Yoga And Anxiety – Is Yoga A Good Tool To Reduce Stress?

Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline originated in India thousands of years ago. Due to the benefits of yoga practice for the body and mind, more and more people are adhering to this discipline.

Today’s lifestyle is much faster, more routine, and more demanding on the body than it is naturally designed to do.

The sum of the accumulated stress day by day makes most people, at some point in their lives, begin to show a picture of anxiety, from mild to panic attacks.

As for almost all diseases, traditional medicine offers corresponding drugs to treat them.

Although they may help improve symptoms, these drugs are far from being able to cure the disease. This is where yoga comes in as a valuable tool.

Regular yoga practice improves the quality of life and gradually reprograms the mind in a way that helps relieve stress and anxiety in the long run.

This article describes how and why yoga and meditation are methods capable of reducing stress and anxiety.

Yoga and anxiety

Anxiety is nothing more than a reflection of the body in situations that can be threatening. It is an alert that the brain gives for the person to prepare to face such a scenario.

To a certain extent, it is valuable to adapt to the environment. However, what happens when we have that response to daily situations that do not represent a real danger?

Anxiety appears when a person goes from reacting adaptively to a pathological disease mode.

One of the effects of yoga in people with anxiety disorders is to make what was previously a trigger for a stress disorder to be accepted by the person naturally. Daily, the person can deal with the situation much healthier.

For those who want to start on this path but do not know exactly where to start, the ideal will always be to seek the help of a yoga teacher. This person should guide the student through their practice. Therefore, trust and communication will be of the utmost importance so that the experience is as enriching as possible.

Yoga asanas to calm the mind

There are specific “asanas” (a Sanskrit word for posture) whose practice helps calm the mind. The execution of these postures must be accompanied by slow, deep, and conscious breathing. This is a way to optimize its effects on the nervous system. Some examples are listed below:

  • Stork pose
  • Downward Facing Dog Pose
  • Child’s posture
  • Cat-cow pose
  • Column twists
  • Pincer pose
  • Butterfly pose
  • Turtle pose
  • Reclining goddess pose
  • Corpse pose

How to breathe in yoga?

The classic and first breathing technique that is learned during the practice of yoga is called “nasal-abdominal breathing.”

The breathing technique in yoga consists of inhaling through the nose and directing the air towards the abdomen so that the diaphragmatic muscle goes down as low as possible. This is a way to use all the breathing capacity.

The exhalation is at a slow pace and also through the nose. The diaphragm returns to its normal state, and the lungs gradually empty.

Practicing this breathing for 5 minutes a day brings enormous benefits to the nervous system. It helps to reduce stress dramatically and calm symptoms of anxiety.

Meditation to reduce anxiety

All yoga classes will be finished with meditation, an instance where relaxation and breathing are combined. The goal is to calm the mind and get the student to connect with himself. A beginner in yoga is recommended to complement the classes with instances of meditation at home. Here are some suggestions for those who want to start meditation at home:

  • Wear loose clothing.
  • Find a quiet place
  • Take a comfortable posture, and with a straight back, it can be sitting, lying, etc.
  • Please close your eyes and concentrate on breathing; the technique explained above is recommended.
  • Accept any ideas or thoughts that may arise, not try to dominate the mind.
  • If a distraction occurs, re-focus on your breathing and restart the process.
  • Start with 5 minutes a day and gradually increase the time.

Meditation is a useful method to reduce stress levels and anxiety. Even scientific research has confirmed that meditating every day can reduce stress-related hormone ( cortisol) levels by up to 20%. (1,2,3)

ABSTRACT

Yoga is a fundamental tool for reducing anxiety and stress. In a yoga class, asanas, breathing techniques, and meditation; are strategically combined by the teacher according to the student’s needs.

Significant changes can be made with patience and discipline, both physical and mental health. In this modern world, which runs so fast, it is essential to promote awareness and responsibility about oneself’s well-being and quality of life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.