These poses will open and center your mind to alleviate anxiety.
Are you feeling stressed out, overly anxious, or maybe just having trouble relaxing your mind? You’re definitely not alone. Unfortunately, these are common problems people experience in today’s busy world.
You can use yoga to re-center and re-balance your mind and feel more at ease and invigorated. The poses below are meant to quiet your mind by moving energy in a direction that is conducive to introspection and stillness. Try these postures and you’ll feel instant relief from your busy mind!
By Rima Rabbath
Wide Bound Angle Prep
Sit firmly on the earth and bend the knees into the chest. Separate the legs wider than the hips, opening the knees out and keeping them in line with the ankles. Flex the ankles and press the outer edges of the feet into the floor. Hold onto the ankles or the shins and bring your awareness to the base of the spine to extend upward, allowing the hips to open and stretch.
Wide Bound Angle
Bend the knees towards the chest and open them out to the side. Move the heels a foot and a half or more away from the groin and bring the soles of the feet to touch. Hold the tops of the feet with the hands and lengthen the spine. As you fold forward, drop the elbows in front of the shins and rest the forehead on the insteps. Should you not be able to reach the insteps, place a blanket to fill the gap. This pose allows for a mild stretch in the inner thighs and will calm the mind through the slight pressure to the space in between the eyebrows.
Wide Legged Forward Fold
Bend the knees into the chest and spread the legs wide apart but not so wide that you cannot reach the feet with your hands. Lengthen the spine and fold forward as you hinge at the hip creases. Stay rooted through the sitting bones, while keeping the knee caps and toes facing up. Try to resist the urge to move forward, which could disconnect your seat from the earth. Instead, move into the open space gradually by drawing the navel into the spine. When practiced with awareness, this pose can help us cultivate patience and discover the beauty that comes with moving into unchartered territory slowly.
Stand on the knees with the shins together and the toes pointing away. Cross the two big toes and sit on your heels, gently drawing the sitting bones away from one another with your heels. Keep your hands on your knees, palms facing up, placing the active hand on top so as to surrender the part in you that is usually dominant. Place your attention on the breath and observe with tenderness the process of inhalation and exhalation. Closing the eyes will help you focus and quiet the mind. This pose is not recommended if you feel pain in the knees.
This is the perfect position after standing on the head: the unraveling of a line (Headstand shape) back into a point (Child’s Pose shape). Point the toes away and gently place the buttocks on the heels. Opening the knees apart makes room for the heart and the organs as the forehead rests on the ground. Reach the arms forward and lift out of the wrists to open up the armpits. The feeling of closeness to the earth awakens qualities of humility and safety within us.
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All images courtesy of Hailey Wist.