The Best Yoga Poses for Depression and Anxiety

Do you struggle with depression and/or anxiety? Yoga can be a powerful ally in addressing the physical and mental symptoms associated with both. Discover the best yoga poses to help manage your mental health and achieve a better sense of wellbeing.

Quick facts: Best Yoga Poses For Depression And Anxiety

✅ A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that 86% of participants with anxiety reported reduction in symptoms after regular yoga practice.

✅ Harvard Health Publishing states that yoga postures can help to alleviate stress, which can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

✅ According to Mayo Clinic, yoga can improve self-esteem, which is important for those struggling with depression and anxiety.

✅ The American Osteopathic Association notes that yoga can help to regulate the autonomic nervous system, which can reduce anxious feelings.

✅ According to Psychology Today, yoga can help to calm the mind and body, which can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.


Yoga is a form of exercise that is great for both physical and mental health. It has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Practicing yoga regularly can help reduce the symptoms associated with depression and anxiety.

In this article, we will discuss the best yoga poses for depression and anxiety:

What is depression and anxiety

Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental health conditions faced by many people today. Depression is a mood disorder characterized by feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and hopelessness, while anxiety is an emotional state characterized by fear and uneasiness.

There are many factors that can contribute to depression or anxiety, including life events such as stressors at work or home, physical or psychological traumas, illness, or genetic predisposition. With proper diagnosis and treatment, regular exercise like yoga can help manage symptoms and reduce the severity of both depression and anxiety.

Yoga involves physical postures – generally known as Asanas – deep breathing exercises – Pranayamas – and meditation which help bring balance to both the body and mind. When practiced regularly, it can greatly reduce stress levels while increasing focus and clarity of thought.

Benefits of yoga for depression and anxiety

The practice of yoga is a powerful form of expres­sion and connection that can help those living with depression and anxiety. Mindful breathing, gentle stretches, and relaxation techniques can help the body respond better to physiological triggers that lead to symptoms. Additionally, yoga helps cultivate a sense of clarity and calmness in the present moment.

Yoga can help reduce muscle tension, which may be a result of chronic stress and anxiety. It may also support improved sleep quality, which is essential for emotional wellbeing. By increasing blood flow to the brain, yoga can help bring oxygen to areas responsible for neurotransmitter regulation, calming the agitated mind associated with depression and anxiety. Furthermore, yoga encourages us to be more mindful – directing our attention away from intrusive thoughts that trigger us in negative ways.

Poses for Depression

Practicing yoga can be a powerful tool for managing depression and anxiety. Certain yoga poses provide the body with relaxation and can help to reduce stress and depression. In this article, we’ll cover some of the best yoga poses to help with depression and anxiety.

These poses are aimed at calming the mind, improving mood, and helping the body relax:

Supported Child’s Pose

Supported Child’s Pose is a gentle, restorative yoga pose that can be highly beneficial for those in the midst of depressive episodes, or who suffer from anxiety.

The pose itself involves coming to a seated position with your legs crossed and your upper body folding down over them. To achieve the supported variation, you can use a strap or bolster around your arms, in order to keep them away from the ears. This position can help reduce stress levels in the body and mind, whilst allowing for full relaxation and restoration of both physical and mental energy.

As this pose helps to reduce depression symptoms and soothe anxious discomfort it can be very helpful as part of an ongoing yoga practice as a way to support overall mental health and wellbeing.

Supported Bridge Pose

Supported Bridge Pose is an effective yoga pose for reducing anxiety and depression. This pose is great for calming down the body, as well as the mind. It can also provide a strong sense of grounding.

To do this pose, start laying on your back in a supine position (on your back). Bend your knees and plant your feet flat on the ground, keeping them hip-width apart. Bring your arms down by your sides with the palms facing up. Next, press into the feet to lift the hips in order to create an arch or bridge shape. After that:

  • Bring one block under each side of your lower back on either side of the spine (just above the sacrum) and let it rest there in order to provide some support.
  • Close your eyes and take several deep breaths filled with relaxation; stay here for five more breaths before releasing out of this pose.

Reclined Bound Angle Pose

Reclined Bound Angle Pose, or Supta Baddakonasana, is a gentle restorative yoga pose. It is used to reduce stress and stimulate relaxation, making it ideal for relieving depression and anxiety.

This pose works by compressing the abdomen from both sides; this helps to increase circulation of the digestive system and encourage deeper breathing. It also encourages mindfulness, helping to settle the mind.

Reclined Bound Angle Pose is done by lying on one’s back and drawing both knees into the chest while letting the arms rest out to the side in a “T” shape and letting the feet drop out wide on either side of your body. Breathing should be slow and deep as you hold this pose for up to 5 minutes. Working with a qualified yoga instructor can be beneficial when practicing this pose or any other pose pertaining to depression and anxiety.

