Learn How Yoga and Ayurveda Can Soothe Anxiety
As yoga teachers, we like to learn how yoga and ayurveda can soothe anxiety so that we can pass this information along to our students.
|The Mind is Center of Physical Existence|
According to Vedic Sciences, the mind is the center of physical existence. Our body is like a projection of the mind, just like a projection from a laptop. Anxiety is just a reflection of a disturbed mind. We can classify anxiety according to the reasons or causes. However, basically fear has no reasons. It is unreasonable, as it numbs the mind and makes us more vulnerable to the problem we are worried about. In the Hindu tradition, Realization is the key to all problems in the world!
Anxiety is a pervasive problem today. Most people take anti-anxiolytic drugs to get rid of anxiety. However, this is only a temporary solution. A substance that exists in the physical dimension can only make a temporary modification in the mental dimension. Therefore such drugs have no permanent effect. So what's the permanent solution?
|Yoga Sequence for Anxiety|
Yoga and Anxiety
Yoga might appear as a sequence of slow body postures to an anxious person. But it is much more than that. It is a path to Realization, Enlightenment! Anxiety is a result of hyperactivity in mind. Yoga is the complete opposite. Mind affects the body. In the same way, the body can also affect the mind. Slow yogic movements can help to slow down the hyperactive, anxious mind. Yogic exercises help us to become more mindful about our present.
For example, a person might be worried about a coming up exam because he is afraid of failing the exam. The practice of yoga helps him become more aware of his surrounding, his body and his breathing.
As a first effect, it will help him to divert his mind from a future failure and focus on the situation right now, right here. And he realizes that he has not failed already. Failure is a distant possibility, only a possibility, and a changeable possibility.
Yoga is the first step toward mindfulness. It helps us to accept reality as it is. When we accept our present reality only then, we can do something about it. An anxious person is like an ostrich that buries its head under the ground when it sees the danger. A pigeon closes its eyes when it feels insecure. But does this helps? Anxiety numbs the mind and traps you in a self-created Scary house. Yoga is the release.
Yoga creates mental stability which will help this person to see all his possibilities, and not be hypnotized with the fear of one.
|Yoga Breathing for Stress and Anxiety|
Yoga Practice for Anxiety
It is possible that a very anxious person might feel uncomfortable when asked to perform slow paced yogic exercises. Therefore, Surya Namaskar at a moderate pace is a great activity to begin with.
Gradually, you should try to double the time of exercise. For example, if you are performing the exercise in 5 minutes, increase the time to 10 minutes, by reducing the speed.
It is crucial that you should be keenly aware of your body and breathing while doing yoga.
It is better to decide the type and sequence yoga exercises according to your physical convenience, current health status, and state of mind; under the guidance of a qualified teacher.
|Ayurvedic Help for Anxiety|
Ayurvedic Help for Anxiety
Yogic exercises are highly recommended for relief from anxiety as a part of Satvavjaya Chikitsa (Psychiatry in Ayurveda).
Permanent changes can be brought only by yoga and breathing exercises (Pranayam). However, Kayachikitsa (General medicine in Ayurveda) can bring an immediate, side-effect free solution in the form of medicinal herbs like Brahmi, Jatamansi, Shankhpushpi, etc. Also, there is a vast variety of medicinal preparations like Manasa Mithra Vatakam, Brahmi Grit, etc. that helps to create the safe space for a highly anxious person, to effectively practice yogic exercises. Ayurveda also recommends Aashwasan Chikitsa (counseling) for anxiety.
Yoga is one of the most promising, easily available, economical and long-term solution to anxiety.
Therefore, if you are suffering from anxiety, I would invite you to just breathe, relax and let go…