Yoga As A Treatment Option For Anxiety Disorders

Understanding the Relation between Yoga and Anxiety:

While anxiety can be counted as a normal reaction to stress that human body encounters, a constant state of excessive levels of anxiety is a preliminary symptom of an anxiety disorder. Anxiety Disorders affect almost 18 percent of adults in America and is a combination of psychological, genetic, developmental and environmental factors.

The treatment of anxiety disorder proves to be effective with psychotherapy and medication, but meditation and yoga can contribute greatly towards treating anxiety disorder. They help in reducing the level of stress and can elevate the positive effects of other therapies as well.

Recent studies have depicted that with a regular yoga practice and meditation, the anxiety levels can be lowered down extensively. A thorough and gentle yoga practice will help in alleviating the signs of excessive anxiety. Through various yoga postures, the body and mind can be calmed down along with creating an emotional balance as well as release of body tension. A combination of meditation and yogic breathing known as Pranayama renders outstanding results by calming the senses as well as eliminating the negative thinking.

Yoga For Balancing Emotions That Play A Role in Anxiety Disorders:

Emotions play a pivotal role in anxiety disorders. The feeling of excessive irritability, depression, fear, anger and worry can sum up for pumping up the levels of anxiety. Hip opening poses, body twists, side bends etc… yoga poses will help in balancing the emotions as well as reduce the anxious feelings.

Impact of Breathing Exercises in Relieving Anxiety:

Excessive anxiety is often characterized by heavy breaths. During an anxiety attack, the breath seems to sound rapid, shallow and tapered which affects the central nervous system. When pranayama and various yogic breathing exercises are practiced, it helps in calming the senses. When practiced regularly, it can help in bringing down the level of anxiety. Following slow and deep breath at times when you are struck with anxiety can help in alleviating the negative thoughts.

Impact of Breathing Exercises in Relieving Anxiety

NadiSodhana and Dirga are the types of Pranayama that help in calming the body and relieve the anxiety. Shitali and Sit Cari are the two pranayamas that helps in cooling down the body when there is excess heat production. This can happen due to various symptoms including restlessness, craving, compulsions, insomnia and agitation.

Positive Effects of Yoga and Meditation on Calming the Mind and Controlling Anxiety:

As tricky as it sounds, the mind contributes greatly in the long term anxiety. Persistent obsession and focus on fearful thoughts will only increase the anxiety levels. Through meditation and yoga, your mind will be able to concentrate on the present experiences calmly. The level of stress, anxiety, frustration and tension can be reduced by a regular yoga practice. When summed up with meditation, it may help in creating a mental detachment as well as a calm mind at all times.

Meditation, yoga and pranayama have been influential tools for reducing and preventing the extreme anxiety levels. All these practices foster the mind to build a strong sense of self-control, determination, faith, patience and concentration. When this is practiced regularly, it will create a positive impact on the mind.

Note: It is advisable to avoid practicing those poses that seem scary to you or makes you feel unsafe. This may also trigger the safety responses in the body which can elevate the levels of anxiety. While yoga is beneficial, never neglect the medications that have been prescribed by your doctor. Consult your doctor if you are experiencing any signs of anxiety and get treatment at the right time.

10 Best Yoga Poses for Relieving the Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders:

Tree Pose or Vrikshasana To Help Over Come Anxiety Disorder

This fundamental pose helps in easing the symptoms of anxiety. It often teaches the body to balance while maintaining the standing posture which facilitates in increasing awareness, concentration and focus. This is a great way to concentrate on yourself and set your mind away from the anxious thoughts.

Tree Pose or Vrikshasana To Help Over Come Anxiety Disorder

Before shifting to the other balancing poses like Half Moon and Eagle, you must practice the Tree Pose to calm the racing mind and gain concentration. Balancing poses force you to pay attention to the postures that you have maintained and do it with honesty.

Child’s Pose or Balasana- An Effective Pose To Relieve Anxiety Disorders

Child’s Pose contributes as a stress reliever for the neck, back and the shoulders. These are the areas where people tend to store their stresses. The pose helps in relaxing by maintaining a constant breathing pattern, which is more mindful. This helps in calming the nervous system and works wonders for people suffering from anxiety.

Child's Pose or Balasana- An Effective Pose To Relieve Anxiety Disorders

Warrior Pose or Virabhadrasana For Controlling Anxiety Disorder

The overall health of the colon and proper digestion has an unusual relation. Recent studies have shown that there exists a strong relation between the both. Warrior pose also helps in calming the body and mind by diverting your mind from the stressful thoughts to your body.

Warrior Pose or Virabhadrasana For Controlling Anxiety Disorder

Headstand or Sirsasana—Beneficial Yoga Pose For Anxiety Disorder

The decrease in depression levels can be achieved by detoxifying the adrenal glands. Through headstand or Sirsasana, the blood flow in the head will be stimulated. It might seem difficult to maintain the pose, but you can gradually learn it with the help of a yoga teacher. This pose also helps you to pay attention to your breathing pattern and stay focused throughout the practice.

Headstand or Sirsasana—Beneficial Yoga Pose For Anxiety Disorder

Legs up The Wall Pose or Viparita Karani- For Controlling Anxiety Symptoms

Legs up the Wall pose works wonders for those suffering from back pain and the anxiety symptoms. It eases the discomfort and can reduce the high blood pressure as well as insomnia. This can be practiced with the support of a wall but is essential to find a place of comfort. This way, you will enjoy practicing it and for relieving the stress on the spine, you can place a pillow or a blanket.

Legs Up the Wall Pose or Viparita Karani

Eagle Pose or Garudasana for Stabilizing the Mind and Controlling Anxiety

This pose promotes healing the body and mind by diverting the thoughts in a positive way. The Eagle Pose is extremely beneficial for silencing the mind and brings attention to the body. Hold the pose for 30 to 60 seconds on either side. A constant practice of this pose can help in gaining stability of body and mind.

Eagle Pose or Garudasana

Half Moon Pose or Ardha Chandrasana For Calming the Mind

Follow the half-moon pose, a balancing pose is essential to calm the mind and cultivate an awareness of mind. Raise the legs to 90 degrees and place one hand on the block. It helps in taking your attention from the mind and concentrate on the body.

Half Moon Pose or Ardha Chandrasana

Standing Forward Bend or Uttanasana For Soothing the Mind

Forward bends are essential to calm the nervous system and soothe the mind. They can be used as an inversion pose and can be practiced individually or between each pose. It also releases the upper body stress when the body is bent forward for a few minutes.

Fish Pose or Matsyasana For Relieving Anxiety

The symptoms of fatigue and anxiety can be relieved by doing the fish pose. It helps in stretching the back and the shoulder in a gentle way. Beginners will have to place a blanket underneath the head for support as they might experience discomfort.

Fish Pose or Matsyasana

Corpse Pose or Savasana

After all the yoga practice, be sure to lie down flat on your back and place the arms on your side. Maintain this pose and focus on your breathing pattern for 30 minutes. This pose helps in grounding the body and keep it still at all times. Tapping onto your breath becomes easier when you can see the belly rising and falling with constant breathing pattern.

Corpse Pose or Savasana For Relieving Anxiety

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 5, 2019

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