Top 5 Ways Yoga Can Help With Anxiety 

  • By Yoga Studio Calgary
  • 08 May, 2017
Living with anxiety can feel debilitating. You tend to hold your breath frequently, your body tenses and cortisol levels rise. These all inhibit you from feeling safe and reacting rationally. A term “emotional flooding” can be used. When we experience some kind of life threat our survival instincts are triggered and we race off to flight, fight or freeze mode. If we are living with anxiety we quite often find ourselves here on a regular basis….but we don’t have to live this way and there is quite a simple solution; YOGA . This ancient practice of coming back to one’s true self has countless benefits for living any life we could desire. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should be practicing yoga if you are living with anxiety.

  1. Breath - No doubt you have heard this one before, have you really given it a good chance? Your breath is your greatest source of self care and healing. We have the ability to control it and use it at any minute. Coming back to your breath allows you to focus on simply breathing and nothing else. Deep, full belly breaths activate your parasympathetic nervous system telling your brain you are safe. Try this one; Box Breathing….breathe into the count of 4, hold for 4, breathe out for 4 and hold for 4. As you do this you may want to close your eyes and picture your breath going around in a box shape. Repeat as many times as feels good for you. 
  2. Notice - Slow down, and intentionally notice your surroundings. This act will ground you and allow you to stay present in the moment, the place where life truly exists. Notice the space, the sounds, the temperature, take it all in. How does that make you feel? Feel, observe, are you safe? If you are safe take a breath and move onward, you are grounded now, cortisol levels are down and you are ready and feel strong to go forward.
  3. Yoga Asana (poses) - Many poses such as child’s pose, standing forward fold and bridge pose have amazing benefits for the nervous, lymphatic and cardiovascular systems. These poses quiet the mind, slow things down, allow blood to nourish your brain and act as a form of therapy for high blood pressure….. to name just a few benefits. A regular yoga asana practice will prove it’s effectiveness almost instantly.
  4. Meditation - Any form of mediation and any length of meditation creates an immediate chance to focus, draw your attention to what is happening right now. What is happening right now may be as simple as, you are breathing in and you are breathing out. Meditation offers you an opportunity to establish an intention. This then allows you to create an opportunity and hopeful feeling of accomplishment. Feelings of self love, courage and confidence are anxiety busters. Close your eyes and picture yourself accomplishing something that would lead you to feel good….start small. When we mediate we are working with our thoughts, not trying to 2 May 7, 2017 silence them. When we are working with our thoughts it’s important to know there are 2 kinds of thoughts, those that talk to us telling us what we are doing, what we need to do, etc. The second kind of thoughts are the ones that are like movies, we are watching them instead of them being our internal dialogue. Guess what! You get to create what you tell yourself and what you choose to watch. Meditation is where you can go to do just that.
  5. Community - It has been proven again and again that we feel better when we are with others. Yoga fosters a community around you. You can go to classes to practice yoga poses and learn breathing techniques, but what you may not realize is you are benefiting so positively by simply being in a space with others. We feel connection with and empathy for others. We learn from and teach others. Confidence starts to creep up quickly and you will notice yourself feeling better and better as all the feel good hormones such as oxytocin and serotonin begin to flow through your body.

One final thought….try this one; release your tongue from the roof of your mouth. Instant release! Your tongue connects all the way down to your shoulders by small muscles and ligaments. How often do you find yourself pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth? Let it go and you’ll instantly sense a release in your shoulders.

Join Senior Yoga Therapy teacher Trish Robbins on Saturday May 13th for a 3 hour workshop on yoga for anxiety and depression. 


Yoga Calgary Blog

By Yoga Studio Calgary 19 Jun, 2017
We all want to know that when we invest in anything, whether it be with our time, money, or efforts; that we will receive a payoff…..that is why we invest. An investment in a regular yoga practice will offer you the most valuable pay off, an enhanced state of living, a healthier you, a happy life.
By Yoga Studio Calgary 12 Jun, 2017
Restorative yoga postures along with yogic breath work can shift the ‘stress response’ of the sympathetic nervous system to the ‘relaxation response’ of the parasympathetic nervous system – creating the inner environment for healing.

Invoking the relaxation response is an acquired skill and is fundamental to healthy mind and body. .

When the body is fully supported it is then able to let go of deeply held tensions and stresses, releasing into deep relaxation. This allows for healing, replenishment, restoration and a return to homeostasis.

The passive nature of restorative yoga makes it available to practically anyone. However, even the most seasoned and skilled yogi and yogini will benefit from a regular restorative yoga practice. The balance of an active asana practice along with the stress reducing therapeutic or restorative practice, create the state of santosha (contentment) we desire from our personal practice.

Take your practice a step further by learning the art and skill of restorative yoga with Calgary’s most senior restorative yoga teacher, Trish Robbins at her 3 day workshop. Through practice, discussion and hands-on experience, learn the art and skill of practicing or teaching classical restorative postures. This training is suitable for yoga teachers, trainees and health care professionals. The skills learned in this training allow for a deeper, more effective personal practice and the skills to help others.

Trish is Co-Director of The Yoga Studio College Gold Yoga Therapist Certification Program and Calgary’s most senior restorative teacher trainer. Sign up early to avoid disappointment. Bring a notebook, a copy of Relax and Renew and your own mat.
By Yoga Studio Calgary 05 Jun, 2017
Yoga isn’t all about showing up to class, rolling out your mat, and reaching for your toes. Yoga is so much more than. The amazing news is; if yoga is so much more, then we have so much more to gain and benefit from yoga. Here are 5 ways you can be yoga when you’re not just doing yoga.

