Yoga Poses to Relieve Pain, Calm Anxiety and More

Before you make a beeline for the medicine cabinet, try these moves from Mandy Ingber, Jennifer Aniston's longtime yoga guru (11 Photos)

Shaun Dreisbach on Jul 19, 2012 at 11:48PM

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Yoga Poses to Relieve Pain, Calm Anxiety and More

Mandy Ingber

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Problem: Anxiety

Pose: Pranayama Breathing
Sit with your legs crossed comfortably and your hands resting on your knees, your palms facing up. Then, close your eyes and inhale slowly for 6 counts, allowing your belly to expand. Pause for 2 counts before you exhale, then take another 6 counts to breathe out, drawing your belly back to your spine; pause for 2 counts, then slowly inhale again. Repeat this breathing sequence for 10 minutes.

How It Helps: Any kind of exercise can fight frazzle, but the slow, deep breathing of yoga (spotlighted in this move) has been shown to be particularly effective at shutting off your nervous system’s fight-or-flight state and putting it back into rest-and-relax mode. One German-led study found that women who began practicing yoga reported significant improvements in anxiety, stress and wellbeing, compared to non-yogis --and that their levels of the stress hormone cortisol actually dropped as well.

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