Yoga for Anxiety: A Five-Minute Sequence for Moms

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Did you know you can use your breath to explore the connection between your mind and body? It is easy for busy moms to get caught up in the chaos of childcare to the point where stress takes a toll. Calm your mind with the following five-minute yoga sequence to soothe anxiety by down-regulating your nervous system and releasing pent-up tension from your body.

As you move through this sequence try a calming breath with it. Inhale for the count of three and exhale for the count of five. Hold each pose for one minute.

Bound angle pose: One of the best hip-openers around that counteracts cardio crunched hips and opens the groins and inner thighs. If your knees are down on the ground you can add a forward fold to open the back body.

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Come seated with your feet touching and draw your heels close to your groin. Take an inhale and bring length to your spine. Exhale, hinge at your hips and lean forward keeping the front of your torso long. Reach your crown forward and your chin away from your chest.

Standing Forward Fold: This pose is a posterior stretch that opens the back body and has a cooling effect on the body/mind.

uttanasana

Inhale, stand straight and tall with your weight evenly distributed between the four corners of both feet. Exhale, hinge at your hips, relax your chest toward your thighs and your crown towards the ground. Hold anywhere on your legs and retract your shoulder blades on your back to keep your shoulders from hunching around your ears.

Camel Pose: Nearly all the major muscles of our bodies are being stretched in this backbend. In addition, it stimulates and tones many of our limbs, the chest, abdomen and thighs.

Ustrasana1

From kneeling position, hug your thighs towards each other with your knees straight, keeping both no more than hip-width apart. Using your hands on the back of your hips, evenly arch back keeping your chin in towards your chest. If you have more range of motion, let the head hang back and reach for your heels.

Bridge: This rejuvenating backbend will open your chest up and keep your spine flexible as it stretches open the quadriceps and acts as an inversion to bring a fresh blood supply to your brain.

setu-bandhasana

Lie flat on your back with arms at your sides, palms down. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Keep your feet hip-width apart, parallel to each other and as close to the buttocks as possible. Then roll your shoulders under, press your upper arms and feet into the floor and lift your hips towards the ceiling. Keep your knees over your ankles so they are perpendicular to the floor.

Child’s pose:  Similar to a fetal position, this pose is useful in relieving back, shoulder, neck and hip strain. If performed with an open mind, the full-body gravitational pull of the pose induces a sense of physical, mental and emotional relief.

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Begin by kneeling. Bring your knees together and your buttocks to your feet. Exhale and slowly rest your torso over your thighs so that your forehead touches the mat or a block.

After practicing the sequence, reflect inward. Breathe in deeply with the intent to fill up with vibrant, healing energy. Then breathe out completely, as if emptying the body/mind of tension and tightness. Full breathing into the belly and chest will offset the effect of the short shallow breath that accompanies anxiety. In yogic philosophy, the mind is a leaf in the wind as it follows the breath, so when we regulate the mind by consciously deepening the breath, we are calm the mind and are better able to tame tensions.

What do you do to ease your anxiety?

 

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Hi! I'm Jacqueline, the yoga mOM who loves sharing yoga with other moms (and everyone for that matter) and writing about it. I married the love of my life and we have two sons, now nine and 11, who are amazing on many levels. As a 14-year yoga & meditation teacher with five+ years of freelance writing experience in print and online, I am fascinated about how moms like us can find the right life balance in sharing our gifts and being there for our families. * To see my private and public class yoga schedule and professional information click here: jackiejackson.drupalgardens.com

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