Anxiety for yoga: Benefits and poses

Many people use yoga to help with their anxiety. There is some evidence to suggest that it is useful, particularly in people living with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Anxiety is the body’s response to stress and is part of the natural fight, flight, or freeze reflex.

Anxiety might resemble a feeling of distress, unease, or dread. Its intention is to keep a person alert or aware during times of threat.

Sometimes, anxiety can get in the way of everyday life. This is particularly true for people who live with health conditions that can cause excessive anxiety, such as OCD or GAD. Doctors believe that exercise, including yoga, can help people to manage the symptoms of anxiety.

This article looks at why yoga is beneficial for anxiety, which yoga poses may help with anxiety, how to perform them, and the research to support these ideas.