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Yoga Sequences

11 Yoga Practices for Working Through Stress and Anxiety

It can be hard to feel grounded and calm in the midst of uncertainty and chaos. Here, meditations, pranayama, and asana sequences to help you let go of fear and find peace.

With social distancing and temporarily shuttered yoga studios, now is a good time to lean into your home yoga practice. These 11 sequences, breath and movement practices, and meditations will provide a refuge and real health benefits. 

See also How to Form a New Relationship with Your Anxiety

A Guided Meditation For Anxiety

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Try this short meditation, created by Yoga Foster and Reclamation Ventures Founder Nicole Cardoza, the next time you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious.

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Relieve Anxiety with This Simple 30-Second Practice

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This quick movement and breath practice from Energy Medicine Yoga Creator Lauren Walker will help you feel grounded and calm when the world gets chaotic.  

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Read Mindfulness Meditations for Anxiety: 100 Simple Practices to Find Peace Right Now

Feeling Scattered? This Meditation Practice Will Bring More Peace Into Your Life

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Do this meditation practice with Honor Don’t Appropriate Summit Creator Susanna Barkataki when you want to come back to your true self.

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6 Steps to Tame Anxiety: Meditation + Seated Poses

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To quell anxiety, try this short meditation followed by a seated yoga sequence from Lynn Stoller, a Boston-based Hatha Yoga teacher and occupational therapist who teaches trauma-sensitive yoga to veterans and their families. These poses can be practiced anywhere with a chair.

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A Yoga Sequence to Train Your Brain to Relax

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Chronic stress and anxiety signal the brain to wreak havoc on your body. The secret to hitting reset? Yoga. Mindful Yoga Therapy was developed to aid returning military service members suffering from PTSD, but a version of this same practice can help us all develop the skills to better manage stress and anxiety. Because these conditions may manifest themselves differently in every body, it is important to remember that the following sequence isn’t a cure-all; it’s simply one way to find some peace of mind. Practice these poses, designed to access the parasympathetic nervous system, with a soft, steady Ujjayi breath—breathing in and out through the nose with an oceanlike sound—with equal inhales and exhales and a relaxed face. Both breath and asana will also help you stay in the present moment and counter the great deal of pain and anxiety that can arise when thinking about the past and future, explains Suzanne Manafort, the founder of Mindful Yoga Therapy. Practice as many times a week as you can and you’ll start to see a shift in the way you react to stress.

Practice now.

Slay Momentary Anxiety with This Sequence

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Feeling panicked? Give yourself a hug. This simple sequence—from Colleen Saidman Yee and Rodney Yee—can help you feel safe and secure when worry and overwhelm set in.

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Read Essential Pranayama: Breathing Techniques for Balance, Healing, and Peace

Find Calm in 60 Seconds with This Guided Grounding Practice

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Nothing drains your sense of peace and drags you off-kilter like a jittery mind on overdrive. Want to get unstuck and quit dwelling on the why? Colleen Saidman Yee personally turns to this one-minute antidote when anxiety takes over. This brief yet powerful practice brings you squarely back to center—and you can do it anywhere. 

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A 3-Step Pranayama Technique for Stillness and Peace

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It may be news to you when you’re worked up over stress or lack of sleep, but, like a hurricane, there’s an innate calm in the eye of even the most frenzied being. So, what helps you dive through those waves of emotional states and find peace? Iconic yoga teacher Rodney Yee says that the foundations of pranayama are relaxing your body and focusing your mind so that you get out of the way and become receptive to the breath. Here, he offers a simple three-part practice to find the doorway to your internal sanctuary.

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This Moving Breath Practice Will Teach You to Let Go

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Although the in and out breath have different effects on your mind and body, the quality of each helps bring out the best in the other. That’s why a deep exhalation is important: A release is required in order to usher in oxygenated blood during the inhalation, which gives us a boost of vitality. Here, Tias Little, founder of Prajna Yoga, shares a moving pranayama practice to help you facilitate a full release on the exhale.

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Try Seat Of Your Soul Meditation Cushion

The Stress-Busting Yoga Sequence to Conquer Tension

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Try these 15 soothing poses to get rid of all that tension you’re carrying around. Soften spots that tend to cling to stress and tension (hello, low back, hips, and thighs!) with grounding squats, passive backbends, mild inversions, and refreshing twists. Energetically, the poses aim to rebalance apana vayu (downward-moving energy), allowing the mind to calm and the body to relax. Here’s the perfect sequence to calm frazzled nerves. As you progress through the poses, you’ll encourage the nervous system to settle down; the breath retention and rhythmic breathing exercises will help your body and mind emerge refreshed.

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Yoga for Inner Peace: A Stress-Relieving Sequence

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Stress demands all of our energy. When our batteries are so depleted, we can’t deal, and anything can push us over the edge. It’s like being stuck in semi-panic mode, where there is very little exhale, and the neck, head, and shoulders are likely to be tense. Yoga gives us tools to cope. Here, Colleen Saidman Yee demonstrates eight poses for stress relief. 

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