Friday, May 29, 2009

Yoga for Anxiety | Meditation for Anxiety

Stress is a common word these days, and is caused by chronic anxiety. It is natural for everyone to experience mild anxiety occasionally. But constant anxiety which leads to stress can be hazardous for our health, since it drains our body of energy. The harmony and balance of our mental and psychological state is lost, leading to an imbalance in the body’s functioning. On a long term basis, it can even lead to serious problems like a stroke, migraines, eczema, heart attack and other diseases.

Anxiety and stress can also play havoc on the endocrine system leading to a string of other physical, emotional and mental problems.

Symptoms of Extreme Anxiety


The symptoms of stress or chronic anxiety would be:
  • Worrying constantly about the past, present or future.
  • Always working, eating or walking in a rushed way.
  • Frequent tension or a ‘knotted feeling’ in the neck, shoulders, abdomen, back and chest.
  • Chronic fatigue throughout the day.
  • Constant need for outside stimulation, such as coffee, alcohol, sweeteners, sex, TV, accomplishments, money, etc.
  • Becoming angry easily – ‘Feeling on edge’ all the time.

Exercises for Anxiety

It is therefore essential that constant anxiety be tackled right as soon as possible. Physical exercise for anxiety has a beneficial effect, and among them, yoga for anxiety is the best. Meditation for anxiety is also beneficial as it helps to calm the mind.

Yoga for Anxiety and Memory Problems

Yoga is a blend of physical postures (asanas) and breathing techniques (pranayama).

The postures help to relax and stretch the muscles, thus releasing negative toxins in the blood. Yoga’s added benefit is that it brings about deep muscle relaxation. The gentle movements of yoga are soothing and bring about a sense of well-being and calmness, thus reducing anxiety levels.

Pranayama’s deep-breathing techniques are also helpful in expelling deep-rooted anxieties. Prana is the vital energy of the universe. The deep breathing of pranayama aids intake of more oxygen into the blood and thus restores the balance of prana in the body. Most of us do not realize the importance of proper deep breathing in our everyday lives. Caught up in our hectic schedules we generally tend to take short, shallow breaths, which not only lead to various ailments from heart attacks to fatigue, but also causes rise in anxiety levels.

Deep breathing is a wonderful stress-buster and works like magic for general good health. Pranayama encourages you to inhale deeply through your nose. As you inhale, you also simultaneously push down the diaphragm. Once the lung is full of air, you exhale slowly. You can practice this anywhere, anytime – while waiting for a bus or during a boring lecture or just while waiting for your computer to boot.

The following yoga postures are also effective for reducing anxiety and stress:
  • Sun Salutation - Surya Namaskara
  • Shoulder Stand - Sarvanga Asana
  • Fish Pose - Matsya Asana
  • Plough Pose - Hala Asana
  • Thunder Pose - Vajra Asana
  • Camel Pose - Ushtra Asana
  • Cool Breath - Shitali Pranayama
  • Corpse Pose - Shava Asana
  • Deep Yogic Sleep – Yoganidra