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Yoga for Stress & Anxiety

Presence, Control, and a Place to Breathe- How yoga can ease the worries of anxiety.

Almost everyone will experience anxious feelings in their lives, especially through periods of intense stress or feeling overwhelmed. However, modern mental health research has seen anxiety being recognised as something more than occasional worry. This can be a condition that makes these concerns and thoughts become uncontrollable, which can impact lives in a very negative way.

When you consider the symptoms of anxiety, uncontrollable worry, restlessness, feeling out of control and continual stress responses like heart palpitations, the benefits of yoga become apparent. Yoga is a holistic exercise that aims to help practitioners relax and gain better control over both their minds and bodies, which is why psychologists have been studying its benefits for mental health concerns since the 1970’s, and many doctors now recommend the practice as a complement or alternative to traditional medicinal treatments.

A typical yoga session will include breathing control and some form of meditation, which requires taking presence in the moment and shifting focus from your surroundings to your breathing and inner reflection. This is a skill that can then be easily transferred to assist in periods of intense stress, or uncontrollable negative thoughts and even in anxiety attacks themselves to take a moment to pause and refocus, taking stock of the reality beyond the worry, along with helping calm any stress responses such as increased heart rate or high blood pressure.

Of course, the first image most will bring to mind when picturing yoga is the stretches and poses known as asanas. These involve training the body to become more balanced and flexible. The link between this and benefitting anxiety may not be as immediate as breathing control skills, but it is definitely there. When in these poses, and through the transitions between stances, practitioners are encouraged to focus on their body, the way it moves and feels, and the way energy moves through it. This kind of self-presence can help in anxious situations, as when you lose control over your own thoughts you may need a way to feel you have regained control of yourself and feeling aware of your own body. Practicing these in yoga sessions will also provide an opportunity to release worries in a relaxed atmosphere away from the stresses of everyday life.

We strongly believe in the benefits of yoga for those who struggle with anxiety, so we are offering a therapeutic yoga course designed to support those who need help and provide techniques to manage stress and anxiety. Our course is designed to use yoga, breathwork, mindfulness and journaling to create a fully rounded experience that evolves with modern research. Through five sessions, in addition to as outside coaching support, access to additional resources and a private Facebook group to connect with each other and share experience, we hope to help you learn you can gain control over your worry and combat the stress.

For more information and to book your place see our workshop page. https://ikigaiholistic.co.uk/yoga-workshop/This starts on Thursday 7thNovember 12:30 – 2:00pm and is open to beginners and can be altered to fit pregnancy or movement restrictions and of course there will be plenty of tea and homemade cake! Our studio is friendly and welcoming so come along and see how yoga can support you through anxiety.