Yoga for Anxiety

Feeling anxious

Through Yoga we can intentionally work on releasing stored emotions to diminish anxiety. Yoga involves mindfulness, deep breathing and focusing the mind. This can effectively help us when dealing with anxiety.

Anxiety is a broad condition that encompasses a huge range of meanings. For some people anxiety means a hint of nerves before heading into a meeting, for others anxiety is a debilitating condition that includes worry or panic, the kind that makes it impossible to leave your home.

Many of us at different stages of our lives experience anxiety. We can face daily demands and overwhelming difficulties sometimes that can cause seemingly uncontrollable feelings of anxiety and fear. When you feel this way it’s helpful to know how to calm yourself and to reclaim your sense of self and well-being. For centuries yoga has offered a quiet retreat away from life’s pressures and has enabled us to reconnect to our inner peace.

Yoga has been proven to calm stress, improve concentration and reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Before long you’ll free yourself from the anxiety and fears that hold you back and learn to live with a more open heart and resilient mind. Just as yoga helps you feel more at home in your body, the mental and physical practices in yoga help increase our sense of contentment in life.

Anxiety can be a difficult emotion to let go of. It demands a lot of self-reflection, opening up to vulnerability, an understanding of what anxiety feels like in your body and how to move through it.


The first way to move toward acceptance is to ask “What is my anxiety trying to teach or show me?” Reflecting on this question may help us find a new perspective from anxiety being a “bad” thing that we have to get rid of, to something that gives us an opportunity for growth. This can give us the opportunity for growth in areas that we have not yet reached.

Most of the time when we try to resist or control something it’s because we do not feel safe or we feel out of control. Reminding ourselves that everything that is happening is for our personal growth and benefit, this can help us to relax a bit more and trust in the timing of our lives.

Yogic Breathing

Belly Breathing/Abdominal Breathing

Anxiety tends to manifest itself as tension in the shoulders and abdomen, from continuous breathing mainly in the upper chest and collarbone region. Constantly breathing like this can signal to our sympathetic system that we are in stress. To counter that try breathing into your belly which allows the diaphragm to properly descend and expand, stimulating the parasympathetic system (our rest and digest mode!) and helps shift us into a calmer state.


Lying down,place your palms finger tips touching lightly on your belly and begin to slowly breathe through your nose. As you inhale, feel your belly rising, pause briefly then exhale, feel your belly fall and pause briefly. Try to breathe as slowly as possible without force. You should notice your fingers parting as your belly rises and touching at the end of the exhalation, if they don ‘t tocuh simply slide them back together. Do this for up to 5 minutes daily. It’s a wonderful practice to calm your mind anytime and before sleep at night if you’re finding it difficult to switch off your mind.

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