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Suffering from anxiety? Here’s how yoga can help you

By Marilou LeBel-Dupuis – on in Life
For those of us suffering from anxiety, yoga can be a game changer. Here's why health professionals are increasingly recommending it as a complementary therapy.

If you are reading this, chances are you are familiar with anxiety. Ever felt unusually panicky, nervous, scared and uneasy? Tensed? Do you get uncontrolled and obsessive thoughts about past experiences? Do you have problems sleeping? Those can all be associated with anxiety. Luckily, some things can be done to relieve it.

Some people will take medicine and/or go to therapy; some others might also try to meditate and be more active physically. Yoga is the perfect alliance of the latter two.

How can yoga help relieve anxiety?

First of all, yoga promotes relaxation and lowers tension. For sure, when we’re stressed or anxious we tend to hold tension in various parts of our body: shoulders, neck, jaw, hands… That excessive muscular tension can then make us feel more anxious, which will make us tenser, and the cycle continues. Well, yoga can shake things up and put an end to that cycle. You can find yoga videos designed specially to relax, or you can try these poses. Yoga is just perfect to interrupt worry cycles. Once we’ve mastered the art of letting go of our worries on the mat, we can learn to let them go at other times too.

Second, this practice is good for breathing regulation. We soothe our nervous system when we slow and deepen our breathing. Yoga can help us breathe with awareness. This is really helpful considering many of us have a tendency to hold our breath or take rapid, shallow breaths when we are anxious.

Finally, yoga helps us accepting discomfort. Like many, you might be inclined to avoid discomfort at all costs, thus making you sometimes moving away from things you value. Yoga, on the other hand, teaches us that we don’t have to run from it since it is expected when holding certain poses.

A regular yoga practice will bring these benefits, so don’t hesitate to jump in and strike a pose. Do it for you!


Cover photo: Marion Michele | Unsplash

 

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Marilou LeBel-Dupuis

Marilou is a B.Ed. graduate who likes to do a lot of things, except teaching in Quebec. Her friends, writing, travelling and blueberry Red Bull make her happy.