Many people suffer from intense anxiety. It is easy to see why. We currently live in a fast paced world of technology, traffic and uncertainty. One of the main purposes of yoga is to calm the mind. How we move and breathe will change how we feel and think. There are various yoga poses to help relieve anxiety.
Here are some poses to help you relax now:
The insides of our legs, armpits and back body is where we hold a lot of hidden tension. This tension is tucked away in places where we don’t think of or look at that often. Butterfly pose allows to open all these areas simultaneously. If we stretch our elbows forward while holding on to our legs it helps move the prana in our heart much faster, because the armpits are where the heart meridian starts according to Chinese medicine.
When we feel anxiety much of the sensation is in our chest. It might just feel like too much sensation in your heart area or a general tightness. If we open up this area using a gentle back bend the energy gathered there has an opportunity to move elsewhere. Cobra pose helps to relieve pressure on the front and back of the heart chakra. Cobra pose is more powerful for anxiety if we stretch our bodies up like a tube and don’t crunch the spine.
When our hamstrings are tight our whole body feels tight. By isolating one hamstring at a time we allow our hamstrings to open up more deeply without as much interference from our sacrum. Once the hamstrings relax our whole upper body is free to move in a whole new way. This also opens a doorway for the prana to flow down our legs instead of being stuck up in our chests.
Much of what brings on anxiety in our lives is the inability to relax. Corpse pose is not designed to be a pose we fall asleep in. It is actually more to help us learn to relax and stay conscious in the most restful position. Once we learn to relax while lying down we can move on to sitting, standing and moving postures. To do so we need to learn to be relaxed without going limp or unconscious. You might need to catch up on sleep before this can happen!
The number one cause of anxiety is not stressful situations, it is how we breathe. Many people have learned to breathe deeply into their chest while ignoring their belly. This is especially common in women who are trying to have a flat tummy and keep it tucked in and tight all day. This leads to breathing small breaths into the chest all day long. If you add a little stress it is very easy to trigger a anxiety attack. The cure is to learn to breathe as we did as babies. With our belly expanding on inhale and contracting on exhale. You can do this after or before pose practice for a few minutes until it becomes a habit all day.
Anxiety is easy to remove from our lives with yoga. It simply takes practice and dedication to feeling good. First we must pass through the gateway of our blocks and painful ways of holding ourselves.