10 Yoga Poses For Anxiety

It’s hard to smile through anxiety, exhaustion, depression & frustrations. In case you think anxiety is “something you can get over” I’m here to tell you that it’s not because if that were possible all anxiety and depression would not exist.

The truth is for ones who maybe fortunate enough to swerve by and miss these states of mind all together and don’t know what it’s like, depression is like sitting in a room full of people with a blank stare and not a thought in your head but hearing everything going on around you and being too exhausted to respond to any of it. Anxiety feels like an elephant is sitting on your chest while your mind whirls through days and days of events in 10 seconds then around again, you’re too agitated to try to make sense.

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How does all of this sound? Yeah, terrible. So just think of the person that is suffering from anxiety and depression, think about what they go through on a daily basis. Day in and day out.

It can be debilitating some days, going over everything your thinking, feeling, wondering, and questioning. Some days you feel like you can’t even breathe but you try to empty your mind of all thoughts and try to let all emotion fall away while you try to escape if only for a minutes worth of peace.

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I love that mental health has come to light over the last few years after being neglected for what seems like forever.

As each of us share our stories, tips, and tricks we learn more and more which only expands our mental health toolkits and helps us meet and reach out to new friends that understand the struggle we’re bounded in.

To get to know your friendly asana’s lets take a look at what these poses are and how they can help with anxiety:

”An asana is a body posture, originally and still a general term for a sitting meditation pose, and later extended in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise, to any type of pose or position, adding reclining, standing, inverted, twisting, and balancing poses.”

These poses are great for helping to relieve anxiety, these poses are also beginner friendly but don’t push yourself if you can’t complete the pose. That’s just motivation to keep giving them a try, huh?

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  1. Bound Angel Pose
  2. Bow pose
  3. Bridge pose
  4. Cat/Cow pose
  5. Camel pose
  6. Half Moon pose
  7. Extended puppy pose
  8. Staff Pose
  9. Seated forward bend pose
  10. Legs up wall pose (my favorite)

You’ll feel better instantly after these poses, they give a sense of relief to all those anxieties by quieting the mind and concentrating on your breathing while also helping the psychical ailments as well while working to help lengthen and stretch the targeted muscles of the poses.

As I stated previously these poses are kept in mind with the beginner in mind. You can always go deeper into the pose if you’re use to doing yoga on the regular.

If you decided to give these gentle poses a try leave me a note in the comments about how you felt after your sesh, I’d love to hear from you!

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Why You Should Consider Yoga

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What is yoga

The word “yoga” in Sanskrit means listen. Listening is the key to what yoga is all about. It is about listening to your body. Stretching, bending, breathing, and listening. It’s about becoming more aware of your body, its strengths, where it needs help, and nurturing it.

Why try yoga?

When doing the yoga pose itself the stretching opens up tight areas in the body and also strengthening those muscles. This helps with good posture and also helps you focus on body awareness. You relax or contract each muscle with each different yoga pose.

The benefits of yoga:

  1. It’s a great way to strengthen your body and core.
  2. It’s an excellent stress reliever.
  3. It can be done anywhere.
  4. It’s a good way to learn how to connect with yourself.
  5.  Yoga practices are fun and none competitive.
  6. Best of all it can be fine anywhere at any time.

Why yoga is for everyone?

Yoga helps you improve strength by using your core for support. While I’m a yoga pose your muscles are activated to keep you in that particular pose. Yoga helps tap into your own flexibility while limbering you up. Once you start it’s about stretching your limits.

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For me and myself

I found the first time I did yoga I felt better and I could breathe. My limbs felt light and my entire body felt refreshed after stretching.

A few of my favorite products to get you started:

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You’re probably like “Leslie – cut the bullshit” but I bullshit you not friend! If you give it one session just one 30 minutes session I can assure you that you’ll notice a difference.

Once you do it everyday for a month you’ll noticed changes in the way your body feels, all of this just by stretching.

