Yoga For Anxiety

Because it’s kind of a cliche to say that doing yoga is beneficial in managing anxiety, I’d like to approach it from a somewhat personal angle.  From this approach, you can feel free to take what works for you and go from there.

The main thing to remember is that all of our bodies are unique so no one type/form of yoga will suit us individually.  I found my way of doing yoga through trial and error.  I went to classes and none of them felt right for me.  I also just found that it got expensive to do it that way.  Some people will greatly benefit from instruction, especially to start with.  I did too. 

Eventually, I decided to do yoga from a DVD I found on Amazon called ‘Yoga For Absolute Beginners’ with Susan Fulton. It is a gentle Hatha Yoga DVD and offers a whole body workout.  I continue to find it challenging.  Throughout lockdown, this video and yoga became my best friend.  I got into the habit of doing it three times a week and feel that it benefited me in all kinds of ways.  You will find your own derived benefits if you decide to give yoga a try.  Coupled with my practice of meditation, I find that yoga helps with my impulse control, my reactivity, my anxiety, my worries, my creativity, and the food that I decide to eat.  It also helps me with self-respect.

 Doing yoga simply stops me from being as reactive and impulsive as I’ve been in the past at times.  I’m very happy with this because it has stopped me from making some avoidable mistakes.  I pause and check-in with myself more often than not.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the presence of mind and heart that I’ve experienced in many situations. 

Creativity is not a ‘must,’ it is a joy.  It is much easier to engage with my creative side when I feel calmer (which yoga helps with), which gives me more joy.

I’ve also discovered that I most enjoy doing yoga before I prepare a meal.  I am more relaxed and can choose to eat more healthy food as I now have a healthy self-image.  I’ve also noticed that doing yoga and eating well (from my own homemade meals) have direct links to my self-esteem and self-respect.  These are very beautiful and important things in life.

Doing yoga in this gentle form inspires me and encourages me to be good to myself and others.  It also creates in me a desire to lead a more simple, gentle and slower-paced life.  Some people may want yoga to energise them.  Some people prefer a class to be with a teacher and others for motivation.  All is OK.  Whatever makes us feel good.  We are unique and have different needs. 

 Welcoming yoga into our lives eases our anxiety and quietens our worries.  For those of us with trauma experience, it is most valuable as well.  As we become more at ease and one with our bodies, our instincts and sensitivity towards the good things in life sharpen and come into focus.  Yoga is therefore empowering and has a healing effect on us.  Many of us (in fact all of us) at some time or another have to be waiting for something.  Yoga is a godsend in my opinion to developing and bearing with this most important of qualities: patience.

By Mary Peters

 How can No Panic help?
No Panic specialises in self-help recovery and our services include:
Providing people with the skills they need to manage their condition and work towards recovery.
Our aim is to give you all of the necessary advice, tools and support that you will need to recover and carry out this journey. No Panic Recovery Programs

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