7 yoga moves for anxiety and stress relief

Now that the workweek is in full swing, you might be feeling a bit stressed out and anxious. Sure, the weekend is just a few days away, but there’s so much to do before Friday night rolls around. So, if you’re experiencing anxiety, stress or even a bit of panic, keep calm and try these seven yoga moves. They’re perfect to increase feelings of calm and relaxation.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

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Sit in a comfortable position. Take the right hand, and draw the three middle fingers into the palm, keeping pinkie finger and thumb extended. Then, seal the right nostril with the thumb and breathe in, holding your breath momentarily. Then, release that nostril, and seal the left nostril with the pinkie finger, and exhale. Inhale with the left nostril still sealed, and then switch nostrils, exhaling. Several minutes of alternate nostril breathing can do wonders for your stress levels.

Cat Cow Pose

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Any type of spinal work can help to relieve the central nervous system. And doing this simple, classic yoga pose can do just that.

Child’s Pose

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Sitting on your heels, with your knees touching or slightly apart, reach your arms forward. Keep the arms shoulder width apart, and gently drop your forward to the mat, as you melt your heart to the floor. Then, just breath deep, conscious breaths for as long as you want.

Lion’s Breath

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You can do this breathing practice either in Cat Cow Pose, in a comfortable seating position, or in Downward Facing Dog. All you do is inhale deeply, and as you exhale, stick your tongue out and look up. It might seem strange, but it’s an excellent way to flush the body of toxins and stress.

Seated or cat cow twist

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Sit in a comfortable, cross-legged position (or in cat cow as pictured above). Walk your hands forward, keeping the buttocks on the ground. Then, draw one arm to the center, and lift the other arm, opening it up and to the side. Breathing deeply as you expand and then return to center. Repeat on the other side. This is another pose that works the spine to usher in calm and quiet.

Legs up on a wall

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Laying on the ground, place your buttocks as close to a wall as possible. Then, lift your legs so that they’re flesh against the wall. Relax your arms, close your eyes, and breath deeply and mindfully.  With legs lifted above your heart, you can melt away stress. This is also a great pose to do before bedtime.

Forward bend

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Stand with your feet either together or hip width apart. Then, bend over like a rag doll. You can either let your arms hang lose, or you can clasp your elbows. Take a moment to just relax, breathe and let go.

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