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6 Yoga Poses for Depression and Anxiety

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 07/06/11 12:22 AM ET   Updated: 09/05/11 06:12 AM ET

Yoga -- the ancient Indian word for the union of mind and body -- is more than a fitness regimen. Despite its current avatar, yoga is really about calming the mind through a combination of breathing and physical poses. The names of the various asanas or poses are in themselves indications of the purpose they are supposed to fulfill: warrior pose for confidence and strength, wind-releasing pose for stomach problems and so on. Combinations of poses can also be used for specific conditions: slow stretching poses for better sleep or a specific set of asanas for pregnancy.

This slideshow describes six yoga poses recommended by Virayoga's Elena Brower that lend themselves to the alleviation of anxiety and depression -- from the warm, comforting embrace of the child pose to the relaxing stretch of the cat pose.

Child Pose
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Child pose or balasana is perhaps the most comforting yoga pose. "It can bring groundedness and humility and quiet to the body," says Elena Brower, who owns Manhattan's Virayoga. For those suffering from anxiety, it can create peace and silence.

Photo: Tiffany Assman
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