Yoga for the Anxious Mind

Yoga for the Anxious Mind

We asked Kat and Emma to share their top tips and takeaways from their Yoga for the Anxious Mind workshops so everyone can benefit even if they were unable to attend:

Yoga and Anxiety - The Science

Anxiety is a normal response to stress. Anxiety helps us to survive - it is an evolutionary mechanism designed to make us wary of threat. This ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response is expected but some people may experience intense anxiety that lasts for longer periods.

Luckily, there are various ways in which we can begin to ‘trick’ our brain into reducing our natural response to stress… and this is where yoga comes in!

When we hold postures or practice slow, controlled breathing, this sends a message to our brain that our body is relaxed and activates our parasympathetic nervous system - the part associated with feelings of calmness and safety.

Once the brain realises that we are not in immediate danger, our natural stress response gets weaker and the physical feelings of anxiety should start to diminish.

Yoga for the Anxious Mind Top Tips

  1. Yoga works so well at helping manage anxiety because it works with ALL aspects of the person: physical, social, spiritual and psychological. We are multidimensional human beings and therefore our mental health is too!
  2. Be interested in your anxiety. Hating anxiety breeds more anxiety. Get curious about your anxiety - what does it feel like? When did it start? Is it serving a purpose? Watch your anxiety as if you were watching it from a distance.
  3. Managing anxiety is a process that requires patience and tenderness. Just like there is no perfect or ultimate yoga pose, there is no perfect or ultimate solution to “cure” anxiety. Hold yourself with compassion Whilst you find the kind of yoga practice that works for you.

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