pure relaxation, ideal for unwinding and letting go of stress.

We hope this information was helpful! The more you know about yoga poses that can help with anxiety, the more you will be able to find a sense of calm. Using yoga to better understand your body is one of the best things you can do for anxiety.

Do you have any favorite poses to help with anxiety? Share them in the comments below.

For more resources, updates, freebies, and other surprises, sign up for the Urban Sol Yoga newsletter.

If you’d like more inspiration, connect with us on Instagram.

Lots of love and light…thank you for reading.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 thoughts on “7 Poses For Calm”

Scroll to Top