Yoga for Anxiety: 7 Best Yoga Poses to Relieve Anxiety

yoga for anxiety

In our fast-paced lifestyle, stress is quite a common thing. Though a little bit of stress is always fine to keep the balance, too much of it can start to take its toll on our health. When the stress exceeds and starts to interfere with our everyday life, it can cause serious problems like anxiety leading to panic attacks. All these can affect our life adversely and lead to several problems in our day to day life. If not taken any steps to control it, then it can spread very aggressively and cause several disorders.

7 Best Yoga Poses To Reduce Anxiety

The best way to reduce anxiety and cure it is yoga. Yoga helps us to stay calm and relaxed in our daily life. With several yoga poses or asanas, we can successfully reduce stress, improve blood circulation and reduce anxiety. Here are the Top 7 Yoga Poses that can Effectively Reduce Anxiety.

A detailed study on ‘The Effect of Yoga on Stress, Anxiety, and Depression in Women’ revealed that Yoga has an effective role in reducing all these three mental health issues. Thus, it can be used as complementary medicine (1).

[ Read: Best Yoga Poses for Depression ]

1. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

bow pose for anxiety

Dhanurasana expands your shoulders, neck and chest. It also helps to stretch your abdominal muscles and be in a shape of a Dhanush’ (bow).

How to do:

  • First you have to lie done in the prone position.
  • Now exhale and bend your knees to hold the ankles with your hands.
  • While inhaling start raising your thighs, chest and head as high as you can.
  • Now join the ankles and maintain the body weight on your lower abdomen.


  • This yoga pose expands your chest which opens the diaphragm improving the respiratory conditions for reducing stress and anxiety.
  • This also helps in improving the blood circulation which improves the flow of blood.
  • The continuous intake of oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide helps in reducing anxiety and stress.

[ Read: Basic Yoga Poses for Beginners ]

2. Cat Pose (Marjariasana)

cat pose for anxiety

Marjariasana is a cat pose which is great for a back stretch. It not only stretches back, neck and torso but also strengthen shoulders, wrist and spine.

How to do:

  • First, you have to sit in vajrasana and then stand on your knees.
  • Slowly lean in forward direction placing the hands flat on the floor with your palms down.
  • Make sure the hands and knees are in a line. The things and arms must be perpendicular to the floor.
  • Now inhale and raise your chin tilting your head backwards.
  • Hold for some time and drop your chin to the chest.


  • The Marjariasana helps in improving the blood flow and circulation in your body.
  • This can help in relaxing your overall body and mind eliminating the stress.
  • This leads in reducing the anxiety to a great extent.

[ Read: Best Yoga Poses for Insomnia ]

3. Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

fish pose anxiety

Matsyasana is a back bending asana where you have to recline on your back. This asana is named after the Sanskrit work matsya’ means fish.

How to do:

  • First you have to sit with your legs crossed with your knees and thighs flat on the floor.
  • Now, exhale and bend backward till your crown touches the floor.
  • Now breathe in and lift your chest up with your head touching the floor.


  • In the matsyasana, you have to relax your neck and shoulders completely.
  • This can release the tension and stress automatically from your body.
  • It helps your entire body to relax.

[ Read: Yoga Poses for Adrenal Fatigue ]

4. Baddha Konasana

baddha konasana anxiety

This is also popularly known as Bhadrasana which is a bound angle pose or the throne pose. It is a seated asana.

How to do:

  • First, you have to sit straight and stretch your legs out.
  • Now slowly breathe out and then bend the knees while pulling the heels towards your pelvis.
  • Now, press the two soles with each other together and bring the heels as close as possible to your pelvis.


  • While you are doing Bhadrasana, you will feel relaxed as it helps in calming down your mind and body.
  • It helps in improving the blood circulation where you can feel the anxiety is melting down from your body.
  • The pose helps in inducing the mental and physical relaxation.

[ Read: Yoga poses to Cure Migraine ]

5. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

bridge pose anxiety

Setu Bandhasana is one of the most powerful yoga poses which looks like a setu’ or bridge.

How to do:

  • First, you have to lay down flat on your back.
  • Now, bend your knees and place the feet on the floor with your hip-width apart.
  • Make sure that your knees and your ankles are places right in a straight line.
  • Rest your arms on the side of your body with palms facing downwards.
  • Now inhale and lift your back off from the floor to ensure that your chin must touch the chest.


  • The Bridge pose or the Setu Bandhasana can help in stimulating both the halves of your brain equally.
  • This helps in relaxing your mind. It is a great pose for back muscles to relax which can treat depression and anxiety.

[ Read: Best Yoga Asanas for Weight Loss ]

6. Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

camel pose anxiety

This is the camel pose in the yoga where you have to bend backwards with your chest high up.

How to do:

  • First, you have to start by kneeling down on the mat. Now, place your hand on the hips.
  • Ensure that your shoulders and knees are in the same line as well as the sole of the feet must face the ceiling.
  • Now, inhale and draw the tailbone towards your pubis. You must feel a pull at the naval.
  • Now, arch your back and slid the palms over to the feet.


  • One of the most significant benefits of the Ustrasana or the camel pose is it relaxes your back muscles.
  • It can relieve stress as well as anxiety.
  • When bend backwards it increases the flexibility of your spine and neck relieving the tension stored in your back, neck and shoulders.

[ Read: Best Yoga Postures to Reduce Belly Fat ]

7. Downward Facing Dog

downward facing dog anxiety

This is a downward-facing dog pose where you have to stand on your 2 legs and 2 arms just like a dog with your face down.

How to do:

  • First you have to stand with your legs apart.
  • Now, slowly bend down and touch the ground with your palms flat on the ground.
  • Slowly move your palms away from the feet and ensure that your hip is facing right up.
  • It should form a triangular shape like a mountain.


  • This asana helps improving the blood circulation to the brain which can effectively reduce the stress level.
  • When you do this daily, it can relieve depression as well as insomnia.
  • This is an excellent pose which can release daily stress and anxiety.

These are the top 7 best yoga poses that you can do to reduce your stress level. All these can improve your blood circulation helping your body and mind to relax better. You can surely try these yoga poses every day to relax your body and calm your mind down. These can effectively reduce anxiety.

Words of Caution

Even though yoga delivers so many benefits, performing it safely is very important. It is advised to always practice yoga under the guidance of a trained yoga practitioner so avoid any uncertainty.

Here are the safety tips you need to keep in mind:

  • If you have certain health issues, talk to your doctor before starting yoga.
  • Learn which poses are the best for your health condition and what poses could complicate the situation.
  • Always start slow and progress gradually. Do not rush to advanced yoga without practicing the beginners’ one.
  • Stay in contact with your yoga teacher to prevent injury or health condition.
  • Listen to your body. If your body is not allowing you to stretch further, stop. Do not overexert your body.

Scientific Evidence

1. The Effect of Yoga on Stress, Anxiety, and Depression in Women.

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