Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Yoga for anxiety - an introduction and yoga video

Please click on the video below to watch, 'Yoga to help anxiety-Releasing physical tension' on my YouTube Channel.

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Anxiety is not the same as stress which is what we feel when life puts us under pressure creating negative effects which include anxiety.  With anxiety the dominant emotion is fear and constant worry over things that might happen, scenarios we create in our heads.  

Anxiety is epidemic in our society.  Symptoms include feelings of panic and fear that reaches the point where it interferes with everyday life.  We build up imaginary scenarios in our minds then get upset about them.  As panic sets in we can feel tight in our chests, short of breath, have palpitations and feel dizzy.  Long term this can lead to endocrine imbalances which cause nausea, low immunity, fatigue and muscle tension leading to pain in the body.  It is telling that use of pain killers has increased dramatically over the last decade.    

For the purposes of this series I am working with the premise that anxiety comes from disconnection from your true self - for when we come to know our true self, your inner guide will influence your thinking and you will find yourself feeling more relaxed and happy as you realise who you are and your purpose in life.  The world will no longer feel a threatening place as you come to recognise that we are all the same.  

Overcoming chronic anxiety is not going to happen overnight.  In this series we start by releasing the physical tension that accompanies long term anxiety. This is because if you have tension in your mind, it will create tension in your body due to the mind-body connection. We tend to hold tension created by anxiety in our necks, shoulders and hips and these are the areas we will work on in this week's video.

We will go on to release emotional tension and calm the mind by cultivating the ability to be in the present moment.We will increase our awareness of our thoughts so that we are aware when we slip into habitual thought patterns or perceptions that cause us stress.  It is only when we are free of distractions from pain, negative emotions and thoughts that we can start to hear the inner guidance inside us.  Our series will include a grounding practice to bring our energy away from our heads where it is being used to create anxiety. We will also look at improving sleep quality since being short of sleep can cause our bodies to activate the sympathetic nervous system triggers the stress response. We will refresh our adrenals which secrete stress hormones and will have been overworked if you have been suffering from chronic anxiety.  We also need to set boundaries in order to limit the things in your life that are causing you anxiety. We will learn the importance of the breath in helping us overcome anxiety. We will also cultivate acceptance and gratitude.  We challenge the thoughts that lead us to become anxious and use our practice to help us promote positive thinking. Finally we uncover our purpose and achieve peace of mind. Like all my series however the 'tale often grows in the telling' so don't be surprised if I bring in other ways to help anxiety. 

Please note-Please consult your doctor if you are having severe panic attacks or chronic anxiety - there is much a doctor can offer you that would complement your yoga practice such as Cognitive behaviour therapy or counselling.  
Please be aware that these yoga practices may take you to an emotional edge that can be very painful if you suffer from severe anxiety. Just as with a physical edge, you should back off if the emotions get too intense.  I would strongly advise you to check with your medical practitioner before undertaking these yoga practices.

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