The Benefits of Yoga for Anxiety Disorders is Growing
The number of studies showing the benefits of yoga for anxiety disorders is growing, yet some patients say that just getting out of bed each morning can be a challenge.
Generally speaking, it's quite common to experience some level of anxiety from time to time. However, when anxiety takes over everyday life for more than six months, it is diagnosed as a disorder.
Every patient is unique, so anxiety factors and severity levels affect them differently, just as stress management differs across cultures.
Brisbane Yoga Educator and Teacher Sharon Neish from Mind Body Yoga said having the tools to regulate the nervous system comes in many ways as well.
“I’ve noticed therapy more prevalent in European countries, whereas body therapy activities such as yoga, tai-chi and chi-gong are becoming more popularised in the west.”
“Countries such as France have a completely different approach to stress management. They’ve adapted an alternate sleep-wake pattern which is more commonly seen in Asian countries. This altering of the circadian rhythm affects hormones in a positive way,” she said.
Yoga is an ancient discipline that incorporates physical poses, meditation, and breathing techniques, but its main purpose is to enable the practitioner to discipline their minds and bodies.
The word yoga literally means ‘to unite’ or ‘union’.
“It means to draw inward, including any path or therapies that help holistically,” Sharon said.
“We’re now seeing many psychologists using yoga, meditation, mantra, reiki and body therapies as part of their treatments to betterment.”
“Whatever is in the mind stays in the body which is why moving viscerally shifts cognitive patterns re-wiring the internal hard drive to consciously recognise emotions.”
However, like anything, the more you force it, the more resistance you face.
While yoga can be your daily dose of medicine.
It’s important to recognise “with any chronic illness such as GAD, an allied healthcare professional must work alongside holistic therapists carving these habits day by day.”
“Consistency of practice retrains the nervous system to be less reactive and more responsive, allowing us to listen to these whispers before they become screams,” Sharon said.
Morning Routine Before Getting Out of Bed
Start with an intention to move your body slowly, mindfully and lovingly without pain.
CHILD’S POSE: Roll onto your stomach and rest your chest on your pillow. Stack your knees hip width apart under your belly with big toes touching. Your arms can rest alongside you or wherever they are comfortable. Close your eyes, relax your jaw and focus on your breath.
HALF FROG POSE: Remove the pillow and continue to lay on your belly. Extend one leg out to the side and bend it at a 90-degree angle ensuring your knee is level with your hip. The opposite leg should be straight. Turn your head to rest in the direction of the bent leg. Relax and focus on your breath flowing in and out. Repeat on the other side.
RECLINING BOUND ANGLE POSE: Now lay flat on your back. Bring the soles of your feet together with legs bent. You have the option here of placing a pillow under both thighs for extra support. Place your hands on your stomach and focus on the rise and fall of your torso.
CORPSE POSE: Stretch your legs out straight and rest your arms at your sides. With eyes closed and body relaxed repeat this positive affirmation. I am worthy to tune into the abundant nature of who I can be and what I can create.
Once your feet have hit the floor. Light a candle, set up a permanent sacred space within your home, play calming music to lighten the energy of the room.
Invite YOU to meet with yourself at a particular time every day. By keeping this appointment with the most important person in the world, you’re sure to show up even at your worst.
It is important to remember that on your yoga mat, there is nothing expected of you, just your presence.