Anxiety is so debilitating, and unless you’ve experienced it for yourself, it’s very hard to understand just how difficult it really is to battle each and every day. It can leave you feeling pretty lonely and very isolated.
But luckily, there are many things out there that can help to alleviate the intense feelings of anxiety. And there’s nothing better for it than practicing yoga. Yoga, by its nature, is incredibly stress relieving, can help expel negative emotions and tension, and can even ease anxiety.
So, it’s not hard to see why the practice is so popular. But with tons of varieties of yoga out there, it can be hard to know which ones will produce the best results. Well, that’s what we’re here for.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the very best yoga options out there that are sure to help rid you of those unavoidable feelings of anxiety.
How Does Yoga Relieve Anxiety?
Let us take the time to just say that any yoga process is likely to help you feel less anxious. Some are just more popular than others. So, before we get into our best recommendations, let’s just talk about how yoga, in general, helps to relieve symptoms of anxiety.
Well, to start off, as soon as you step on the mat for your practice, you’ll find yourself in a safe space. One of the most important parts of yoga is to leave any issues you may be facing at the door.
This is your time to focus only on the exercises at hand, and this can really help you to divert your attention away from all the problems that trigger your anxiety.
Yoga encourages a state of mind that is particularly quiet. You are focusing on your movement and your breathing and there is little space left for that internal chatter that you often hear which can trigger anxiety.
While you’re on the mat nothing else matters, the outside world ceases to be, and you are frozen in time into the moment you’re living in. You don’t dwell on the past or the present, only the now. And it brings a sense of peace and serenity to your mind unlike anything else.
And don’t just take our word for it. Studies have also proven that regular yoga enhances the practitioner not only physically but mentally too. It also showed evident improvement in recovery from and treatment for a range of mental issues such as anxiety, depression, and addiction.
Which Practices Of Yoga Are Best For Anxiety?
Okay, so now to the important part, which type of yoga should you choose if you’re hoping to reduce and relieve your symptoms of anxiety? Well, let’s take a look.
Flow Classes (Vinyasa Or ‘Hatha Flow’)
Flow classes are a perfect option for anyone relatively new to yoga. In particular, Vinyasa or Hatha Flow classes are very effective. During your session, you’ll partake in several different poses and exercises that are connected to the cycles of breath.
You’ll focus on timing these movements with your breathing.
The actual physical side of it can be a little difficult from time to time, but it is perfect for those who want to quieten their mind. You’ll be so busy following instructions that there simply isn’t any leftover time to worry or stress or even think about anything else.
Also known as Gentle Yoga, Restorative Yoga’s objective is to ease the body into positions where the muscles will relieve any stored-up tension on their own. While doing this, breath work will also be in play which will slow down your heart rate and quieten your mind.
You will relax to a point that your body is physically at ease, and this promotes an eased mind too. You’ll find your mind is more peaceful and calm and less susceptible to anxiety.
However, with this being said, some individuals find that there’s just too much time to think during these sessions and thus find it difficult to relax their minds.
If you feel that you’ll need more stimulation and that excessive relaxation won’t work well for your anxiety a flow class might be more effective.
Aerial yoga seems to be skyrocketing in terms of popularity currently, and it’s not hard to see why. Imagine a slightly less intense Cirque de Soleil performance where performers glide down silk…that’s what you’ll be getting up to.
Not only is this a fun and relaxing way to distract yourself from any anxiety triggers, it actually has a ton of other benefits too. The inversions you’ll partake in during class can help move lymph fluid through the body and activate your parasympathetic nervous system.
Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Yoga Sessions
Comfort Above All Else
When taking a yoga class, you’ll want to make sure that you’re comfy. You’ll never be able to focus on the task at hand if you’re constantly readjusting your clothes because they’re riding up. For ladies, be sure that you’ve got the right top on too.
The last thing you want is to wear something that exposes your chest when you bend. Again, you’ll spend most of the session adjusting your clothes if this is the case.
Ensure you bring a bottle of water to each session to ensure that you stay hydrated throughout the class. This is especially important if you are doing hot yoga.
Only Worry About Yourself
Don’t pay attention to others in the class, or worry about what others are thinking about you or your abilities. Simply put, nobody really cares. Everyone is too busy focusing on their own movements and breathing to know what you are doing yourself.
Remember everybody is there for the same purpose, to relax and find a better state of mind. So there’s no judgment here.
Too Anxious For In-Person Classes?
For some individuals, anxiety can be so debilitating that the thought of leaving the house is simply too much for them. If this is something you identify with, don’t feel as if yoga is something that you can’t try. Because you can.
There are plenty of ways to practice yoga from the comfort of your own home. There are many online yoga classes that you can enroll in, or alternatively, you can even find tutorials and Youtube videos that will walk you through the necessary steps, exercises, and poses to try.
Anxiety can feel all-consuming at times. Trying to escape those negative thoughts that cause your anxiety can feel nearly impossible. And that is why yoga is such an effective strategy to try and combat anxiety.
The practice focuses on the present, ignoring all thoughts and feelings, and concentrating only on your breathing and movement. It means that you can quieten that internal monologue in your head that triggers you.
Plus, it really encourages a more peaceful, joyful, and serene mindset once you’re finished. You may find that you have a new-found sense of comfort and freedom after your sessions and feel more excited and energized to tackle the day ahead.