8 Beginner Yoga Poses to Ease Anxiety and Depression

If you have been following me on social media, then you know that I have been practicing yoga. My practice method is 2-3 times a week, and sometimes I’ll post the transitions I’m practicing on IGTv (Check my Instagram for “Self-Care Sundays”). I’ve been enjoying getting to learn more about how it can help improve my physical and mental health. Regular discipline and practice have increased my ability to find inner peace and salvation. Oh, and did I mention that I’m not an expert at this? Although I am not as trained as some, I’ve still gained a bit of knowledge about the art of yoga. We all don’t have to be Yogis!

Being at home for five/six months has taken a lot of adjustment for all of us, and it steadily affects my mind and body. Yoga has allowed me to escape to find release. I’ve learned eight poses or transitions that have helped me to relieve tension, stress, and anxiety. These eight yoga poses are great for beginners like me and are steps in the direction towards allowing yoga to heal your body.

Pro Tip: Remember to breathe and follow the breath consistently when entering and holding a pose. It is key to deepening your stretch or finding where you need the most release.

Upward Salute (30 secs- 1 min)
This pose is a considerable starter or ending to your yoga practice. I’m amazed at how standing firm can begin to change my overall mood and energy. To enter this pose, stand tall and straight with your legs and feet close together. Send your arms out to the side, palms facing up. Slowly lift or raise the arms upward above the head where the palms will meet. Whenever I’m in this pose, I will feel a stretch throughout the spine and shoulders.

Bound Angle Pose (1- 5 mins)
My hips give me numerous fits when it comes to tension and tightness. The Bound Angle Pose is a go-to for me when it comes to opening up the hips, along with it being one of the painless poses to transition through. While remembering to follow the breath, sit with your legs out in front of you. Bend the knees and bring the heels inwards to meet each other.
Pro Tip: To deepen the stretch, lift from the pelvis to bring the spine to the heels of your feet.

Seated Forward Bend (30 secs- 1 min)
Next time you’re sitting and watching Netflix or your favorite movie, try out the Seated Forward Bend. You can use this to help calm the mind for a bit and take a load off! This pose can help soothe headaches and reduce fatigue while stretching out the spine, shoulders, and hamstrings. Just extend your legs forward and inhale to send the arms to grab the feet, holding the pose for 30 secs to a min.

Bridge Pose (30 secs- 1 min)
I love this pose for the broad array of benefits from it. Bridge pose can be whatever you need it to be. Allow your body to heal and find relief anywhere from the neck, lower back, legs, and see how to restore and rejuvenate your body within this transition. While laying flat, adjust to bend and keep your knees and feet parallel on the floor. While pressing into the floor, use the arms and feet to lift the tailbone upwards, towards the sky.

Extended Puppy Pose (30 secs- 1 min)
A great beginner pose that can help prepare you for follow up transitions, such as Downward Facing Dog. Allow Extended Puppy Pose to help lengthen your spine and stretch out both the spine and shoulders. During your breath cycles, attempt to deepen the stretch by taking full inhales through the nose and letting go by exhaling through the mouth. Simply come to all fours and extend the tailbone back to meet the thighs, then lift the tailbone upwards to the sky. Extend the arms as far as you can forward, attempting to keep the elbows in line with the forearms and gently release the forehead to the floor.

Camel Pose (5- 10 Breath Cycles)
Ustrasana Sanskrit or Camel is one of the more intricate poses that I’ve chosen for the list, but you’ll be happy to know that when you’ve completed this transition, you’ll be in a better mood and on your way to healing. To start, kneel on the floor or mat, keeping the legs and feet a hip’s distance apart. While pressing into the feet, lift through the pelvic to send the hips and tailbone forward. When you’re ready, send the arms back to meet the feet to grab and hold for a few deep breath cycles.

Big Toe Pose (1 min)
If you are a runner or someone who suffers from tight hamstrings, you should find this transition beneficial like I seem to have done. It is easy to get into, and it certainly is brilliant for lengthening and strengthening your hamstrings. It’s one of my favorites! Stand upright and keep the feet a couple of inches apart. Then, keep the legs straight, and bend forward through the hip flexors to meet the feet. Send the arms down to have the fingers grab the feet or “big toes” and hold the pose. Inhale deeply to lift the torso back up, and if you’d like, repeat this one a few times.

Extended Triangle Pose (30 secs- 1 min)
The Extended Triangle Pose is one of the supreme standing poses in yoga and is beneficial to increase strength and stability. Similar to the benefits of the Big Toe Pose, I find that this transition helps with tight hamstrings and shoulders. To enter the pose, stand upright (hip-width apart). Turn the left leg and foot inward and the right leg and foot outward. Next, extend arms out sideways and then shift or lift from the hips to send right arm down to meet the left foot. The left arm should be extended upward to the sky. Repeat the steps for the opposite side.

I hope that the transitions I’ve shared with you today will help you to calm the mind, increase flexibility, let go, and increase your happiness and healing. I know that they’ve certainly been a blessing to me. If you’re new to this, I would recommend investing in a yoga mat. You don’t have to necessarily have one, as you can use towels and rugs if you wish, but the yoga mat is honestly easier on the body. I got mine from Marshall’s, but here are a few that I’ve found on Amazon. Please share in the comment section any other transitions and poses that you may know of that are beneficial to easing anxiety and depression!

