Five-Minute Yoga to Ease Anxious Minds

Sinéad McKiernan
Five-Minute Yoga to Ease Anxious Minds

No matter how busy you are at work or at home, I think we can manage to squeeze five minutes of yoga into our daily routine. Here's an easy, five-minute yoga routine to ease anxious minds.

7/11 Breathing technique

Find somewhere comfortable to sit and you can practice this with your eyes closed. Inhale to the count of 7 and exhale to the count of 11. Try to inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.

If you find it difficult to breathe in and out for that long, just shorten the timing. For example, inhale to 5 and exhale to 9. Make this technique a part of your natural response to feeling anxious, as your physical body will relax and your mind will become calm. Breathing is directly linked to our emotional state.

Slow your breathing down and your mind and body will follow.

Cat/Cow Pose

 Credit: Kristin McGee

This pose provides a gentle massage to the spine and organs in the stomach. Start on your hands and knees in a “tabletop” position with a straight spine. Make sure your knees are hip distance apart and your wrists, elbows, and shoulders are in line.

Inhale and arch your spine, looking up towards the ceiling. Exhale and round your spine, tuck your chin, and look down towards the mat. Stay here for as many rounds as you like, stretching out your spine and back muscles.

Try to move with your breath, and on your final exhale come back to neutral spine.

Padangusthasana - Big Toe Pose

forward foldThis pose helps to calm the brain, and relieve stress and anxiety.

Stand straight with your feet six inches apart. Keeping your legs completely straight, exhale and bend forward from your hip joints, moving your torso and head as one. With every inhale, lengthen your spine and with every exhale fold over your legs.

There should be no tension in the head or the neck. Place fingers at toes with elbows bent if you can. If your hamstrings are long, draw the head towards the shins, otherwise focus on lengthening the torso. Stay for five breaths and when you're ready, bring your hands to your hips and inhale up to standing.

Have you tried these poses to relieve an anxious mind? Did you find them helpful? Let us know below!