What’s Inside –
- What is an anxiety attack?
- How can yoga help anxiety?
- Yoga Poses to try
- Want to learn more about the benefits of yoga? We can help
What is an Anxiety Attack?
We all face anxiety in our everyday life – the sensation of a nagging or a worry, often accompanied by physical agitation, emotional strain, and negative thoughts. However, sometimes, this anxiety can become especially overwhelming, and we may experience what is called an anxiety attack, characterized by high levels of worry, fear, agitation and restlessness, that seems to come suddenly and reach a peak very quickly
Anxiety attacks are often confused with panic attacks, but the two are different. Panic attacks are officially recognized as a mental health condition, which anxiety attacks are not (anxiety as a broader concept however, is a part of official psychiatric manuals). The lack of recognition doesn’t mean however that anxiety attacks do not happen, or that they are not serious in nature.
Anxiety attacks can happen to anybody, especially those who may be facing difficult external situations. They can leave us feeling helpless, overwhelmed, and hopeless. However, you should not feel defeated if you are experiencing anxiety attacks, as these can be overcome.
Yoga Therapy – Does It Help Anxiety?
Short answer? Yes! Yoga therapy can go a long way in helping people who suffer from anxiety issues. Even for those who require professional help and medication (which should always be an option without fear or stigma), yoga therapy can act as a great complementary practice that can help individuals control their anxiety. As a holistic exercise aimed at balancing both the mind and body, yoga works at multiple levels to provide relief from anxiety –
- Anxiety often brings about its own set of physical symptoms too, such as agitation, restlessness, and tension. These in turn often feed back to the mind, pushing it further towards anxiety. With yoga therapy, you can let go of these strains and find the calmness and stillness inside of you, and thus truly relax.
- Importantly, yoga also works at mental level. Anxiety and anxiety attacks are often accompanied by a host of negative thoughts and emotions that can take away your peace of mind and leave you feeling overwhelmed. Yoga provides you with the tools and techniques to engage in mind relaxation, such as meditation, asanas, and breathing practices, which can help you cope.
- Yoga can also help you bring back focus to what is important in your life. Yoga, especially through meditation, promotes mindfulness, which helps you to focus on the present, and stop worrying about the mistakes of the past or about what the future may hold.
- And perhaps in the best benefit of all, yoga can help you arm yourself with techniques and strategies of mind relaxation which can help you control, and with practice, even prevent anxiety attacks from happening in the first place. This doesn’t mean that you will be able to defeat all your anxiety through yoga poses – but you will certainly be in a much better position to deal with them.
Yoga Poses and Techniques to Try –
- Viparita Karani (Legs up the Wall Pose) – A deeply relaxing asana that helps in moving blood circulation towards your core organs, this is one of the most recommended of yoga poses for anxiety, and it works wonders for many ailments that crop out of anxiety too, such as headaches, insomnia, and even digestive issues. You can stay in this pose for up to fifteen minutes.
- Cat/Cow – A dynamic set of two asanas performed in an alternating sequence, this exercise helps you to connect to your breath, while also giving your back and shoulders a great stretch and helping them release physical tension.
- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) – This rejuvenating asana helps in opening up the chest and shoulders, promoting blood circulation towards the upper regions of the body. It can also be a great asana for backache, headache, and insomnia, and also promotes mind relaxation.
- Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) – For those who prefer a little physical and mental challenge to help them work off their anxiety, this asan is perfect. It also stretches out the shoulders and the legs, opens up the shoulders and gives the back a great inversion stretch too.
- Shavasana (Corpse Pose) – Though the easiest of yoga poses in theory, it can be quite a challenge to pull off, especially when anxiety threatens to overwhelm you and you feel restless and agitated. However, this is exactly why this asana needs to be practiced – by learning to focus on mind relaxation and breathwork, you learn how to control your anxious feelings and thoughts.
- Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing) – A relaxing and restorative form of pranayama, this breathing exercise promotes mind relaxation, increases the supply of oxygen to the body, balances the hormones, and helps in clearing out respiratory channels.
- Sitali Breathing – A pranayama designed to help cool the breath that flows into your body, this practice can help in improving focus, removing agitation, anger, frustration and other negative ‘hot’ emotions, and help you feel cooler and more relaxed. For those who have difficulty with this pranayama, the Sitkari pranayama provides an excellent alternative.
Alongside these pranayamas and yoga poses, do not forget the ultimate yogic tool for mind relaxation – meditation. Though it can be hard to practice meditation with anxiety swirling all around you, starting slow and small, practicing consistently, and building up on your work can go a long way in helping you feel calmer and relaxed in all spheres of life, thus helping you control, and even prevent, your anxiety.
Want to Learn More About the Benefits of Yoga? We Can Help
The discipline of yoga is so vast and diverse, but so equally promising, that exploring it can be quite a challenge – so why not do it with the experts? Hith Yoga Studio, one of the best-known yoga studios in Delhi-NCR, invites you to join and explore the wonderful world of yoga. With world-class ambience, highly qualified and experienced teachers, and premium facilities such as personal training at home and yoga retreats, Hith Yoga offers the best a yoga studio can provide at the most competitive prices, ensuring that you can focus on your health and wellbeing and work towards your fitness goals. So contact us today, and explore all that yoga can do for you.