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.