Yoga and Anxiety

Anxiety is one of those things that unless one has experienced it, it is so hard for someone else to understand what it is like. I have personally experienced it and lately I’ve had some loved ones go through it, again. Anxiety varies from body to body of course, I remember when my anxiety would kick in my heart would be pumping so hard and fast that I thought my heart was going to come out of my chest. I would start to get cold sweats and I just couldn’t catch my breath, I knew I was going to have a break down and that stressed out my body even more. Anxiety is no joke and there are so many people that just don’t know how to cope with it, thinking that a little pill is the answer at all times. As a Yoga instructor I have worked with people that have reoccurring anxiety and depression, of course including the daily stress we put on ourselves. Yoga can help ease the symptoms of anxiety by practicing a few poses a day, every day. There is a catch though, and that is commitment, without it then the results won’t be as great as they can be. First things first, breathe! Breathing is so important and most of us don’t pay attention to our breath. Our breath should be deep, so deep that you can see your chest rising up from all the oxygen that is filling up our lungs, expanding the rib cage in order to let the lungs fill all the way up and then exhaling with intention. Think about the exhaling process as a way of getting anything negative and toxins out of your body. Good breath work can help calm us down, calm the jitters that we get through anxiety and all that extra chatter in our head that comes with our every day stress.

Practicing Yoga, meditation and correct breathing will help us learn some new techniques to handle our anxiety. It will help us stay in the moment and help us fight any negative thoughts or worries that may make our symptoms worst. When we worry about the future or how these current problems we have may get carried on for days and months, etc. etc. our brain starts to work harder and harder, not in a good way, confusing the mind and stressing us out. Since anxiety is focused on what may happen in the future, any type of exercise that focuses on the “right now”, on the present is going to be very helpful. If we focus on our breath for 10-20 minutes a day, practice Yoga or meditate daily it will teach our minds to learn to control our reactions on a daily basis. Make it a habit; you don’t have to do it for an hour every day, as I mentioned 10 minutes a day goes a long way. Living a healthier lifestyle is very important for us and it all starts within, changes from the inside out. A positive attitude can get us very far, a loving attitude towards others and ourselves is very important for our health as well. I am a firm believer and experienced that Yoga can help with anxiety, not only the physical aspect of it but also calming the mind is so important especially in our “go go go” world that we live in today. Remember we can’t pour from an empty cup, therefore take care of yourself from the inside out and we will be able to change our lifestyle and others one bit at a time.

 

Author: Macarena Gallardo

Instagram: mackygallardo

Twitter: @mackyg_yoga

Email: yoga@macarenagallardo.com