Yoga for Anxiety

Yoga for Anxiety

Written by Star Rumble

Yoga is fantastic for helping relieve anxiety. This sequence, provided by Byron Yoga Centre Teacher and Teacher Trainer, Star Rumble, is not only good for burning off the nervous energy which can contribute to anxiety but also helps maintain a healthier nervous system.

Question: My 24 year old daughter suffers from anxiety. I would love to offer her more ideas and asanas to help her manage her daily challenges.

M.S.

Answer: Keeping your awareness on your breath and maintaining a slow, effortless exhalation during your asana practice helps to activate your parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for calming the body and mind during times of stress.

This is a general sequence for someone with no serious injuries. Stay in the poses as long as you are comfortable; the last three poses benefit from a longer stay. Once these practises are established and easy, your inner focus becomes more sensitive and you can more easily read the subtle shifts and changes in the body/breath to detect the earlier signals of an anxiety attack. A yoga practise will then help decrease the symptoms.

Ujjayi and Viloma pranayama breathing practises are also calming for the nervous system and bring the most benefit in the beginning. Practise pranayama while in Savasana with the chest is open and expanding. When you are finished your pranayama, stay still and quiet in Savasana for some minutes more.

A more general awareness of the breath at all times will increase your ability to focus and calm the mind.

Meditation is also encouraged to build stronger concentration and focus which can eventually help lead you away from your fears. Take your practice slowly, try not to take on too much at once and begin meditating only when you feel completely ready.

Asana sequence for anxiety

Please note that not all images contain the props detailed. A block, bolster or blanket is very useful for modifying all poses for anxiety – experiment with the props in relation your position to ensure you are comfortable.

 

1. Tadasana

tadasana.jpg

2. Tadasana Urdhva Hastasana

urdhva-hastasana.jpg

3. Uttanasana with the head supported on one or two blocks and feet hip-width apart

uttanasana_copy.jpg

4. Padottanasana with head supported on a block/bolster

padottanasana.jpg

5. Adho Mukha Svanasana with head supported on a block/bolster

adho-mukha-svanasana.jpg

6. Uttanasana with the head supported on one or two blocks and feet hip-width apart

uttanasana_copy.jpg

7. Trikonasana with the bottom hand supported on a block

trikonasana-with-block.jpg

8. Adho Mukha Svanasana with head supported on a block/bolster

adho-mukha-svanasana.jpg

9. Sukhasana cross-legged sitting position. Extend the torso forward without straining the back and support the head on an upright block/bolster

 

forward-sukhasana.jpg

 

10. Adho Mukha Virasana

adho-mukha-virasana_copy.jpg

 

11. Paschimottanasana with the head supported on block/bolster/blanket

paschimottanasana.jpg

 

12. Upavista Konasana sitting upright

upavista-konasana_copy.jpg

13. Baddha Konasana sitting upright with the knees supported

baddha-konasana-with-blocks

14. Supta Baddha Konasana with the spine laid along a bolster which is a hands-width from the buttocks

supta-baddha-konasana-with-.jpg

 

15. Viparita Karani

viparita-karani.jpg

16. Savasana with the spine supported and chest open. Use as many props as you need to feel totally supported, cocooned and relaxed

savasana-with-props.jpg

 

2017-06-08T17:30:55+00:00