Antidotes to Anxiety
The practice of yoga offers solutions to all types of stress, including social anxiety. Here are three poses that can be especially helpful.
Crocodile Pose: This is a deceptively simple posture that can deliver dramatic benefits. Relax on your stomach with arms folded on the floor above your head. Similar to Savasana (Corpse Pose), in which you lie face-up, Crocodile Pose allows you to release all of your tension, but because it puts your belly and face to the ground, it can make a socially anxious person feel less exposed and vulnerable. In Crocodile Pose, you can practice yogic breathing (consciously using your diaphragm), which feels both calming and empowering.
Seated Twists: Seated twists of all kinds are powerful anxiety relievers. They teach you to relax even when you find yourself in a tight spot. Once a deep twist has been achieved in the pose of your choice, focus on the breath. You'll soon discover that breathing relieves the anxiety and discomfort of the pose. Next, you can apply this insight to other life situationsgoing to a party, sitting in a meeting, or talking with people.
Headstand: More advanced yoga students can practice Sirsasana (Headstand), which is great for increasing balance and strength and can also stimulate mental clarity. Holding Headstand can be tough, but it's an effective way to calm anxious thoughts and build confidence.