Poses for Anxiety

Yoga has become an increasingly popular form of exercise and relaxation as it provides both physical and mental health benefits. For those struggling with anxiety, certain poses can be especially helpful.

In this article, we’ll go over the best yoga poses for anxiety and depression, as well as how to do them safely and effectively.

Seated Forward Fold

Seated Forward Fold (or Paschimottanasana in Sanskrit) is a great pose to try if you’re feeling overwhelmed with stress, anxiety, or depression. This pose is designed to help reduce stress, quiet the mind, and can even give you a sense of emotional balance.

During seated forward fold, you sit with your legs extended out in front of you and slowly bend forward from the hips until your chest touches your thighs. To make the pose more therapeutic and calming it is important to make sure your spine remains straight throughout the movement. When done correctly there should be no strain on your back muscles; instead, gravity should do most of the work as you move into and out of the pose. This can help release any pent up energy inside that may have been causing physical tension or a foggy mental state.

Seated Forward Fold also provides an intense stretch for your hamstrings which can be quite calming for both mind and body.

Cat-Cow Pose

The Cat-Cow Pose is a type of yoga pose that is known to help improve posture and alignment in the body, while also reducing feelings of stress, depression and anxiety.

This pose can be done by kneeling down on all fours and slowly arching the back up while exhaling (the cat pose) and then slowly bending the back down while inhaling (the cow pose). This alternating movement helps to open up the lungs, heat up the body and breathing, while loosening up any tight muscles or areas of tension.

The Cat-Cow Pose can be held for a few minutes at a time or done in repetition for additional benefit. It’s also great for relieving stress in both your mind and body before beginning more intensive yoga poses.

Legs Up the Wall Pose

Legs Up the Wall Pose or Viparita Karani is a restorative yoga pose that can help alleviate both depression and anxiety. It is a gentle, passive posture that helps to restore balance in the body and mind.

In this yoga pose, the body is supported while lying on the back with legs extended up against a wall. This position can help reduce fatigue and improve circulation. It also has calming effects on the nervous system as it induces a state of relaxation.

Legs Up the Wall Pose is a great way to give yourself some much needed relaxation time during moments of heightened anxiety. Additionally, this pose has been known to reduce lower back pain, headaches, and menstrual cramps due to its ability to promote blood flow circulation throughout the entire body.


In conclusion, yoga can be a great way to manage symptoms of depression and anxiety. It can help reduce stress, boost self-confidence, and provide clarity. With different poses and levels of difficulty, you can find the right poses to help you reach your goals.

Remember to take time to enjoy the yoga practice, and to be gentle with yourself.

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is an excellent form of exercise that not only benefits the physical body, but also helps to promote mental and emotional wellness. Research has indicated that yoga can help with depression and anxiety by reducing stress and improving mood.

Yoga helps to reduce cortisol levels in the body, which are associated with stress, and increases levels of feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine. Additionally, yoga can improve self-esteem, focus, sleep quality, overall wellbeing, and sense of purpose.

Furthermore, the physical practice of yoga gives people suffering from depression or anxiety a sense of accomplishment as they become more flexible and gain strength over time. The combination of physical and mental benefits makes yoga a great option for those looking to support their mental health holistically.

Safety Precautions

At the end of any yoga session, it is important to remember a few key safety precautions:

  • Make sure to listen to your body, and if you experience any pain or discomfort during a pose, stop immediately.
  • It is also important that your practice is guided by an experienced instructor or practitioner who can ensure that you maintain correct form and can provide modifications as needed.
  • If possible, practice with others in order to ensure that someone else is present in case of an emergency.
  • Finally, always make sure to stay hydrated throughout the practice and avoid overdoing it.

By following these guidelines, you can reduce potential risks associated with your practice and reap the full benefits of yoga for depression and anxiety relief.

FAQs about: Best Yoga Poses For Depression And Anxiety

Q: What are the best yoga poses for depression and anxiety?

A: The best yoga poses for depression and anxiety include the child’s pose, the bridge pose, the downward facing dog pose, the cat pose, the cobra pose, the fish pose, and the seated forward bend.

Q: How often should I practice yoga for depression and anxiety?

A: The frequency of yoga practice will depend on the individual and the severity of their depression and anxiety. Generally speaking, it is recommended to practice yoga at least 3 times a week in order to receive the full benefits.

Q: Are there any special breathing techniques associated with yoga for depression and anxiety?

A: Yes, there are special breathing techniques associated with yoga for depression and anxiety. These techniques, called pranayama, involve focusing on your breath and taking deep, slow breaths, allowing your body to relax and calm down.

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