DisclaimerHeads up! My posts contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission, which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

Retrospec Yoga Mat

Gaiam Yoga Mat

BalanceFrom Yoga Mat

8 Relaxing Aromatherapy Blend Must-Haves

Essential oils are one of the ways that we combat stress and anxiety while allowing us to relax and take a load off. Each blend is unique with helping decrease chronic pain, tension, headaches, and even sinus pressure. People find ways to incorporate aromatherapy into their daily life to improve health and general wellbeing. Plenty of men and women have purchased electronic diffusers that can illuminate your home with your favorite scent for hours! Aromatherapy roll-ons are an easy application tool to try using on the body or a pillow before bed. I use them all of the time whenever I make Kreative Bath Bombs! They are one of the best features of a relaxing and rejuvenating bath bomb. One of the questions that I receive a lot is, “how do I know that I am picking the right scent to help me relax and unwind?” and I am so happy that I can finally answer this question for you. Essential oils have different aromas and all derive from a combination of different things such as fruit or plants. Depending on what tickles your fancy, you may not enjoy citrus or a pine fragrance. That’s okay! I’ve come up with 8 essential oil blends that are perfect for achieving relaxation and relief and I want to share them with you today. Let’s make this easier. I have options for anyone looking to find the aromatherapy fragrance for them.

Disclosure: Heads up! My posts contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission, which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

Bergamot

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Bergamot is a citrus and floral scent that is popular and commonly used in aromatherapy. If your goal is to reduce stress or enhance your mood, I recommend that you give this one a try if you haven’t already. Bergamot has antiseptic and analgesic properties, making for a possible solution to your stressful day. According to Very Well Health, this oil blend has been believed to treat and prevent:

  1. Acne
  2. Anxiety
  3. Depression
  4. Insomnia
  5. Headaches
  6. Psoriasis
  7. Nasal decongestion

Inhalation or absorption of Bergamot can increase serotonin and dopamine, which are our “feel good” hormones.

Grapefruit

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Grapefruit aromatherapy might be my favorite blend of all time! I cannot get enough of this citrus scent. Whenever I use it, it is guaranteed to enhance my mood. Aside from this blend being one of the most aromatic, it is super beneficial to mental and physical health. Healthline.com states that grapefruit aromatherapy curbs and suppresses appetites, promoting weight loss. It can also lower blood pressure and treat acne. It can be great for mental clarity and reducing the stress in your life. Lift your mood by giving this one a try!

Lemon 

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It may be time to renew and restore some balance in your life. One thing I know about lemon is that you can take a few of them and make lemonade! Lemon aromatherapy is perfect for renewing and restoring your physical and mental health. This is another citrus blend that can help reduce anxiety and depression symptoms. Lemon has been and can be used as a natural home remedy for:

  1. Cleaning and rejuvenating your home
  2. Clearing the skin; combating acne and hyperpigmentation

I have used lemon when I am cleaning my house and after I am done, I feel so much better. I want to start using it more in my skincare routine to help with dark spots.

Pro Tip: Expecting mothers can also use this to help decrease and lower morning sickness symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. 

Chamomile

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Although this list goes in no particular order, chamomile is high on my list of super relaxing aromatherapy oil blend must-haves. This floral oil fragrance has been most noted for helping to promote sleeping and resting. It is also essential in helping to decrease depression, insomnia, and restlessness. Rarely is it noted that this scent can improve physical health. A list of body ailments include:

  1. Indigestion
  2. Nausea
  3. Back pain
  4. Arthritis

Pro Tip: Add 1-2 drops of chamomile oil to your favorite lotion or moisturizer, and apply it to the skin.

Jasmine

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Another floral fragrance that makes the list of relaxing oil blend must-haves. If you have been looking for a scent that is loving and pure, hopefully, this one proves itself worthy of the title. Did you know that jasmine is commonly used in fragrances (ex. Chanel No. 5), sweets, alcohol, and desserts? Jasmine can be an aphrodisiac or antidepressant. The healing properties can reduce:

  1. Depression
  2. Increase positive feelings
  3. Increase energy levels

Pro Tip: Use this to set the mood in your house for a night with your sweet date.

Lavender

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The Relaxing Aromatherapy Blends Must-Haves list would not be complete without the lavender fragrance. Everyone knows that lavender can help you to relax and get a peaceful night of sleep. What I love most about this versatile floral scent is how calming it can be. There is absolutely no doubt about how relaxed you will be after putting a few drops of this into your diffuser. I encourage you to get creative with this one. Roll it on to your pillow before bed, put a few drops into an empty spray bottle, and dilute it with water to make a mist. 

Neroli

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Neroli aromatherapy is an essential oil blend that I stumbled upon while combining oils when making Kreative Bath Bombs. An orange citrus blend that is popular in skincare use. Neroli can stimulate your skin cell rejuvenation and is anti-scarring. For glowing and radiant skin, pair this with lemon aromatherapy. Super refreshing!

Pro Tip: Neroli can be a fantastic ingredient to rub on stretch marks, age spots, and scars.

Rosemary

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Rosemary is a popular multi-purpose aromatherapy blend that you could use while cooking, treating your hair, or improving your health. Rosemary comes from a plant or shrub and is a forest pine fragrance. If you have been having trouble concentration lately, rosemary could be the scent for you. I would recommend finding this in a roll-on to apply to the temples of the forehead or base of the neck. Rosemary can also help with hair loss! A hair growth remedy to replenishing hair follicles. 

There are 82 other aromatherapy blends in the essential oil family. The must-haves I have shared with you have proven beneficial to my physical, mental, or emotional health. I encourage combining blends for a customized experience. If you are a beginner in this practice, these must-haves will help guide you in discovering which aromatic fragrances are pleasing to your senses. What will you use your relaxing blend for the most? Intermediate and expert users should share which essential oils help them to unwind in the comment section below.