Anxiety can hamper your life immensely. Whether you suffer from a generalised or acute anxiety disorder – or if the anxiety that you’re suffering from is just due to a supremely stressful situation at work – this debilitating condition can create feelings of limited control, low self-esteem in addition to persistent fear, panic, anger as well as defeat.
The endless flow of information from news sites as well as social media feeds can cause even calm people to feel anxious or, alternatively, stressed. It’s no wonder that one in six people, in South Africa, suffer from anxiety and depression.
While many people find that using medication and psychotherapy is helpful in terms of treating this disease, there are a lot of alternative therapies – such as yoga, meditation as well as Ayurveda – which can assist with improving your mental health.
What is Ayurveda?
More than just a system of curing illness, the term ‘Ayurveda’ means the science of life. This offers a body of wisdom which is designed to assist individuals to stay vibrant as well as healthy while realising their full human potential.
The two focal guiding principles of Ayurveda are
- The mind, as well as your body, are intimately connected
- Nothing has more power to heal as well as transform the body than the mind
Freedom from illness is dependent upon expanding our own awareness, making sure that it is in balance, and then extending this balance to the body.
In a state of restful awareness, which is created through meditation, your heart rate, as well as your breath, slow down. In addition, your body produces fewer stress hormones such as cortisol in addition to adrenaline. You increase the production of neurotransmitters which enhance well-being. These include serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin as well as endorphins.
Yoga Poses to Assist with Alleviating Feelings of Anxiety
As well as the relaxation, breath awareness in addition to mindfulness in yoga, there are a number of poses which can really assist with easing anxiety and alleviating anxious feelings. We’ve chatted to a number of our Yoga Instructor Course graduates who run their own successful studio and have put together a list of the top-three yoga poses for anxiety relief.
Easy Pose (With Breath Awareness)
When we’re suffering from feelings of anxiety, we often breathe in a shallow, rapid manner. This can further enhance anxiety symptoms. So by just sitting in a comfortable cross-legged position (if that’s uncomfortable, sit on your knees or in a chair) as well as taking time to slow down and even out the breath can be a massive relief.
Be kind with yourself as you begin to encourage each inhale as well as exhale to be slightly fuller. Place one hand on your belly as well as one on your hear. This feels really soothing and can assist you with breathing in a more relaxed and expansive way.
Cat / Cow Pose
The tension which usually comes with anxiety can product rigidity in the body. Thus moving in a fluid manner, in sync with your breath, can feel very liberating. Inhale to Cow pose and exhale to Cat pose as the shape of the poses encourages fullness in the breath. However, go with what feels most calming for you. Always be slow in your movements. In addition, see if you can feel like if you’re moving through water.
If you hold the Plank position for a little longer than your mind is comfortable with, it gives you the chance to keep your breath calm, even when things aren’t easy. It’s not a huge challenge but it’s enough to assist with building qualities such as self-confidence in addition to determination, which tend to be absent in the heat of anxiety.
To learn more about yoga, and become a yoga instructor, we recommend that you do our Yoga Instructor Course. For more information, please follow this link.