YIN YOGA for Anxiety

posted by Nancy Nelson

In an article a couple weeks ago, we discussed how yoga can help with anxiety. Though it is not a cure, it can help provide comfort and calm when all else seems to be spiraling out of control. Follow along with the next few poses whenever you find yourself entering into an anxious state.

This sequence is best experienced in a quiet setting with very gentle music (if any). If you would like to use my spotify playlist as you transition through these poses, please view & listen HERE

Each of these poses will be linked over to my friends at yinyoga.comyogajournal.com, and a couple others. If you are new to a pose or need a different variation than pictured, click on the name of the pose and you’ll be directed to more information.

Of note: If you are new to yin yoga, welcome!

  • This style of yoga is a deep stretching practice, intended to help you dig into the connective tissues that surround the joints and release tension.
  • It also helps to free up energy within the body. Specifically, this flow helps you free up emotional energy that may be causing your anxiety.
  • In order for this release to happen, each pose is held a little longer than you might be used to. Enjoy the gift of time that accompanies this practice! It is very counter-cultural to be allowed to “simply be”. So soak it up. The act of slowing down might be all you need to calm your fears and concerns. Do your best to breathe and to sink heavily into each asana.

1. Reclined on bolster (optional: legs in bound angle) 5 minutes








2. Reclining Twist on bolster 4 minutes each side








3. Butterfly  5 minutes (optional: 3 minutes on bolster, 2 minutes without)









4. Reclined Pigeon at wall 4 minutes








5. Reclined pigeon twist 3 minutes

From your reclined pigeon at the wall, release your arms out to either side like cactus arms. Keeping your legs in position, begin to drop the crossed foot over to the opposite side until the foot is planted on the earth. To deepen into this pose, you can grab ahold of the ankle of the foot that is on the ground and gently draw the top knee towards the wall.












**repeat 4 & 5 on other side**

6. Sphinx with shins up wall 5 minutes

You can do this pose without the shins up the wall if that is too intense in your low back. There should be sensation in the lumbar spine, but never pain.









7. Childs pose 3 minutes








8. Hero/Saddle pose with wall at back 5 minutes

Instead of reclining in your pose, this time set yourself up at the wall so you can rest your spine into it. This provides a feeling of security and grounding. As you’re here, imagine you are breathing space in between every vertebrae on the inhales. On the exhales, release any tension or concern out.

Optional addition: Neck/Shoulder release (30 seconds each side)

Resting your right hand on your thigh, begin to reach your left hand for your low back (back of the palm resting there) or continue reaching until you can hold onto the right arm (pictured). Once you have the arms positioned, take an inhale and as you exhale drop one ear over to one shoulder, then to the other. Make sure to do both sides with the arms.
















9. Seated forward fold/Caterpillar 5 minutes (optional: 3 minutes with bolster, 2 minutes without)









10. Legs up the wall/Savasana 10 minutes










In acceptance and stillness, there is peace. Namaste, friends.


Life has not been the same since finding Inspire Yoga in 2012. After the loss of a close friend, I found my mat to be a soft place to land in a difficult season of life. After attending classes consistently, I pursued the Inspire Yoga 200 and 300 hour teacher trainings and now hold my IYS 500 hour certification as well as E-RYT200 and RYT500 with Yoga Alliance. I love sharing yoga with people and getting to offer a space for them to be just as they are - whether broken, joyful, happy, uncertain ...there is a space for you here at Inspire Yoga. My blog posts are a reflection of my passion for yoga and how it has impacted my life in such a healing way. I am the membership director at Inspire Yoga Denton and love doing life with such an amazing community! Outside of yoga, I am wife to Colin and mama to Oliver and our sweet hound dog Ama.

5 thoughts on “YIN YOGA for Anxiety

  1. Hi Nancy, I’ve just recently discovered your wonderful personal yoga blog, then, I followed a link and found myself here! I’m so grateful to have found you, so so helpful! Namaste, Heidi x

    1. Heidi! So glad you found me over here too! Thanks for your support. If you ever have questions or requests, don’t hesitate to send my way! -Nancy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *