We've all experienced stress and anxiety at some point. It's a natural, human response to stressful situations and can even save us from danger. Sometimes, it can go deeper than that and become a full-blown anxiety disorder that disrupts our lives.
My class, Yoga for Stress and Anxiety can help!
Since the 1970s, researchers have been looking into stress-reduction techniques and tools. Meditation is one such technique that you hear a lot about, but yoga as a whole practice hasn't gotten the same level of attention until recent decades.
According to researchers at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, a new study from August 2020 found that yoga was significantly more effective for generalized anxiety disorder than simple education on stress management.
Another study from the Ilam University of Medical Sciences (February 2018) found that yoga plays an effective part in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. The study went on to conclude that yoga can be used as complementary medicine for these conditions.
Yet another study from The Center for Health Behavior Research at the University of Mississippi (2011) found that yoga offers a host of benefits: enhanced muscular strength and body flexibility, improved respiratory and cardiovascular function, recovery from and treatment of addiction, reduction in stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, improved sleep patterns, and enhanced overall well-being and quality of life.
If you're not using yoga for stress and anxiety management, now's a great time to start. Sign up for a free two-week trial of myYogaTeacher and get access to my class as well as more than 35 other live, online yoga courses every single day.
Stress and anxiety can look and feel different for different people. For some, it might be a feeling like waiting for the other shoe to drop. For others, it might be all-consuming. Here are some of the symptoms that typically signal stress and anxiety:
If your feelings of stress and anxiety are keeping you from living your life, we recommend talking to your doctor about treatment options. But don't forget to practice your yoga!
Our bodies are pretty miraculous, especially with the body's ability to heal itself. Of course, stress and anxiety can drastically reduce that healing. Fortunately, yoga can help us bring calm, peace, and stillness back into our lives.
Yoga helps to modulate stress response systems, reducing the stress and anxiety we feel. And, yoga can even help us respond to stress more easily.
We recommend a complete yoga practice that includes more than just asanas. In addition to poses and movement (asanas), you'll want to incorporate pranayamas (breathing techniques), meditation, and yoga philosophy.
In this section, we're going to talk about specific asanas, pranayamas, meditations, and mudras that will help you ease stress and anxiety with yoga. While you can absolutely practice this on your own, I would love to have you join my Yoga for Stress and Anxiety class on myYogaTeacher. You can sign up for a free two-week trial of myYogaTeacher and not only get access to my class but access to 35+ other live, online group classes every single day.
There are several yoga poses that can help alleviate stress and anxiety. Here's a short sequence that you can practice at any time. Start seated in a comfortable position and move through the poses as feels comfortable and soothing for you.
Breathing is a powerful tool for combating stress and anxiety. Here are a few different breathing exercises you can try when you feel stress or anxiety creeping up:
Meditation helps you calm yourself, grounding you and producing feelings of stability. There are several different types of meditation to choose from, but research has shown that mindful meditations are great for reducing stress and anxiety. Here's a mindful meditation that walks you through progressive relaxation:
If you're short on time, you can focus on just your four main muscle groups.
Mudras can also help you combat stress and anxiety.
A mudra is a symbolic or ritual gesture done with the hands and used in combination with Pranayama. They activate our body's potential for healing and growth, stimulating different parts of the body to improve the flow of energy.
Here are five mudras I recommend for stress and anxiety:
There's a lot of research that indicates yoga is a wonderful way to reduce stress and anxiety. But we're all different. If you have stress or anxiety that is debilitating, please be sure to reach out to your doctor.
It's also possible that yoga can reveal strong feelings and emotions that you've been suppressing. Practice yoga in a place that makes you feel safe and secure. And don't forget to sign up for a free two-week trial of myYogaTeacher so you can join my next class!
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