Yoga for Anxiety?

That’s a YES!

Yoga for Grounding and Calming

Certain Yoga Asanas (Poses) are beneficial in the management of Anxiety which manifests itself as an imbalance in mental and physical states of health.

“Too much in the head”, thinking too much, ruminating on worrying thoughts, regrets, memories or just restlessness, boredom, and lack of stimulation triggers a physical stress response and feeds back into the mental anxiety loop.

It is important to “get out of the head” and get into the body, ground to the earth, and to move the stuck mental energy.

The Chakra System is an energy system which is a great visualizing tool during Yoga and Meditation. Studying the Chakra’s colour, mantra, and traits can intensify our Yoga practice and train our mind to divert from our troubling thoughts.

A Mantra is used as a sound vibration and a concentration tool when the mind wanders. The Mantra has a meaning which when repeated allows the brain to reset itself and stop the mental cycling of the anxiety loop.

A daily Yoga and Meditation routine is a useful Anxiety Interruptor and well-being enhancer and is recommended in most therapeutic programs by professional well-being practitioners worldwide and in some cultures has been practiced for at least 5000 years (recorded).

We already know all that so lets get on with practicing this art and science for ourselves.

It can’t hurt us, can it?

Well actually one can hurt oneself in Yoga by pushing, resisting and exerting too much ego power into the mix.

Yoga is about exploring your own body, mind and spirit.

Yoga is present moment consciousness and that’s why it helps.

Yoga condenses the moment to Here and Now. Yep the Cliché.

Cliché is just that, a truth that is generalised.

So here it is, Yoga works.

Namaste

Root chakra—Mūlādhāra

Root chakra—Mūlādhāra is the chakra of stability, security, and our basic needs. The root chakra is comprised of whatever grounds you to stability in your life. This includes your basic needs such as food, water, shelter, safety, as well as your emotional needs of interconnection, and being fearless. When these needs are met, you feel grounded and safe. It is the most important Chakra as this is the Fundamental (or Mool) Chakra.

Mantra:

LAM

I AM GROUNDED

I AM SAFE

ASANAS/ POSES

WARRIOR 

VIRABHADRASANA I

Picture from https://yogaanatomy.net/

Benefits: Warrior I strengthens the legs, opens the hips and chest and stretches the arms and legs. Warrior I develops concentration, balance and groundedness. This pose improves circulation and respiration and energizes the entire body.

Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the hips, knees, back or shoulders.

COW FACE

Gomukhasana

Physical Benefits: 

  1. Induces relaxation.
  2. Improves posture by increasing energy, awareness, and opening the chest area.

Therapeutic Benefits:

  1. Alleviate tension, tiredness, and anxiety.
  2. Relives stiffness of the neck and shoulders.
  3. Relieves backache, sciatica, rheumatism, and general stiffness in the shoulders and neck.
  4. Alleviates cramps in the legs and makes the leg muscles supple.

Precautions and Contraindications:

  1. Serious neck or shoulder problems.
  2. Knee injury.

TWIST

Ardha Matsyendrasana

Pose Benefits:

  • Opens the rib cage and chest
  • Enhances digestion and elimination
  • Stimulates the liver and kidneys
  • Energizes the spine
  • Stretches the shoulders, hips, back, and neck

Contraindications:

  • Spinal injury
  • Back pain and/or injury
  • Pregnancy

And finally….

There are squillions of apps, online classes, courses, websites available to the masses now that Yoga is in its shiniest hour but let us always beware of the shadow that co-exists.

We all need to be discerning and note where our ego, our expectations and our intentions are when practising Yoga for self and when choosing a particular course or teacher.

Lets take advantage of this giant wave of magic and practise this mystical wonder that is Yoga..

Namaste

Yoga Bridge Pose for Menopause

When dealing with hot flashes and hormonal shifts, try a yoga-for-menopause pose to relieve symptoms.

Practice this Asana/pose for a 7 day self challenge and practice mindfully or intentionally for 5 to 10 minutes daily. Your body will start craving it and it will become habitual.

On days when Menopausal symptoms are intense your body will remind you to practice Yoga to assist in alleviating them.

The poses will become an integral part of your self-care routine.

Healing Meditation for Menopause:

# During the Asana practice Close eyes and Meditate focusing your intent, your relaxation, your breathing your healing energy to the pelvic region.

# Imagine a bright white light filling your pelvic region and then filling your entire body.

# Use positive compassionate thoughts about your pelvis and your entire body for example:

My pelvic region, my whole body and my hormones are in perfect harmony”

My body, my mind and my soul are in perfect harmony”

“My body is strong and flexible during change”

“I accept change. My body accepts change. My mind accepts change”

Add your own mantras, thoughts, prayers during your practice.

Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose can be whatever you need—energizing, rejuvenating, or luxuriously restorative.

(SET-too BAHN-dah)
setu = dam, dike, or bridge
bandha = lock

Benefits

  • Stretches the chest, neck, and spine
  • Calms the brain and helps alleviate stress and mild depression
  • Stimulates abdominal organs, lungs, and thyroid
  • Rejuvenates tired legs
  • Improves digestion
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • Relieves menstrual discomfort when done supported
  • Reduces anxiety, fatigue, backache, headache, and insomnia
  • Therapeutic for asthma, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and sinusitis

Bridge Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1

Lie supine on the floor, and if necessary, place a thickly folded blanket under your shoulders to protect your neck. Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor, heels as close to the sitting bones as possible.

Step 2

Exhale and, pressing your inner feet and arms actively into the floor, push your tailbone upward toward the pubis, firming (but not hardening) the buttocks, and lift the buttocks off the floor. Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel. Clasp the hands below your pelvis and extend through the arms to help you stay on the tops of your shoulders.

Step 3

Lift your buttocks until the thighs are about parallel to the floor. Keep your knees directly over the heels, but push them forward, away from the hips, and lengthen the tailbone toward the backs of the knees. Lift the pubis toward the navel.

Step 4

Lift your chin slightly away from the sternum and, firming the shoulder blades against your back, press the top of the sternum toward the chin. Firm the outer arms, broaden the shoulder blades, and try to lift the space between them at the base of the neck (where it’s resting on the blanket) up into the torso.

Step 5

You can go up and down slowly using the breath in the beginning to warm up the spine and legs.

Breathe in UP

Breathe out DOWN

After a few raises or when you are ready then Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Release with an exhalation, rolling the spine slowly down onto the floor.

Pose Information

Sanskrit Name

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

Pose Level

Contraindications and Cautions

Neck injury: avoid this pose unless you are practicing under the supervision of an experienced teacher.

Modifications and Props

If you have difficulty supporting the lift of the pelvis in this pose after taking it away from the floor, slide a block or bolster under your sacrum and rest the pelvis on this support.

Deepen the Pose

Once in the pose, lift your heels off the floor and push your tailbone up, a little closer to the pubis. Then from the lift of the tail, stretch the heels back to the floor again.