Why You Should Consider Yoga #yoga #routine #stretch #poses #workout

I’ve put together a few simple yet easy yoga poses for you to try, anyone that wants to try! Get your family and your friends in on each pose. These poses are better when done on the right equipment so no one gets hurt but have an optimal workout.

I’m no doctor so if you find yourself in pain or there is discomfort then don’t try yo push yourself. These poses can go at your own pace.

At first, I suggest doing one yoga pose a day. You can hold each pose for 2-3 minutes if you can. You can also increase that time once you continue your daily practice.

To help you get started I’ve posted 15 different poses that are sure to give you results. The key is to stretch into each pose, remember not to hurt yourself! Yoga is supposed to be relaxing.

Why You Should Consider Yoga #yoga #strength #workout

I decided to give you guys visuals for each pose rather than explain each pose. This way you’ll get an idea of what the correct pose looks like.

Adrian is an amazing teacher and she knows her stuff! I watch her videos and learn something new each time.

Yoga poses daily:
Chair Pose
Forward Fold pose
Chaturanga
Upward dog pose
Cobra pose
Down dog pose
Staff pose
Mountain pose
Knee to nose pose
Warrior 1 pose
Warrior 2 pose
Warrior 3 pose
Reverse Warrior pose
Pigeon pose 
Plank

If you give any of these pose a try please let me know how they worked for you. Remember to only go at your own pace, do not strain or push yourself too hard.

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How to Start a Journaling Practice: Tips, Tricks, Rewards & Challenges

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For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to have a daily journaling practice. For some reason, this hobby has always held value to me. I’d envision myself curled up in the corner of a couch, writing in a beautiful journal, using a perfect pen that effortlessly highlighted the uniqueness of my penmanship, my thoughts would flow onto the page, over time notebooks would fill one after the other, and I would proudly display them on  a bookshelf somewhere. It’s a lovely thought, but in reality implementing a daily journaling practice is a little bit more…complicated. 

It took a long time but, finally, in 2015 I made my vision a reality: I began writing daily, and the notebooks and bullet journals did start filling up. I would like to share my journey to journaling in the hopes that it will help others cultivate their practice. So, keep reading! I’m about to share almost 20 years of tips and tricks, AND be totally honest about the rewards and challenges you’ll face along the way.

How to Start a Journaling Practice: Tips, Tricks, Rewards & Challenges

The Attempts

I attempted to become a diary keeper at least 10 times over my lifetime. The first few attempts were when I was a teenager, the majority of the attempts were when I was in my early twenties, and the last attempt (which was successful) was in my early thirties. Each attempt was met with a  brand new fancy notebook which would cost waaaay more than I am willing to admit  (I’ve had a fondness for fine stationery my entire life). 

As each day came to a close, I would write about it. I quickly realized that my day to day life wasn’t actually all that exciting. Exciting events accumulate over time, and an isolated daily page of writing doesn’t actually reveal all that much at the start.

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Remember: journaling implies handwritten. Truly getting into the details of your day using a handwritten medium is a time investment. Just filling one page, depending on the size of the notebook, can take upwards of 20-30 minutes.

The Realities of Keeping a Daily Journal

The First Reality: The Negativity Bias

Initially, starting a journaling habit is not nearly as rewarding as one would think. That is,  until you have a really bad day. Suddenly, you can’t wait to get home and write everything in your journal… to vent, to let it go, and have an audience that will always be on your side.

 On a bad day, I can remember picking up my pen and filling pages effortlessly. I’d write until my hand hurt and my letters became blurry from either exhausted penmanship or tears. 

When writing daily, there seems to be an involuntary pull to express the negative. Journaling is cathartic in this way. In my experience, I was always more likely to vent about a bad day than I was to brag about a good day. 

