I don’t have to tell you that 2020—and this week in particular—has been a lot. According to the CDC, nearly 41 percent of people have dealt with symptoms of anxiety and depression since the onset of the pandemic. One of the ways people are getting through this time? With movement. But while pounding the pavement on a run or spiking your heart rate in a HIIT class both have their benefits for reducing stress and boosting your mood, yoga can be just as beneficial for keeping you centered when the world feels overwhelming.
Research has shown that yoga works as a form of moving meditation to replace stressful thoughts with feel-good brain waves. That’s why Adrienne Mishler—the yogi behind YouTube’s Yoga With Adriene channel—has received an outpouring of requests for flows that help with anxiety from her millions of followers. With that in mind, she’s spent the last few months releasing videos with titles like “Yoga for Loneliness,” “Yoga for Courage,” and (my personal favorite) “Yoga for When You Feel Dead Inside” to help people meet their physical and emotional needs every time they hit the mat.
“We all sign up for a strength class and we’re hoping also to quell some of our anxiety in that, but sometimes it’s okay to go right to therapeutic practice that could also bring strength,” she says. “That’s one of the beautiful things about yoga for me—when we get to touch on whatever’s happening in the present moment.”
Yoga has been shown to help relax your mind and body, and yoga nidra in particular helps to regulate the sleep cycle and temper anxiety. To get your own anxiety-reducing flow on—right now or whenever you need it the most—follow along with one of the videos below.
1. Yoga With Adriene’s yoga for when you feel dead inside
Whenever you’re feeling particularly despondent, allow Mishler to coach you through a breath and body practice to help give you a head-to-toe reset.
2. SkyTing’s 20-minute calming yoga flow
This stress-busting flow, care of the team at SkyTing, will help you forget everything going on in the world as you cycle through your poses. After a few downward-facing dogs, you’ll find yourself feeling better in 20 minutes flat.
3. Yoga With Adriene’s yoga for anxiety and stress
This 30-minute flow is specifically designed to squash stress and anxiety. It’s gentle on your body and chock-full of calming poses that will leave you saying “ahh” well before you settle into savasana.
4. BK Yoga Club’s 20-minute yoga for stress relief
Use your yoga practice as a way to simply chill with this guided session, which is perfect for yogis at any level who are looking to take a break from doomscrolling through the news.
5. MadFit’s 20-minute full-body stretch and yoga for stress and anxiety relief
Cycle through a few simple stretches with this 20-minute class, which combines yoga and other dynamic movements to help loosen your limbs and center your mind.
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