How Yoga Can Help Anxiety

Anxiety sucks.

If you’ve ever suffered anxiety you’ll know how soul destroying it is to wake up every day not knowing how you’re going to feel.

Anxiety can turn a great day into a shaking, sweating, crying mess meltdown in the cereal aisle just because the lights feel a bit too bright, the fruit loops were in a slightly different place and some people got a bit too close…

Unfortunately there is no quick fix to cure anxiety.

But there are a million ways you can help yourself to think and feel better.

For some people yoga is a great help.

Forget the stereotype of yoga. It’s not all tie dye, #feelingblessed hipster Instagram posts and super bendy beautiful people (although tie dye yoga pants do look pretty cool…)

Yoga is for anyone that thinks it might help them regardless of their age, body type or gender. It is one of the most rewarding ways to improve the way your body works and how you think of it.

Even the most traditional medical professionals are starting to realise that there are some seriously awesome health benefits from practising yoga.

In particular yoga is one of the most efficient treatments for curing the stress and tensions brought on by the modern world. If you feel your anxiety is growing from the environment you are living in yoga could be your way out of the hole you feel you are in.

Yoga does a great job of rebuilding the parts of you that anxiety eats away at.

If your anxiety has left you feeling a bit lost and a bit without a purpose, scheduling a specific time for a yoga class can give you something to look forward to and to plan around. Regular yoga classes add a rhythm and structure to your life that helps you build focus in a positive way.

Or if anxiety has drained your confidence, which unfortunately it often does to even the most go-getting confident people. Yoga can help you to regain a belief in yourself.

As you progress through your yoga practice at your own rate you’ll find you improve quickly. Feeling like you are succeeding and working well at something is a great feeling for anyone. Gaining support and recognition from your yoga teacher is also a good confidence boost.

It’s been proven that the physical practice of yoga can help anxiety. Those stretches you make to get into yoga asanas help to cleanse the body and work out tensions. Bringing oxygen to tired muscles always helps you feel little more refreshed and calm.

If you don’t believe it try it! next time you’re stressed or anxious just reach your hands as high as you can above your head and stretch. You’ll be surprised at how good it feels.

Those slow controlled movement your make during yoga are also great for reliving stress and tension by drawing your focus to something more current and necessary.

And the teachings of yoga can really help anxiety sufferers when applied to every day life. Remember you don’t leave your yoga practice in the studio.

Practising the breathing techniques (or pranayama) taught in yoga are a proven way to reduce stress and anxiety.

You know when you get that bubbling feeling in your brain? When it fills like something somewhere is about to boil over? You can stop those anxious feelings by stopping, keeping still and focusing on your breath.

A really easy way to regulate your breathing it to place one finger over one side of your nose (blocking a nostril, it looks really attractive…) and focus on breathing in through the unblocked side of your nose and out through your mouth. Surprisingly this can quickly lower your heart rate and distract attention from panic or negatives thoughts.

Most importantly yoga gives you the opportunity to be more than your anxiety.

Your yoga class is a place of sanctuary. Somewhere you can be still, be calm and shut the world out.

Being part of a yoga community gives you a safety net of support and a constant stream of activity.

No matter how stressed or anxious you may be it’s hard to overwork your mind in a yoga class.

Has yoga helped you with anxiety? Let us know your experiences in the comments below…