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A Natural Approach to Easing Anxiety

A Natural Approach to Easing Anxiety Julie Montagu

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ reason for why people practice yoga. However, it is true to say that it can be helpful to some degree for those who are struggling with their anxiety levels.

If anxiety is something that you have some experience of, then you may also know that self-medicating through the issue, such as with certain medications, alcohol, or negative dietary choices, can cause knock-on problems of their own! Taking a wholesome approach to easing your anxiety, such as with yoga, can help to soothe the issue without any adverse effects whatsoever!

As you flow through the poses in each yoga session, you will naturally feel your stress levels lower and your sense of peace, relaxation, and control over your mood increase.

The following yoga poses are some of my all-time favourites for combatting anxiety. The added bonus is that they also help to strengthen and tone your body as you go!

Cat Pose (Marjaryasana)

Begin on all fours with your knees below your hips. Centre your head and round your spine, keeping your wrists, elbows and shoulders in line. Allow your head to naturally relax before you release to come back to a neutral position.

Holding this pose activates the abdominal muscles, helping to strengthen and firm your core.

Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

Begin on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders. Step your feet back so that you are holding your body up in a straight line.

This pose is fantastic for toning your core muscles, but it requires many other muscle groups to engage too. Regularly practicing Phalakasana will help to firm up your stomach, as well as your arms, chest, shoulders, legs, and buttocks!

Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with your hands on your hips and bend forwards from the hip joints. Focus on lengthening your torso as you do so and bring your fingertips to the floor by your feet. Push your heels down and bring the sitting bones upwards as you hold this pose, working to lift and lengthen further with each breath.

This pose helps to strengthen and firm the muscles in the thighs and in the knees. It is particularly great for waking your hamstrings up, which is useful for those who spend long periods of time sitting during the day!

Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Begin in Tadasana and lift your arms up straight up above your head. Bend at the knees to bring your thighs as close to parallel to the floor as you can get them. Feel your thighs push down towards your heels, keeping the back long to hold the pose.

This pose is perfect for building the strength in your arms and legs. Holding Chair Pose also helps to tone your pelvic floor muscles and tighten your core.

Crescent Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana)

From Downward-Facing Dog, bring your right foot forwards between your hands and bend it to 90 degrees. Lift your back leg and bring the quadricep up towards the ceiling as you completely straighten the leg. Feel your right hip push backwards as you square your hips and bring your torso to an upright position. Bring your arms overhead as your tailbone pulls down to the floor. Your palms should face each other as you hold the pose.

Crescent Lunge Pose works to firm the muscles in the legs and arms, whilst also opening the groin and strengthening the spine.

Getting Into Yoga

If you haven’t yet taken that first step to embarking upon your own yoga practice, then now is the perfect time to get started! If you live in London then why not consider coming along to one of my classes in the city, alternatively you can join me in sunny Santorini for my next yoga retreat!

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