Yin, Yoga for Anxiety, and more…

Is it a fair statement to say most people experienced an all time record high level of anxiety in their life at some point during 2020?

As 2022 rolls through, a huge influx of new and returning yoga practitioners joined Inspire Yoga for some much needed yoga for anxiety relief. Perhaps they all know something that you may find beneficial too!

Let’s break down some yoga for anxiety talking points in this two minute read.

Yoga for Anxiety Relief

Anxiety is the body’s response to stress.

Stress comes at us in as many forms. There are probably as many different physical manifestations of stress as there are unique bodies. However, one of the best initial ways to deal with excessive stress is to start a yoga practice.

Regardless of your age, fitness level, or diet habits, The Harvard Medical School describes yoga as the body’s natural tool to regulate stress. The initial mechanisms for this are remarkably clear and remarkably simple.

Many people join a yoga studio for the friendship and fitness. Yet, the wellness aspect, such as anxiety relief, creates truly dedicated practitioners. Yoga is a proven tool to temper natural anxiety. It starts with the breathing.

Search Criteria: Yoga for Anxiety

Here are fours simple things any anxious person should consider when searching for the right first yoga class.

First, is the environment safe? If you have never been into a yoga studio before, pick one with a solid reputation. Perhaps you have a friend who can offer a personal referral. Consider years in business, duration of instructors, and certifications.

Next, are the instructors skilled and caring? This probably comes down to a good personal referral again. Just remember that if you try one class with one instructor and things do not go absolutely perfect for you, do’t give up your yoga for anxiety relief journey so quickly. Consider a second try.

Third, is the class style right for me? Some people prefer to move quickly, build heat, sweat, and lose themselves in music as a means to combat stress. Some people want to hear steady instructions and move at a measured pace to lose themselves in a sort of game of ‘Simon Says’. Others prefer an opportunity for stillness and silence. All of these are available in the right yoga class for you, they just might not all be found at once in the same yoga class style.

Finally, am I ready to commit? Everything is difficult until it is easy. In my experience, the most difficult decision is simply to show up. Decide to show up for yourself a couple of times and the anxiety relief will follow. Make a plan in advance and secure a time slot you can make. Future self will be at peace and thank you.

How Can Yin Yoga Help with Anxiety?

In a past article, we discussed yoga for anxiety. Here we offer a yin sequence specifically designed as yoga for anxiety relief. Though it is not a cure, it can provide some comfort and calm when all else seems to be spiraling out of control. Follow along with the guided sequence of poses below whenever you find yourself entering into an anxious state. And you can always find amazing Yin and Meditation sequences online. Search for “Anxiety” in the search dialogue to find classes for your needs.

Yin Yoga Sequence to Help with Anxiety

Find a quiet setting with very gentle music to enjoy this sequence. If you would like to use my spotify playlist as you transition through these poses, please view & listen HERE

Additional details for each pose can be found 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.

New to Yin?

If you are new to yin yoga, or looking for yoga benefits for anxiety, welcome! Here are a few details regarding this specific style.

  • 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.

Guided Yin Yoga Sequence

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

reclined pigeon twist
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

sphinx pose shins up wall
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)

Neck shoulder release
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

Continuing Your Yoga Practice

I hope this sequence was beneficial for you. As you take time when finding yourself in an anxious state, this sequence is always available for your use, even if you have a few minutes. And Inspire Yoga has so many more options available for streaming at Inspire Yoga Online, including this newly released video under the Free Featured Classes focused on 360 relief for the legs.

We hope that this yin yoga sequence and all of these yin yoga classes for dealing with anxiety offer quiet peace and enjoyment.

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

6 thoughts on “Yin, Yoga for Anxiety, and more…”

  1. Pingback: Yoga Classes for Beginners | Inspire Yoga | Start or Restart Today

  2. Pingback: On discovering Yoga – Smiling After PND

  3. 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

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