In today’s world, around 18% of people from ages 18 to 54 have an anxiety disorder. This is, of course, only the ones that are reported. Aside from those disorders, hundreds of thousands of people deal with anxiety every day. From high pressure jobs to difficult family life, money troubles, and more, there are many things that incite anxiety. However, one of the best ways to combat this is with yoga.
Yoga can be a great way to relieve stress and reduce anxiety. Not only that, but it is great for your health too. While yoga has been around for centuries, it has only been in the last few decades that the Western part of the world adopted it and made it as popular as it is today. This is with good reason. If you are looking for how to reduce anxiety with yoga, then continue reading. This article will give you some specific tips that will help you to use yoga to your advantage and reduce your anxiety.
Yoga has incredible benefits, and thousands of people all across the world use it for different things. Some practice yoga for the health benefits and use it as exercise. Others do it to relax and gain flexibility after working long days at a desk. Yet, many people around the world use yoga as a way to reduce anxiety and stress. It is a mind-body practice that incorporates physical poses with deep breathing and meditation. It can help to lower blood pressure, lower your heart rate, and reduce stress which can cause anxiety.
Here, we will take a look at some tips on how to reduce anxiety with yoga. Let’s get started.
How To Reduce Anxiety With Yoga
You may practice yoga daily, three times a week, or once in a blue moon. That is alright. Our schedules don’t always give much room for practice. However, the key to reducing stress with yoga is being consistent, even if your schedule only allows you to practice once or twice a week. Make sure to carve out that time every week in your schedule in order to really gain the benefits and effects that yoga has on the mind and body. Otherwise, with an inconsistent practice, you won’t be able to reap all of the wonderful benefits of the practice. Reducing anxiety can happen in the moment, but it can also build over time. This means that the more you practice and dedicate your time to your yoga practice, the less anxiety you will experience. What more if you practice yoga in the right location. There are affordable yoga retreats where you can go to practice yoga. Just make sure to give it time!
Be sure to incorporate Pranayama (controlled breathing)
Yoga is not only about asanas, or poses. While it is a great physical practice, it is so much more than that. In order to really get the full effect, you need to incorporate controlled breathing into your practice. By drawing your attention to your breath, you can clear your mind of many of the things that might be stressing you out or giving you anxiety. You are releasing the clutter in your mind and drawing attention to a natural response that literally gives you life. There are several breath practices that are an excellent way to reduce stress such as:
- Kapalbhati Pranayama – Skull Shining Breathing Technique
- Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – Alternate Nostril Breathing
- Bhramari Pranayama – Humming Bee Breath
- And so many more
If you are new to yoga, then you probably won’t want to jump right into an advanced practice. Give yourself time and space to grow and develop your own practice. If you place too much pressure on yourself from the get-go, then you are not reducing your anxiety, but probably adding to it. Start slow. Go to a beginner’s class or a gentle flow. Or start with a gentle flow video online. Give yourself the compassion and understanding that you would give a friend who is trying something for the first time. Remember, this is not a race. It’s a marathon. You won’t achieve all that you want from your very first practice (though you could begin to see results right away). Allow yourself time to settle into your practice. Only over time will your anxiety be reduced and your practice become fluid.
Apply the yoga philosophy to your everyday life
Yoga is not only a physical practice, but a mental one as well. There is so much to be learned from yoga philosophy, and so much of it has to do with contentment in where you are. Do not compare yourself to others and where their lives are at. Focus on yourself, on the here and now. This will greatly help with anxiety. The yamas and niyamas can also help with what types of food you eat and the lifestyle you live. Creating a more healthy lifestyle overall will greatly help to reduce anxiety.
If you are one of millions of people who experience anxiety, then one of the best ways to combat this is with yoga. It is also recommended to use a 100% natural and sustainable yoga mat, such as a cork yoga mat for your practice. We hope these tips will serve you in reducing your anxiety!