Anxiety has taken many peaceful mornings from us. It has taken afternoons, nights and entire days too.
When it comes to shaky and sweaty hands, racing thoughts, shallow breathing, and a sense of helplessness. Most of our life I think that there was no alternative. We spent years trying to find a way to manage our anxiety. We found things that helped a little, but nothing truly like yoga helped. It wasn’t immediate. Through yoga and dedication to it, many people life is no longer ruled by anxiety. I have learned Yoga at Ground Sports Fitness.
So, what exactly is it about yoga that helps anxiety?
1. Pranayama (Breathing):
The simple act of mindful breathing can help reduce anxiety. When you focus on the breath, your mind has a chance to rest and let go of negative thoughts. Yogic breath is also good for the body. Deep breathing increases oxygen levels in the blood supply, which helps remove toxins from the body. It also increases lung capacity and helps improve digestion. Here are some tips for finding your yogic breath.
2. Asanas (Yoga Poses) and Their Rewarding Challenge:
The practice of asanas (poses) is good for both mind and body. Physically, asanas help release the tension that anxiety creates, allowing the body to feel recharged and healthier. When the body feels better, so does the mind. The challenges you face on the mat reduce anxiety by taking your mind off your worries and fears.
Asanas also teach the student to be patient and let go of things. Just like finding (and re-finding) your balance and mastering a pose, acceptance takes time and patience. Perfection is not only unnecessary but usually unrealistic. Each time I lose my balance and fall out of a pose I am forced to face my imperfection and accept it. At first, I got frustrated when I fell out of a pose.
Meditation is challenging, yes, but not impossible. The ability to clear one’s mind of all thoughts is a skill that takes time. It is a path, not a goal. Meditation starts by simply taking the time to focus on your breath. Meditation gives your mind a chance to slow down and teaches your body to relax. In addition, with a regular meditation practice, you will begin to notice patterns in your thinking. The things that trigger anxiety, panic and fear will become apparent to you. Once this happens, you can learn to change the patterns by recognizing your triggers.
Yoga is a deeply soothing and healing practice. Showing up is the hardest part.
Just step onto your mat… the practice will take care of itself. Through the simple steps of conscious breathing, regular asana practice, and meditation, anxiety is a thing that can be controlled, reduced, and ultimately overcome one breath, one pose, one day at a time. Take hold of your practice. Take hold of your life!
Have you used yoga or meditation help you reduce anxiety? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear your story! 🙂