Try These 14 Yoga Poses to Manage Emotions

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When you get nervous, you might get a tummy ache. Or you may feel red hot when angry. Our physical bodies and emotions are entangled, so you can manage your emotions through your movement.

Yoga poses can release or create feelings, from joy to rage to grief. The emotional power of each pose can be wielded to achieve emotional balance. The following poses allow you to address common emotional states — positive and negative — to stay centered and grounded.

For Sadness – Upward-Facing Dog

 woman practicing yoga, doing upward facing dog exercise
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Upward-facing dog can be uplifting when you’re feeling down. In this pose, your heart is open and pulled forward, your arms are straight and strong, and your hips, knees, and thighs hover above the ground. The pose is powerful while being relaxing, so it helps you cleanse your heart and avoid retreating into yourself.

For Happiness – Tree Pose

 Woman in Vrksasana pose
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Tree pose can be tricky if you struggle with balance, but the swaying and wobbles are part of the joy of this pose! It can be especially joyful and positive because you can make it your own. You can meditate on your joy with prayer hands or lift your arms and let your branches grow. It’s excellent for expressing excitement and fun.

For Anxiety – Child’s Pose

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When you feel overwhelmed by an unrecognizable force, child’s pose makes you feel safe and allows your worries to melt away, even if only momentarily. In this pose, every part of your body is supported, from your fingertips to your forehead to your belly to the tops of your feet. It lets you quiet the outside world and focus internally to find peace.

For Stress – Butterfly Pose

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Unlike anxiety, stress usually has a clear cause, like work, family, or life burdens. While child’s pose helps you feel safe within yourself, butterfly pose helps create comfort and stability with the external world. In the post, you’re stable and seated, but your heart, hips, legs, and neck are open, allowing you to face the world confidently and comfortably.

For Anger – Pigeon Pose

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Many yogis believe the hips hold a wealth of emotions, especially anger, rage, and tension. Hip openers, particularly pigeon pose, flush out these emotions. The asymmetrical pose opens one hip at a time, allowing you to experience and release these negative emotions carefully. The supported opening creates a safe space to process anger and rage.

For Fear – Cobra Pose

Woman doing Cobra exercise
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Cobra pose is a strong and steady pose. You lie belly down on the ground, press the tops of your feet and palms into the floor, and lift your chest proudly. This bold pose is fully supported but also helps you feel in control and formidable. You raise your head, chin,Remove featured image and chest to face whatever you’re afraid of.

For Amusement – Happy Baby

Woman doing Happy Baby yoga exercise
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Some people think yoga is always serious, but it can be silly, too! When you feel a little goofy or giddy, happy baby is a marvelous pose to embrace that lighthearted positivity. It’s simultaneously stable on the floor and fluid as you can rock back and forth loosely. Don’t be afraid to let this pose be funny, freeing, and childlike.

For Confusion – Warrior II

Woman Practicing Warrior Yoga Pose
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A confused or dazed mindset can be difficult to overcome, making it tough to focus and be productive. Warrior II is one of the most commanding and firm poses, engaging all four limbs and inspiring confidence. This pose helps you find your focus and reclaim control when you feel lost or in a haze.

For Impatience – Chair Pose

Woman practicing yoga Chair pose
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Impatience intertwines with many negative emotions, including anger, panic, vulnerability, stress, and confusion. Chair pose helps you tackle this emotion head-on. It forces you to be fully present and engaged in something simple but strenuous. You can bask in the moment and let go of anticipation.

For Shame – Standing Forward Fold

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Sometimes, the only way through shame or guilt is to accept it and use it to humble yourself. We often hang our heads low when ashamed, so standing forward fold can inherently encourage you to process those tough emotions. Allow yourself to fall limp from the waist up and hang loose.

For Insecurity – Cat-Cow

Woman doing cat cow yogapose
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When you feel insecure, cat-cow pose can inspire strength and self-assuredness. The pose involves opening your chest while compressing your back and then opening your back while compressing your chest. Appreciating this movement and duality encourages self-security and self-acceptance.

For Vulnerability – Dancer Pose

Woman doing yoga dancer pose
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Many poses here counteract an emotion. However, dancer pose can actually make you feel vulnerable, but that’s how you find power in it. The pose requires balance, flexibility, and strength, helping you find self-reliance and fortitude. While mastering the pose may make you feel vulnerable, doing so can also create a sense of composure and conviction in vulnerable situations.

For Panic – Legs Up the Wall

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One of the best ways to manage panic is to invert yourself. Poses like headstands, handstands, or even crow pose can be intimidating, so do a relaxed and stable inversion. Legs up the wall is perfect because your entire upper body is supported while your legs feel light. It offers a new and calming perspective.

For Boredom – Triangle Pose

Woman doing yoga triangle Pose
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Known as one of the most powerful and important yoga poses, triangle pose can squash boredom and inspire you. This pose uses the strongest shape in the universe. Finding perfect alignment takes awareness and grace, making it a mindfully and physically engaging pose. Pride, focus, and creativity can stem from triangle pose and ignite your thoughts.

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