Five Ways Yoga Helps With Anxiety
“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life- live in the moment, live in the breath.”– Amit Ray
Modernization and technology have given us so many things which make our lives smooth, comfortable, and easy. But amidst of all these luxuries and conveniences, we are also given the gift of bad health. The demanding fast-paced life of today comes up with a lot of physical and mental strain, including anxiety. While we can still overcome the physical issues with ease, but mental issues are much harder to rectify.
Many of us are unaware of mental issues or disorders. Anxiety is one extremely common mental condition, a general term that is associated with nervousness, apprehension, fear, worry, concern, and uneasiness. Anxiety affects our feelings, behavior, and can also cause physical symptoms. When a person is undergoing anxiety, he or she may feel uneasiness, unsettling feeling, feeling of choking, etc., all of which can affect normal living.
With the help of yoga, and practicing it daily, overcoming the mental condition of anxiety can become a real possibility. This can allow you to start living a normal, happy, and healthy life. Here are five amazing and effective ways yoga help with anxiety.
1. Pay Attention To Your Breathing
Practicing breathing technique is the best way to relax the unsettled mind. With anxiety, breath becomes short and shallow. Shallow-short breaths worsen the condition and give you a faint feeling. Focusing on the breath and practicing proper breathing techniques is one major aspect of yoga. It can help divert your attention. Proper breathing clears and calms the mind, hence useful in managing the symptoms of anxiety.
People with anxiety issues should practice Pranayama (breath work). Examples include:
- Diaphragmatic breathing (Adham Pranayama)
- Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana Pranayama)
- Single Nostril Breathing (Surya/Chandra Bhedana Pranayama)
2. Triggers The Feel-Good Hormones
When we practice pranayama, our body releases some hormones like endorphins that are also known as feel-good hormones. These hormones elevate mood instantly and reduce the symptoms of depression, relieve stress, and anxiety. Endorphins act as the natural antidepressant and also works well in preventing and reducing pain. Additionally, practicing asana makes you more flexible and strengthens the body that helps to prevent injuries, and keeps you healthy.
Asana for people with anxiety- Child’s Pose (Balasana), Tree Pose (Vrikasana), Warrior 3 (Virabhadrasana 3), Headstand (Sirsasana), Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani), Bow Pose (Dhanurasana), Fish Pose (Matsyasana), Head-to-Knee Pose (Janu Shirsasana), Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana), Seated Forward Bend (Paschimotanasana), Hand-to-Foot Pose (Hastapadasana), Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), and Savasana (ahhhhhhh!).
3. Meditate To Calm The Body and Mind
An anxious mind can become easily agitated and is usually overactive, and even affects the body by creating uneasiness. Practicing meditation slows down the mind and relaxes the body. The practice has a calming soothing effect on the mind and body. With a regular practice, your mind becomes familiar with its process and pattern that helps in reducing the impact of your thoughts on you. Meditation distracts the mind and gives you a sense of peace and calmness.
4. Apply Yoga Philosophy To Your Lifestyle
Our lifestyle has a major part to play in the mental condition and things like stress, alcohol, and caffeine trigger the anxiety level. When you start practicing yoga, you start unfolding its various aspects other than the asana, meditation, and pranayama. Yoga makes you more loving, kind, a person with gratitude, and gives you the sense of better understanding towards self and the world around you.
Yoga also teaches you to respect your body and encourages to work towards maintaining its good health. It leads towards healthy eating that balances and supports the entire system. Eating a ‘yogic diet’ is not enough; eating food mindfully is just as necessary. Yoga not just helps to reduce anxiety, but at the same time, it also proves to be an ideal and the only source of the treatment.
5. Yoga Community
When a person suffers from anxiety or panic disorders, feels like no one gets him/her or understands their problem. This leads them towards feelings of isolation and can pave a way towards depression. Joining a yoga class lets you meet new people that are like-minded. This helps in developing a sense of community and makes them realize that they are not alone. Yoga class helps to develop faith in the Self and others, and faith can help in coping anxiety.
For the better understanding of the yoga philosophy and its concept, undergoing yoga training proves to be beneficial. You can attend yoga teacher training in India, the land of origin, and attain the traditional and authentic learning of the ancient art.
Yoga is the best way to reduce stress and anxiety. It calms the mind, relaxes the body, provides peace, and makes you feel empowered from within.
Have you ever experienced anxiety? Have you found that your yoga practice has helped with any anxiety that may creep up? Let us know your experience in the comments!