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How Yoga Calms Anxiety Holistically

YOGA: A way of life, a milenary science, a universally valid and practical tradition! Yoga is an ancient Indian discipline that includes meditation, controlled breathing techniques and exercise for preserving overall health and healing various ailments.

More and more people choose to practice YOGA, either to keep fit or to restore health or to achieve balance and harmony on the emotional plane or to improve mental performance or to explore a fascinating oriental tradition.

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The success YOGA encounters in the West is based on an extremely deep milenary tradition. YOGA is a genuine science, described in thousands of treatises; if the various branches of the YOGA system were taught as subject matters in a University, the latter should have many faculties and departments to cover the whole complexity of the system.

Yoga indicates what is appropriate and what is inappropriate, fortunate or unfortunate in the living conditions of the being, what is favourable or unfavourable for longevity, as a measure of life itself. Art and at the same time science of restoring and maintaining the physical, mental and psycho-spiritual health. Anxiety is a normal reaction in a stressful situation. For those suffering from anxiety, yoga can be a lifeline.

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Stress, fear, anxiety – if we start counting all those instances in life when we experienced these emotions, we may just lose count! Anxiety about the result of a Board exam or the reaction of our parents to the report card; nervousness about the first date or a job interview – we all would have lived through these moments. It is needed so that we remain disciplined, focused and dynamic.
The problem starts when this fear becomes persistent and so intimidating as to start interfering with our everyday life. Then it becomes an anxiety disorder, a state of excessive uneasiness, worry, or fear of the unknown, which needs to be treated, and this is where Yoga can help.

How to know if you have anxiety disorder?

Anxiety can be a bit of a hassle. Whether you suffer from a generalized or acute anxiety disorder, it can create feelings of limited control, low self esteem, persistent fear, panic, anger and defeat. When anxiety is present, most people attempt to evade it. Others struggle with it, often leading to medication as a treatment option with hopes that the powerful grip it has on their lives will be released. Your hands and feet stay unusually sweaty. You have problems sleeping. You feel unusually panicky, scared and uneasy.

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When you have too much to do and too little time, stress can feel inevitable. And when your stress fest is in full force (for whatever the reason), sleep and breathing become more difficult, which in turn creates more anxiety—it’s a vicious cycle! Meditation increases concentration and allows a harmonious development of beneficial mental forces, while balancing the psyche. Meditation helps gradually eliminate confusion, superficiality, lack of concentration, anxiety, depression, false problems raised by prejudices and overcome inferiority complex.

Stress and anxiety are common emotions that plague some people more than others, and circumstances, health, our environment and personal mental state can accelerate it. There are a number of ways to deal with anxiety, from exercise and meditation to eating habits and counselling. The physical asanas (postures) of yoga, mixed with breathing techniques and meditation, can calm the mind, bring perspective and help you deal with anxietal issues for mental clarity and inner peace.

Yoga for anxiety

Yoga has many benefits beyond lowering stress levels and grounding you. It can be a great exercise for weight loss, as well as improving circulation, increasing flexibility and boosting respiratory function. When it comes to stress reduction, not all yoga poses are created equal. Some asanas (postures) and sequences are better for weight loss, others work well for strength and some focus on calming the mind, promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety. By following a yoga sequence specifically designed for tension relief and restfulness, people can significantly reduce stress levels and, over time, control their stress response in a more permanent way.

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Importance of Yoga in our Life

  • Weight loss
  • Brings about harmony between body, mind and soul
  • Promotes the process of self-healing
  • Controls blood pressure
  • Slows down the process of aging
  • Keeps your mind calm
  • Relieves stress and anxiety
  • Gain a higher consciousness of the world around you
  • Improves functioning of the nervous system
  • Increases concentration and focus
  • Improves flexibility and posture
  • Boosts energy

An ASANA is a static posture, done with a certain level of awareness. It is more than a physical exercise, being a way of psychosomatic integration. This gentle and respectful approach toward the mystery of human being is based on postural reeducation, aiming at spiritual awakening through the body. He who practices it discovers inner peace and harmony, while noticing that his energy and vital levels grow considerably.

The most important effects, that are felt increasingly stronger after constant practice are: balance, confidence, increased energy levels, resistance to stress and fatigue, a relaxing well-being sensation, calm, accelerated regeneration, a better sleep due to a complete disconnection, enhanced creativity and concentration, energy storage, physical and mental harmonization.

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Tree Pose (Vrikasana)

How Yoga Calms Anxiety Holistically

Tree Pose is fundamental in easing anxiety. By implementing basic standing balances, you promote concentration, focus and awareness, with the intention of taking your mind away from anxiety and placing your attention on your physical self.

Standing tall with your feet hips-width distance apart, shift your weight to your right leg. Bend your left knee, and place the sole of your left foot into your inner right thigh or just below the knee, with your toes pointing toward the floor. Center your pelvis so that it is directly over your right foot. Press the sole of the left foot into your inner right thigh, while resisting with your outer right thigh. Place your hands into prayer with your thumbs at your heart center. Your gaze can be facing the ceiling or facing forward. Hold for 2-3 breaths, then repeat on the other side.

 

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Bound Angle (Baddha Konasana)
Start sitting up straight with your legs out in front of you. Fold your knees out to open your hips and place the soles of your feet together, bringing them as close to your groin as you can. Your legs should make a diamond shape. Take note of your back again and make sure it is nice and straight, not rounded. How Yoga Calms Anxiety Holistically

You can close your eyes and take long, slow yogic breaths in through the nose and out through the nose. From here, you can lean forward, and if you’re able to reach the ground beyond your feet, you can rest in that position, stretching out your back and hips.


Child Pose (Balasana)
Child Pose (Balasana)
The child pose or balasana is undoubtedly the most relaxing yoga pose that helps in calming the mind and rejuvenating the body with energy. It is also an effective yoga pose for relieving lower back pain, hip strain and shoulder and neck stiffness. It has a healing and restorative power that helps in providing mental and emotional relief. Sit on the yoga mat kneeling while bringing your knees together and resting your buttocks on your feet. Now, slowly lower your torso over your thighs exhaling so that your forehead touches the mat and your hand rest on the floor. Hold the position for 30 seconds to 1 minutes breathing regularly and come back to the starting position. This makes one repetition. Repeat it 3 to 4 times.

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