Humanity has been going through an overwhelming amount of problems in recent times: the pandemic, climate change, pollution, financial stress and what not. The poor air quality and masks has left us exhausted. During the lockdown most of us found ourselves alone with our thoughts on multiple occasions. We all had something or the other to worry about. Some of us often find ourselves breathless on various occasions due to anxiety. So, is there something we can do to manage our thoughts and alleviate breathlessness? Can yoga exercises help with anxiety?
Yoga helps to Boost your mind, body and soul. It is beneficial both physically and mentally and can further help you to manage stress, improve concentration, improve posture and develop a sense of awareness towards your body.
If you are new to Yoga Life, don’t worry World Peace Yoga School got you covered!
During the 300 Hours Yoga Teacher Training In India and 500 Hours Yoga Teacher Training In India, we, at World Peace Yoga School teach you various exercises to grapple with anxiety, we’ll enlist a few here to help you unwind*.
1.Diaphragmatic breathing or Belly breathing:When we get anxious, one of the most common symptoms is shallow breathing and racing thoughts and this exercise can help ameliorate those symptoms. Diaphragmatic breathing helps strengthen your diaphragm and maximises the amount of oxygen that goes into the bloodstream and allows the body to relax further helping with blood flow and lowering pulse rate and blood pressure. How to practice this exercise:
- If you are doing this exercise for the first time it is advised to practice this while lying on the floor.
- Sit or lie down on a comfortable, flat surface.
- Put one hand on your chest and the other one on your stomach.
- Breathe in through your nose until you have reached maximum capacity.
- While breathing, notice the air moving into your abdomen, expanding your stomach and sides of the waist.
- Breathe out through pursed lips, focusing on the tummy lowering.
- Repeat the cycle for best results.
2. Mindful breathing:This exercise emphasises on paying attention to your breathing and helps your focus. How to practice this exercise:
- Sit or lie in a comfortable position with eyes open or closed.
- Inhale through the nose until the tummy expands.
- Slowly let the breath out through the mouth.
- Once in rhythm, focus on breath in through the nose and out through the mouth.
- Notice the rise and fall of the tummy as the breaths come in and out.
- Repeat the cycle for best results.
3. Child’s Pose (Balasana):this is a resting posture in Yoga which helps you stretch your body, focus and reconnect with your breath. How to practice this exercise:
- Come to your hands and knees on the mat.
- Spread your knees as wide as your mat, keeping the tops of your feet on the floor with the big toes touching.
- Bring your belly to rest between your thighs and put your forehead to the floor.
- Hands and arms should rest at your sides or next to your torso.
- Relax your shoulders and stay in the position for 30 seconds or as long as it is comfortable for you.
4. Cat Pose (Marjaryasana):This pose is good for your spine, improves digestion, relaxes the mind and improves blood circulation. How to practice this exercise:
- Come onto your hands and knees.
- Your body should resemble a table structure with knees directly below hips and hands below shoulders.
- Your eyes should look towards the floor bringing your head in a neutral position.
- As you inhale, raise your chin and tilt your head back, push your navel downwards and raise your tailbone.
- Hold the pose and take long, deep breaths.
- Now As you exhale, drop your chin to your chest, round your spine and relax the buttocks.
- Hold this pose for a few seconds before you return to the initial table-like stage.
- Continue five or six rounds before you come out of this yoga posture.
- Try to move slowly and mindfully rather than rushing through the pose.
We are in a continuous struggle trying to channel our emotions, take care of our body and our mental health. These poses can help you manage your anxiety and provide you with some relief. To master the art of Yoga we invite you to come join us in the 300 Hr Yoga TTC or in our 500 Hr Yoga Teacher Training Course. World peace Yoga School in Goa could just be the place for a cathartic experience!
If we could add a photo of one of the Guru’s doing this pose, it would be great.
*Please seek medical advice before practising any of these techniques in case of any underlying health conditions with respect to your breathing.