Yoga provides a natural relief for anxiety. Harvard Medical School stated that a wide range of yoga practices suggest they can reduce the impact of exaggerated stress responses. As a result they may be helpful for both anxiety and depression. For this reason, yoga functions like other self-soothing techniques, such as meditation, relaxation, exercise, or even socialising with friends.
By reducing perceived stress and anxiety, yoga appears to modulate stress response systems. This, in turn, decreases physiological arousal — for example, reducing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and easing respiration. Likewise there is also evidence that yoga practices help increase heart rate variability, an indicator of the body’s ability to respond to stress more flexibly.
The chakras store the anxiety
Notably if someone is feeling anxious it is very difficult to lasso the mind and body to sit in the stillness and emptiness of Yoga. Often the mind will conjure up many reasons not to attend a class. Even though, after a class the vibration of anxiety inevitably slows down.
A yoga practice will move the anxious vibrating energy. The prana (life force) moves the anxiety from the solar plexus chakra (Manipura chakra) down to the root chakra (Muladhara chakra). Under those circumstances you will feel a sense of feeling grounded, solid and secure (kapha) .
Literally speaking, the word “chakra” from Sanskrit translates to “wheel” or “disk,” but references a spiritual energy centre within the human body. You can read more about the chakras here.
5 ways Yoga relieves anxiety
A regular Yoga practice is an act of self love and has many benefits like improved breathing, stretching, relaxation, peacefulness of mind and a like minded community. These are all built into the one class. When you recognise you are having an anxiety attack, tune in and ask yourself the following:-
- Where do I feel the sensation in my body?
- Am I concerned with something that is happening now, in the past or future?
- How smooth, subtle and long is my breath?
- Do I feel restless and unsettled?
- What do do I need right now, am I hungry or cold?
Yoga relieves anxiety
Anxiety, Ayurveda and Vata dosha
Anxiety is a vibration that is experienced in the mind and body. The body vibrates as the thoughts jump around. Anxiety produces the Ayurveda symptom of Vata. Vata is predominantly air and ether and moves via prana (life force) throughout the body.
People born with the Vata dosha when out of balance experience anxiety. Others may not be predominately Vata but have experienced a traumatic event in their lives increasing vata. Equally, growing up in a home with strong vibrations may seem the norm, until diagnosed with anxiety.
Motivating oneself to make changes can be difficult for a kapha, a pita will think the issue is outside of them, and a vata person will find it difficult to slow down and stick to a plan. To discover more about Ayurveda you can take our simple test here.
Can you feel the vibrations?
‘Can you feel the vibes man’ – was a popular saying in the 1960’s. It was seen to be a hippy term that coincided with the sensitive, vegetarian, peace, loving lifestyle. Vata is a sensitive body type and just the tone in the environment or interactions with others can disturb.
The vibration of anxiety is exhausting to experience and be around and is linked to the base emotion of fear. Likewise the side effects of fear or anxiety lead to the Vata symptoms of: insomnia, constipation, rapid movement, fast speech, shallow breathing, poor digestion and restlessness.
Ayurveda states like increases like
Feeling anxious often makes it difficult to want to sit still and slow the mind down. Anxious people will gravitate to others with the same vibration. Having said that Yoga combined with Ayurveda has many tips to reduce anxiety.
12 practical suggestions to reduce anxiety
- Track back after an anxiety attack to view how its started (and subsided)
- Keep a journal of your discoveries
- Reach our to a friend or therapist
- Go for a walk in nature
- Put your hands in the garden dirt
- Lie down and watch the clouds float by
- Join a yoga breathing and asana practice
- Do our relaxation breathing exercise
For more information about our Yoga Works for Over 40s (online) classes click here.