Yoga has been around for more than 5000 years and it is believed to be one of the oldest practices for reducing stress and anxiety. Yoga began in the Far East and today it is practiced by millions of people around the world.
Yoga is a practice that combines a focus on breathing as you proceed through a number of specific poses. To say that it is beneficial for health is a huge understatement because it actually has more than fifty health benefits for the mind, body, and emotional wellbeing.
It is a discipline that combines a focus on breathing along with doing physical postures that follow graceful movements as you go from one pose to the other. The regular practice of yoga is known to reduce anxiety and stress, and is one of the best options for those with anxiety issues. It alleviates tension in the back and neck muscles, and can help lessen any physical aches and pains associated with anxiety.
Yoga makes use of several different anxiety-reducing techniques, including:
• Meditation – This is the art of making your mind focus on one thing, such as the breath so that it becomes released of tense and negative thoughts.
• Controlled breathing exercises – The breath is often timed with the yoga poses so that the entire exercise is a dance of breath and motion.
• Stretching – This addresses directly the muscle tension associated with chronic anxiety.
• Mental imagery – Through mental imagery, you can “travel” anywhere in the world through your imagination, leading to comfortable thoughts that yield calm and eliminate anxious feelings.
• Physical movement – Some types of physical movement in yoga are intensive and other times it is graceful and fluid. Any types of physical exercise will trigger endorphins in your brain, giving you feelings of wellness and a lack of anxious distress.
The Benefits Of Yoga For Anxiety Conditions
Yoga has many benefits for the mind and body.
• It reduces anxiety and stress.
• Yoga improves sleep, which further reduces anxiety.
• It reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, which is a major contributor to anxiety and manic states of thinking.
• Yoga reduces blood pressure.
• You can experience a sort of spiritual growth, which is calming and reinforcing in its own right.
• Your endurance, flexibility, and strength can be enhanced and the tension in your “anxious muscles” will go down, eliminating anxiety-producing stress on the muscles.
• It lowers heart rate so that the subjective feelings of anxiety are lessened.
• The use of controlled movements required in yoga provides you with much better self-control in all aspects of your life.
• Unlike other workouts, yoga offers a unique mind-body connection facilitated by the matching of controlled breathing with various body movements; this translates into a profound feeling of internal calm and peace.
• Yoga facilitates the release of internal negative energy, which, when done regularly can have great benefit for reducing depression and its symptoms.
• Yoga elicits the relaxation response in the body.
Improve Your Life
Yoga offers many advantages as a stress-reducing exercise. It can be done in different ways so that just about anyone can find a program of yoga for anxiety reduction, regardless of age and infirmity.
Along with relaxation and anxiety-reduction, you can become energized in many areas of your life. You feel more connected to your body so you can identify stressful situations more readily. While it can be harder for those who have limitations of the physical body, just about everyone can get something out of yoga as a way of reducing tension and anxiety.
When yoga is combined with mental imagery or meditation, there are more benefits. With yoga, you can learn to control your breath and to let your mind “travel” to places in the world that are filled with beauty and relaxation. The sky is the limit when it comes to ways you can use yoga in order to de-stress your life and create a place within yourself where anxiety can be controlled.
How To Start With Yoga
Yoga can be learned on a DVD or in classes. You get attention that is more personal in a class but it can be cost prohibitive. All it takes is a couple of sessions for you to realize that you can control your chronic anxiety through making positive strides toward relaxing your body.