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How Can Yoga Help You to Calm Anxiety

By Holly / February 2, 2017

It’s common knowledge that we live such busy lives these days, and it’s easy to feel stressed out, anxious, or even worried about the tiniest little thing. Competition, comparisons, work stress, family life, money; these are all reasons that we could possibly start to worry ourselves into early old age, and whilst that is a common issue, it’s certainly not advantageous to good health or a happy life!

There are many ways to try and reduce anxiety, but one of the most effective is certainly to give yoga a try.

You don’t have to be ultra bendy to try yoga because that is certainly something which will come with time, and there is a type of yoga for every single person who wants to give it a go. Obviously, we know that yoga combines poses, breath, meditation, and basic exercise to boost health and wellbeing, but it also has many benefits to what goes on in the mind too. There is nothing far out or New Age about this idea. Yoga is proven to have many huge advantages.

How Yoga Helps with Anxiety Levels

Yoga will help you find an inner calm

It’s not always easy to shut out the world and focus on the here and now, but yoga is exactly all about that. Using breath, you can turn your thoughts inwards, allowing you to achieve gratefulness for what you have, calm in terms of not living in the future and worrying about what hasn’t happened yet, and these are basically what cause anxiety if you can’t get them right. The inner calm you will find after you begin to really get into yoga will help you overcome adversity, instead of getting bogged down by the worry and the “What if?”

Exercise in itself helps with anxiety, but yoga helps release tension too

If you don’t exercise, then your body can hold tension in the muscles and joints, causing aches and pains, which basically make you feel down and like you’re not firing on all cylinders. Yoga helps you release this tension, relaxing the body and mind, helping you let go of any pent up stress.

Yoga, combined with diet and regular exercise, can give you the ideal way to live

If you can combine all three, then you will basically be able to battle anything that comes your way, giving you the perfect blend for health and wellbeing. A good diet is imperative for the function of your organs, exercise gets your blood pumping, and yoga relaxes your mind and body. Of course, there are many types of yoga, such as Bikram yoga, which can also give you an ultimate workout alone.

Focusing on breath (pranayama)

When you focus on your breath, you take away the impact of anything which is affecting your life at the time because you can’t think about anything else other than the inhalation and the exhalation of the life force feeding your body. Pranayama is the most natural thing in the world, but in order to do it correctly, you need to focus and learn. There are many pranayama techniques to try. Breathing helps to release tension and also helps to regulate your breath, which can be useful if you are suffering from anxiety attacks or panic attacks. Whilst learning the correct way to do this, you are also flushing out toxins within the body, and delivering nourishing blood and oxygen to the parts of the body that need it.

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Yoga can be adapted to your surroundings and can be a fall-back during times of anxiety

You could be sat at your desk at work and suddenly feel overcome with panic or worry. What do you do? You can easily adapt a yoga pose or breath without anyone really knowing because many poses can be done in a seated position quite easily. For this reason, yoga is a great fall back at any time of the day and is adaptable to your surroundings when you feel panicky or anxious.

A few minutes every day can make a small difference

If you regularly suffer from anxiety attacks, then you will be happy to know that yoga can be carried out without having to dedicate hours per day to it. Obviously, the more time you can spend, the more proficient you will become, but if you are struggling to fit yoga into your schedule, just a few minutes per day can yield results such as focusing on breathing for a few minutes to calm you down.

Poses can be adapted for different feelings and situations

Asanas (yoga poses), pranayamas (techniques on breath), and meditation can be combined to give you the ultimate health and wellbeing package, and you don’t have to be super-focused or super-bendy to be able to do it. As we mentioned before, there are several types of yoga, and you can adopt the one which suits you best. Obviously, you need to learn the basics first, such as how to stretch before a yoga workout, to avoid injury.

Positivity and strength can be achieved by certain postures

Every posture is designed to give you a different benefit, and there are several which are dedicated to give you an uplifting feeling. That in itself beats anxiety and stress. The bow pose, fish pose, two legged forward bend, and the downward facing dog, are just a few which are easy to do and can give you welcome relief from your anxiety.

Put simply, yoga is designed to help relieve tension and stress, and that in itself kicks out anxious thoughts and leaves you relaxed and grounded in the moment. Learning how to do yoga properly takes time, and this time should be dedicated in order to avoid injury and to reap every single one of the benefits to the max.

Do you suffer from anxiety? How do you adapt your yoga practice to help you with your symptoms? Everyone is different, so perhaps you have a method you can share and help others!

Also read: 6 Ways to Feel Better in 2017

Author Bio:

Szymon is the founder of Love Meditating, a meditation-yoga blog dedicated to provide honest advice and information.  He aspires to help his readers achieve inner peace and tranquility, sharing personal tips learned through both years of experience and thorough research

About the author


Thank you for reading my article! I am Holly Nunan, a mother of three daughters aged four, six and eight. I'm an Exercise Physiologist with a passion for exercise, fitness, raising healthy children and natural and alternative remedies. I have a simple mission to help each reader that comes to our website to take away one new piece of healthy information that they can immediately apply to their life. If I've helped you find that today, it's mission accomplished!