Developing a yoga practice for anxiety

Yoga for anxiety

I use yoga to help cope with my anxiety. I’m not the only one. If you also suffer from anxiety, here’s help to develop your own yoga practice to cope with anxiety.

Stress causes the following: trouble sleeping, irritability or anger, fatigue. Sound familiar? Common causes of stress include: money, work, family responsibilities, relationship issues, personal health concerns. Yes, Chelsey, but how can I cope with life’s stresses that causes my anxiety? So glad you asked. Here’s what my yoga studies has taught me:

When we suffer from anxiety, energetically, there’s an underlying imbalance. Anxiety means we’re too rajasic, which looks like: over excitement, manic, obsessive addiction, greed, selfish lust, and overactive. During these times, we need a slower yoga practice to counter these overwhelming feelings.

Begin your personal practice with

  • Nadi Shodhana pranayama
  • long holds in forward folds
  • meditations that slow rhythms of thought

Yoga teaches us to live with intention. Change and intention go hand in hand, really. Especially if living with intention is a new concept for you. But no need to fret over not already being where you want to be. There is such beauty in being a beginner.

Yin yoga is great for sufferers of anxiety because it’s a slow practice. We’re giving ourselves the space and opportunity to experience the emotions that come up. Is there something that’s begging for our attention in order to realize a change is needed.

Yoga for anxiety: developing an at-home yin practice

Yin yoga poses are more passive, mainly on the floor. It’s so different because you’re asked to relax, soften the muscle, and move closer to the bone. Hold each pose for 3-10 minutes. This gets into the connective tissue. Connective tissue running throughout the body provides pathways for energy flows. It’s found in every bone, muscle, and organ. Mostly, though, it’s most concentrated in the joints and responds best to a slow steady load. When we hold poses for a long time, the body responds by making the connective tissue longer and stronger. If you don’t use full range of joint flexibility, the connective tissue slowly shortens.

Cool, cool. But what does that have to do with anxiety? Man, you’re full of good questions today! 🙂

Yin yoga practice requires us to be intimate with ourselves. It encourages us to be in tune with our feelings, sensations, and emotions. Ignoring all of those things is easy to do in a fast paced flow yoga practice. Yin is actually used in programs for addictions, eating disorders, anxiety, deep pain and trauma.

The recovery process begins when we start sitting still, alone, so we can listen to the sensations in our mind, body, and breath.

“Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.” –Jason Crandell

Pranayama for panic/anxiety attacks

Breathe in for 4 seconds.

Hold 7 seconds.

Exhale for 8.

Repeat a couple times.

Benefits of a yin practice

  • Calming, balancing to the mind and body
  • Regulates energy in the body
  • Increases mobility in the body, especially joints and hips
  • Lowering stress levels
  • Greater stamina
  • Better lubrication and protection of joints
  • More flexibility in joints and connective tissue
  • Release of fascia throughout the body
  • Helps with TMJ and migraines
  • Deep relaxations
  • Great for coping with anxiety and stress
  • Better ability to sit for meditation
  • A better yang practice

If you want help developing your own yin yoga practice, hit me up! I would love to help guide you as you begin to recover from your anxiety.


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