We are living in stressful, uncertain times, and it is more important than ever to ensure you’re looking after your mental health.
As it’s Mental Health Awareness Week, we decided to look at how you can work to limit and reduce your anxiety symptoms at home – yoga is a great way to do that.
Yoga is a mindful way to pull your focus into your body with gentle movements and breath work – meaning there is less space in your brain for worries and racing thoughts.
Dr Nitasha Buldeo, founder of Organic Apoteke and IYogaa.org, walks us through a really simple home workout that is designed to ease anxiety and promote a feeling of calm:
Yoga flow to reduce anxiety
Repeat this flow two or three times daily, or whenever feeling anxious or overwhelmed.
Inhale and exhale
Stand with feet under hips, lengthen the muscles of back and move crown of head towards the ceiling to gain as much length in the body.
Place hands on either side of hips with palms facing outwards. Inhale as you take your hands out to the sides and upwards and over your head.
Once all the way up, turn palms outwards and exhale as you bring arms down the side of body and back to hips.
Repeat this inhalation and exhalation sequence three times.
Standing forward bend
Inhale to take hands above head then then exhale as you push buttocks back and fold forward from the hip bringing hand to feet or just hanging down towards feet.
Bend your knees, place hand on the ground and then walk hands forward into downward dog pose.
Stay in this pose for three to six breaths.
From downward dog, slowly bend your knees and bring them to the ground into table-top pose.
Take a deep breath in.
Cat and cow stretch
As you exhale bring your chin to your chest, contract your chest and contract your belly into cow pose.
This deepens the upward curve of your spine.
Then begin to inhale by pushing out the upper belly, then the chest and extend the neck by looking forward into cat pose.
This deepens the downward curve of your spine.
Gently lengthen your legs behind you and come down to lie on your belly, hands on either side of your chest.
Then as you inhale slowly raise your head and chest off the ground, while you push your hips and thighs into the ground.
From cobra pose, keep the hands firmly grounded, then bring the head and chest downwards as you push your buttocks backwards toward your heels.
When buttocks touch heels, lengthen your spine and bring forehead to rest on ground.
Relax in child’s pose for a few minutes.
If you are struggling with anxiety symptoms – talk to someone.
Reach out to a friend or family member, and seek professional help from your GP who will be able to discuss your symptoms and consider options.
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