Find deep peace within with these simple yoga practices for Anxiety.
Anxiety is all too common. So common in fact that it is showing up more and more even amongst our little children. At my Deep Peace Sessions I see all age groups coming along for a range of reasons from sleep management to anxiety attacks to anger issues and racing minds. Stress hits us from young to old and it affects us on multiple levels. Our muscles tighten up, our joints become stiff, we may experience headaches, digestion problems , blood pressure and heart problems, panic attacks, immunity problems and even the big C.
So what to do? It’s not that easy to keep afloat in raging seas, it’s not that easy keep standing in a category 4 cyclone and likewise it’s not that easy to calm an anxiety torn mind and heart. While it may not be possible to affect the cause of our distress we can address its effects on us physically, mentally and spiritually.
Calming Yoga Breathing
The simple act of breathing can have a great affect on our troubled mind and body. The breath is like the meeting point between body and mind. If the mind is unsettled then invariably the breath is affected, and it also works in reverse….it has been found that breathing deep down to the bottom of the lungs is very soothing for the mind and nervous system and lengthening the exhalation also has a calming effect. Yogis know also that when we practice left nostril breathing for a few minutes we start relaxing and letting go of tension.
Calming Yoga Poses
Isn’t it strange that how we place our body in relation to what is around us and the shapes we make with our body affect our mind? Certain yoga poses are calming while others are invigorating. The two sorts of poses which tend to calm us the most are grounding poses and forward bends.
Grounding poses are those in which the energy is descending like standing and squatting poses. But more often than not it simply the intention behind the pose which determines whether it is grounding or not. If we are seeking the support of the base of the pose we become very grounded and grounding is important when our mind is anxiety torn and all the energy is flying upwards bringing with it confusion and uncontrollable emotions. When we bring a grounding element in the energy becomes more balanced and we become more settled.
Forward bends tend to soothe the nerve roots which flow into and out of our spine, they draw the breath into the back of the body and draw the head towards the floor therefore they have a grounding effect as well as a massaging type effect in the back. One really easy and nice grounding forward bend is featured in this week’s yoga pose – Balasana or Child Pose. Try this pose when your head is reeling, your back tense and your breath hurried and shallow and stay in the pose from 5 to 10 nice long breaths and feel the difference.
Of course the ultimate way of overcoming stress which is increasingly being recommended by the medical profession is meditation. Meditation as offered by ASMY is a simple process which draws our attention onto a transcendental sound or mantra. Mantra is a Sanskrit word ‘man’ meaning mind and ‘tra’ to draw away. So a mantra has the calming effect of drawing the mind away from our mundane affairs and in such a state we are able to appreciate our own transcendental nature and become free from all the troubles which this world offers and experience a sweetness far beyond what is normally found. Once immersed in this transcendental sound all our troubles fade away and we can become peaceful.
It’s very sad to see so many people of all ages so needlessly affected by stress most of which which can be so easily and joyfully relieved. That’s why in my opinion these three approaches should be introduced at the earliest age in our education system so that just like we have the skills to read, write and add up, we can also have the skills to find the peace deep within.