The Second Reality: The Joy is in the Writing, not the Reading

One of the beauties of journaling is that as you write you truly begin to get a sense that your thoughts are flowing freely onto the page. The pen that writes is the conduit to your innermost feelings. As you free write it feels like there could never be any errors. Unfortunately, re-reading entries will prove this feeling false. Hand written pages are not magically highlighted with spelling or grammar errors. I know I have a tendency to leave out words when I handwrite. Sometimes reading my entries can sometimes feel like putting together a puzzle.
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The joy in journaling is the writing, not the reading. I don’t suggest never reading your old  journals, but I would recommend allowing a few months to pass before venturing backwards into your experiences. Here is an excerpt from my journal regarding an experience I had re-reading an entry: 

 “Looking back, it amazes me how fragmented this is! At the time, I remember feeling like I was being so in depth. It probably took me well over an hour to write this [entry] ! Writing 6 pages felt like such an accomplishment, but now all I want to do is edit!”

Giving yourself time before reading will allow you to gain perspective and hindsight about what you were experiencing and feeling as you wrote.

How To Get Started: 3 Do’s & 3 Don’ts

Lets start with the Don’ts:

  1. Don’t use an expensive notebook. Investing in something fancy will put pressure on you to have a perfect journaling practice. You will feel like you need to write neater because you want to maintain the niceness of the notebook. Censoring your handwriting censors your thoughts. Get an ordinary notebook. Don’t be afraid to be messy, cross things out and carry it around with you. The more used and tattered your notebook looks at the end, the more successful your practice!
  2. Don’t let filling notebooks be your end goal. This was a trap for me. I was too future focused. I created an all or nothing statement in my mind that if I was filling notebooks I would then be an avid journaler. Writing is meant to be an activity that connects us with the present moment, which can only be measured in progress (not success or failure). My first filled notebook took about 8 months to complete!  
  3. Don’t write about your day. All of my ‘start and stop’ attempts at writing occurred when I was only filling my pages with daily events. Using a structured style of journaling can increase your dedication to the practice. I had much more success using journaling prompts to guide me (more about that below). 

And now the Do’s:

  • Do find a pen that you love. If you are going to be writing a lot you should love the way your pen feels and writes. Personally, I prefer finer tip pens (0.7 tip is my ideal). Finer tip pens are less likely to smudge because not as much ink is expelled with each pen stroke. Thicker tip pens and gel pens are prone smearing and bleeding through the pages of your notebook. This will annoy you, trust me!
  1. Do keep your journal in sight. You may have the urge to keep your journal hidden to protect your privacy, but if it’s too well hidden you won’t be reminded to write in it. Store your journal in a place where you will encounter it. I kept my journal in a bathroom cabinet for almost a year because I would see it every time I needed to get toothpaste.
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  2. Do use specific types of journaling. As mentioned earlier, writing about your day can be a trap. There are many types of journaling and all of them do reveal insight into your life over time, despite not documenting daily occurrences. Here are a few different styles of journaling to try:
  • Line a Day: Simply write one line a day everyday. Short, sweet and to the point.
  • Morning Pages: A writing practice that takes place first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. Without happenings to dwell on, morning pages can reveal clarity about what you’d like to accomplish each day. Morning writing tends to also have a more positive tone should you choose to re-read your entries.  
  • Gratitude Journal: Write 1 to 5 things that you are grateful for everyday 
  • Journaling Prompts: Answering daily questions that may or may not have a theme to them. Pinterest is loaded with various types of journaling prompts. For 3 years I used the same monthly journaling prompts. It was fun comparing how I answered each question differently from year to year. This is my preferred method to journal.

Almost six years later, I am happy to say that I am still journaling. Sure, my practice ebbs and flows but ultimately I am committed to it. I’ve allowed my writing to evolve and I use different styles of journaling for variety. I have now filled 15 notebooks. Just as I envisioned, I display them proudly as I hope one day you will too. 

By: Cheryl Tobin

About the Author

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Cheryl is the author of the blog Spiritually Premeditated. She describes herself as a spiritual enthusiast, avid journaler and wannabe morning person. She relies heavily on coffee and oracle cards to get through the day. 

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