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How Yoga Can Help You With Anxiety

In this essay I will write about Anxiety and how Yoga can be used to overcome one of the most
common mental battles in the modern day. Anxiety at the worst of times can be mentally crippling
and take over a persons life, causing them to behave untrue to themselves and others, living life in
uncertainty and imprisoned inside a mind of thoughts all too fast to cope with.
During my continuing education in India at the Yoga India Foundation, I came to realize that
Yoga combines physical and mental strengthening through asanas ( a posture where you can
remain calm, steady and quiet and comfortable ), pranayama ( the control of breath ) and Bandha (
a locking posture which requires concentration on the body and breath ) . These techniques may
alleviate the symptoms of anxiety through the focus going into the body and out of the mind,
therefore distracting you from your emotions and finding a true sense of your being and energy.
Kandharasana ( shoulder pose) is an asana based on lying on the floor with your chest open to the
sky, creating a bridge shape on your back whilst holding on to your feet. This posture opens and
focuses on your vishuddhi or anahata chakra ( the throat and heart chakra ) . The name
“Vishuddhi” is derived from the function of Purification - in this sense we may feel purified from the
suppressed emotions present in our conscious and subconscious mind. Therefore this asana may
alleviate anxiousness.
Similarly Poorna Dhanurasana may alleviate anxiousness. By laying on the floor on your stomach,
lifting the chest and holding both feet, creating a bow shape, we can open and re energise the
manipura chakra ( solar plexus ) as this is stretching the abdomen where the chakra is held. This
chakra plays a huge role in confidence and strength. Having low self esteem and depression is
part of anxiety. Re balancing this chakra would benefit a sufferer by allowing them to gain strength
in circumstances that are worrying them and attract happiness. This asana also challenges your
breath meaning you have to practise slow deep breathing leading to a calmer headspace.
Tadasana also requires focus on breath. In variation 1 ; standing tall with your hands interlocked
over your head and exhaling when the hands come back down. By challenging your balance
through changing the focus you are working on stabilising the root chakra. The root chakra is
responsible for feeling safe and secure, in addition the focus on breath quiets the mind leading to
feeling peaceful. If theres no focus you may just fall over!
Pranayama is also a good way to calm the mind and create new energy flow. Bhrami, the variation
“Nandanusana “ alleviates mental tension by focusing the mind inward through “humming” sounds.
The vibrations help to relieve cerebral tension and inso harmonises the mind. The technique is also
beneficial for Insomnia which is associated by anxiety keeping you up at night.
In conclusion the dimensions of Yoga Practise will help calm the mind and ease Anxiety. Yoga is
more than just a physical activity but is the practice of working on you whole being to become
better.

About myself:

Anna. That's me! I'm a spiritual activist, mother, yoga therapist and traveler. Since 2011 I'm teaching in my studio in Munich and conduct retreats in Spain and Greece.
I learnt yoga in India at the Yoga India Foundation ( Yoga ) in Rishikesh. I'm a ERYT-500, YACEP, BDY registered and Continuing Education Provider.

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