  1. Start thinking about all the things you have already accomplished in your day, your year, your career….instead of thinking about all the things you still have to do. You’re running up a checklist in your mind already why not make it one that makes you feel good.
  2.  When you feel uneasy about something or you are pushing yourself further than before….pause….ask yourself; am I ok now? Will I pay for this later (either physical soreness or mentally over analyzing everything)?…..if you answer yes and then no then carrying on, friend, use your breath if you need it. If you answered no and then yes stop and come back to honouring your soul. 
  3.  Breathe……Breathe……Breathe……I know you have heard it before. Maybe even many many times. Here it is one more time….nothing is more powerful at reducing the stress hormones surging through your body during tense times than your very own breath. 
  4. Realize that every choice you make matters. This isn’t to overwhelm you, but simply show you how easy it is to create the life you want to live. You are in control of your thoughts and choices. Therefore you are in control of creating your life. 
  5. As often as you can keep your mouth ever so slightly open. This reduces subvocalization, the very subtle jaw movements that are created during mental chatter, therefore reducing that mental chatter. 

Try these out and see how you begin to feel. Yoga is for everyday. Yoga is for life.
By Yoga Studio Calgary 29 May, 2017
Practicing daily affirmations is a very powerful way to transform your self talk from negative/sadness/worry/ fear to positive/happiness/excitement/contentment. It is a tool you already have. What is an affirmation? It is anything you think or say. The content of these thoughts and talk have the precious ability to change our lives. They allow us to feel good about ourselves, overcome adversity, troubles, even addictions of all kinds. Here are 15 daily affirmations;

1) I deserve love
2) It is safe for me to share my thoughts
3) I honour who I am
4) I am grateful for my entire life and all that it is
5) I accept myself exactly how I am
6) I appreciate my body
7) Love is always around me
8) Old and negative thoughts no longer serve me
9) I surrender to the flow of life
10) Now is the time to let go and trust
11) I am worthy of love
12) I have unlimited potential
13) I release fear and worry
14) Only positive rests in my body
15) I give love always

Speak these simple, yet powerful words to yourself as often as you can. You will then begin to notice how strong you will begin to feel.

Join Val Petrich this weekend for her Yoga for Addictions Workshop to learn how yoga can compliment a daily affirmation practice. This workshop is recommended for anyone wanting to learn a willful, sustained practice to help release tension associated with addictions.

By Yoga Studio Calgary 22 May, 2017
Stop thinking. Stop talking. Stop worrying…..start consciously breathing, and then see how fast your life changes. Our breath is the single most accessible and powerful source for stress and anxiety reduction, yet is so often gets ignored. Breath (prana) is our link between the body and mind. Through simple breathing techniques we can develop a relationship and find balance between these two systems facilitating health and well-being
By Yoga Studio Calgary 15 May, 2017
Yoga asana (the poses) that we practice in class or on our own, are simply the surface of the oh so powerful world of yoga. It is the greatest way to walk through the door and into the amazing world of being yoga and not just doing yoga. As Sri T Krishnamacharya says - “ Yoga is the process of replacing old patterns with new  and more appropriate patterns. ” Our lives are ever evolving and so shall our yogic lifestyle. Practice on fellow yogis! Practice on and off the mat, come home to yourself.

Here are some simple tips on how to bring the other limbs of yoga into your daily life.

We begin by learning about our external ethics (Yamas). It is simply knowing and acting on what’s right and what’s wrong.
  1. Ahimsa - Replace hurt or violence (to others and yourself) with compassion. It takes courage - a lot of it - to look deep enough to see the quiet ways in which it is better to use compassion. 
  2. Satya - Would your soul rather be real or appear perfect? Know your truth and live it. It may not feel safe at first, however you will quickly come to know it feels real. Be your unique self. 
  3. Asteya - Live a life of integrity. Our highest level of self cannot shine through if we steal our light from others or other places. 1 May 7, 2017 
  4. Brahmacharya - Ask yourself, what are you over indulging in? Too much is simply too much. Clear the clutter, release the junk, soften the density of blocking energies within you.
  5. Aparigraha - Realize nothing is permanent and clinging onto things as if they were possessions will only lead to fear, worry and a sense of scarcity. Remember expectations will only create limitations. 

Moving onto the Niyamas now, we focus on our internal ethics, the foundation of stepping into our brightest light.
  1. Saucha - purify your thoughts, your intentions, your self talk. The best form of a cleanse! 
  2. Santosha - Feel and know immense gratitude for all that you already have and all that you have created. Love your life wherever you may be. 
  3. Tapas - Hang in there! remind yourself how strong and courageous you really are as you walk through the fire, or have those days of needing to dig deep. 
  4. Svadhaya - What do you need to either release or bring into your life so you can truly know you? Fall in love with learning about YOU!
  5.  Ishvara Pranidhana - Surrender! Surrender! Surrender! Trust the flow of your life. Instead of trying to control, begin to simply pay attention. 

The remaining limbs or gifts we can gain from in a daily yoga life are;
Asana - our physical practice, what we know as yoga on the mat.
Pranayama - A practice of mindful breathing.
Pratyahara - looking inward by withdrawing from outside influences.
Dharana - Cultivating concentration, focusing your thoughts. Dhyana - A practice of mediation, as familiar to many as an asana practice. Samadhi - Sweet sweet bliss! Spiritual illumination and a sense of oneness with all.

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