While practicing yoga has been a staple in many Eastern cultures and religions, the practice has not always been as popular in the western world. This has been due in part to a misunderstanding of what the practice is about, what it represents and how it can benefit individual health and one’s overall well-being. In recent years, however the practice of yoga has increased exponentially in the United States . While the term yoga stereotypically brings images of deep breathing and super human postures and positions quickly to mind, yoga is practiced in many different forms. That is, there are many different schools of yoga. Lets take a look at the many benefits yoga offers, including yoga for anxiety.
Each form or school of yoga combines meditation, deep breathing and postures (also known as poses or asanas) in a completely unique way. Even the methodology and focus (or purpose) of the practice may vary from one kind of yoga to the next. Still, there is that common goal of unifying or creating harmony between mind, body and spirit, and getting them to move on one accord. Yoga is simply put, about self-mastery. When a person can achieve this (whether through yoga, or another practice) he or she is arguably operating at his or her best.
Yoga For Overall Well-being: The Many Benefits of Yoga
There are many physical and mental benefits to be had from a regular yoga practice. Some of these benefits include:
- Increase in flexibility, muscular strength and tone
- Weight loss
- Maintenance of a healthy metabolism
- Improved energy and vitality levels
- Improved athleticism
- Reduction in chronic pains such as arthritis, lower back pains
- Improving blood circulation
- Managing and reducing stress
- Improving concentration
- Increased body awareness and improved mental clarity
among others. The benefits listed above, and the many others not listed here, can be enjoyed by anyone who is committed to starting and maintaining a regular yoga practice. The aim is to start, and then to keep it going.
Yoga For Anxiety: How You Can Use Yoga To Help Reduce Anxiety And Maintain Calm
In today’s high stress environment, it is not surprising that practicing yoga for anxiety is common place. There are a few principles that yoga for anxiety practitioners can do to begin and maintain their yoga for anxiety practice. These principles include:
- Getting active by moving your body using the different poses (asanas)
- Practice the right breathing techniques (pranayamas)
- Practice meditation to help still and calm the mind
- Begin applying the principles of yoga that help you to stay in the moment
- Stay encouraged, remembering that it is not about being able to get into seemingly super human positions – it is about doing the best you can at the moment
Yoga For Anxiety Asanas
Anyone can begin doing yoga for anxiety and start to reap the benefits in spite of present or past physical conditioning, as every pose can be modified and each school of yoga has a beginner level. This is great news for those who wish to practice yoga for anxiety disorders, as yoga helps to relax the mind, slow the heart rate, and even reduce blood pressure. Here are 11 great yoga for anxiety poses that you can start with:
- Big Toe Pose (Padangusthasana)
- Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
- Staff pose (Dandasana)
- Salutation Seal (Anjali Mudra)
- Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
- Extended Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana)
- Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
- Cat Pose (Marjarysana)
- Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
- Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
- Bound Angle Pose (Bassha Konasana)
All the poses listed above (and many others not listed here) are great for helping to calm anxiety and relieve stress and panic attacks. Of course instructional videos and articles (complete with demonstrative photographs) can be found on the many online sites dedicated to the safe practice of yoga. Beginning your practice is as close as a mouse click. There is no need for special equipment, except comfortable clothing and perhaps an exercise mat.
Importantly, practicing yoga for anxiety does not have to be a very long or extremely rigorous practice. There are short, yoga for anxiety five minute practice options all over the Internet in video format from some of yoga’s best teachers, as well as articles on blogs and in your favorite magazines. Once you get started on your yoga for anxiety practice today you will begin to reap the benefits immediately!
Disclaimer: The suggestions in this article are for informational purposes and are not to be used as substitute for (or taken to be) professional medical advice. As such, persons suffering with any kind of conditions, including anxiety disorders and panic attacks should consult their medical professional before beginning yoga, or any other kind of physical practice.