Winning Over Anxiety With The Practice Of Yoga
Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation or relaxation. Yoga may help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and lower your heart rate. And anyone can do it. Mind-body practice is considered one of many types of complementary and integrative health approaches to date. Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines that may help you achieve peacefulness of body and mind. This can help you relax and manage stress and anxiety.
Relief of symptoms of depression
There is an increasing number of studies that are being conducted to research the relationship between anxiety and depression in individuals and possible positive effects that the practice of Yoga may have in alleviated those various symptoms.
Yoga has for many years advocated the importance of soothing the mind and body. Those who practice the art of Yoga liken the practice to that of meditation and relaxation. Yoga is, in fact, too many considered to be a form of meditation as well. A regimen of the daily practice of Yoga is known to improve energy and relieve stress. Dr Mason Turner of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group says yoga therapy “can be very powerful in the treatment of depression.” Even if yoga is not your forte, the combination of meditation and physical movement supply two essential elements for relieving depression.
Meditation helps bring a person into the present moment and allows them to clear their minds. Controlled, focused movements also help strengthen the body-mind connection.” Dr. Mason Turner is the Chief of the Department of Psychiatry at Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco Medical Center, and the Assistant Director (for Outpatient Services) for Regional Mental Health and
Chemical Dependency Services for Kaiser Permanente, Northern California. Dr. Turner is a strong advocate and motivational speaker for employer groups to help them realize that it is to their advantage that employees receive the best possible mental care – through on-site mental health wellness training. Turner believes strongly that the practice of Yoga is one way to achieve that mental health balance.
In terms of stress reduction and anxiety alone, Yoga can and does:
- Reduce the resting heart rate
- Lower blood pressure
- Ease breathing
- Increase pain tolerance
Yoga beats anxiety and depression
Yoga and the practice of stress reduction techniques have been studied since as early as the 1970s.
Yoga is practiced at many various levels of challenge from of course, the beginner to the seasoned yogi. There are many types of Yoga to practice that will help relieve stress. The type of Yoga you practice should be based on, one’s own physical ability and personal preferences. The importance is not placed on what “style” of yoga you practice, but rather that you do “some” form of Yoga.
The most popular form that seems to be practiced within the US is call Hatha Yoga, and it combines three different elements:
- Physical Poses – Asanas
- Controlled Breathing – Controlled breathing in conjunction with Asanas
- Deep relaxation or Meditation
By Yoga reducing the signs and symptoms of stress and anxiety, this has obvious beneficial physical effects such as:
- Heart rate lowered
- Blood pressure lowered
- Respiration eased
- Stamina and energy builder
- HRV (Heart Rate Variability) is more flexible in how the body responds to stressful situations
You will find that most clinicians, Yoga instructors, even motivational speakers advocate the incorporation of Yoga for at least a few moments every day. Yoga serves as not only a mental and physical meditation practice, but also a spiritual one for many people.
While it is widely understood that many forms of yoga are safe, there are some however that can be strenuous and not for everyone. If one is elderly or certain mobility conditions, it is wise and as well as advised to check with your medical physician or clinician before you would seek Yoga as either an alternative treatment or a treatment in conjunction with other methods you are currently participating in.
Yoga wins – personal battle over depression
It’s always interesting to hear how one person beats depression with yoga. Rather than the physician prescribing pills, their prescription was the practice of Yoga, and it worked.
Even if you commit to an exercise regimen every day, Yoga can often help with giving an individual a sense of calm and Zen in their life. The article continues to tell that since beginning yoga, they not only beat depression, but their life has changed dramatically in ways they never would have imagined and here is how they did it:
- Yoga in the morning: 20 minutes of at-home Yoga focused on the energizing of the body and the relaxation of the mind through what is called conscious breathing. After the 20 minutes of the actual Yoga practice, there was a brief period of meditation. It was this point they began to feel prepared and ready for the day in a calmed and thoughtful way.
- Correct breathing: The practice of Pranayama teaches the vitality of self-discipline and proper breathing. Proper breathing increases the flow of oxygen to the blood and the brain. This not only strengthens the mind, but it also keeps it steady and still. The combination of Pranayama and Asana allow for the potential purification of the mind and body to reach its fullest potential and level.
- The flow of Vinyasa: Gained Focus and Personal Acceptance – Vinyasa is the practice of self-acceptance. Mastering this gives an over-all acceptance, focus and sense of gratitude.
Yoga is motivational
Yoga is about achieving the right balance and the right motivation. We all have different physical bodies and different abilities based on certain physical limitations or medical conditions. If this is the case, a yoga instructor who is experienced understands this and the need for modified positions and will help you with this.
Yoga is a motivator to enable us to try harder, enables us to push a little further than we thought we might be able to otherwise. Yoga is about commitment to the practice and you will find how much stronger your mind and body will become, and how beautiful you will become to look and feel from the inside out.
Your mind will not only change but your body as well. You will find that you will become stronger – leaner which is also a motivator. You will become more disciplined, which can only and will only be reflected in everything that you do and carry out.
The desired results as with anything will require consistency and effort on your part daily. Small steps, every day. You will begin to respect the journey and realize that small steps are indeed steps toward a goal and moving forward, not backward. You will learn to respect yourself as well as the journey, however many steps it takes you to get there.
Finally, surround yourself with positive and motivating people who will be positive and encouraging toward your new journey. Positive begets positive. A way to help with this positivity is, of course, also getting advice from and listening to motivational speakers. Make yourself a personal motivational playlist, from all the wonderful resources there are on the internet, such as YouTube, Ted Talks, PodCasts… there are hundreds. Take some time to find the ones that will motivate you the most. Take a few moments to ask your Yoga instructor who they listen to for motivation and take your cue from them.
Yoga will improve your life, your focus, your energy, your general outlook on life and you will become a more peaceful and joyfully relaxed person. You can do it – it is all a matter of personal choice and preferences. So, make the choice to make the commitment to feel better, to be better, for yourself – of course, then you will always be better for others in your life when you are as well.
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