Top 5 Ways Yoga Can Help With Anxiety 

  • By Yoga Studio Calgary
  • 08 May, 2017
Anxiety
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. 

Anxiety

Yoga Calgary Blog

By Yoga Studio Calgary 20 Nov, 2017
Fear by definition is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. There is one very powerful word in this sentence, "belief".....Fear is caused by a belief. A belief is an acceptance that something is true and exists. So if fear is merely a belief and a belief is simply an acceptance, can't we accept a new belief? The instant I did, virtually everything changed in my life for the better. The biggest challenge is recognizing fear for what it is, and knowing an actual fear is never as scary as the ones you imagine. There are things that happen throughout your day that cause you to react or feel a certain way, mostly negative. These can be called triggers. Triggers occur because of core beliefs we all have well rooted in our souls. These core beliefs are all based on fear. You begin to fear the outcome of things and events you don't even know will ever happen simply because your mind is hard-wired too. This fear based reality is crippling to your success, happiness and peace. So what begins to happen when you hard-wire your mind for happiness and security. You begin to know a world you may have said you could have only ever imagined of.

1) You will see what happens in your life as something that simply happened and did not happen to you. It had a start, it had an end, and there is no need to let any of that energy linger in your soul. Humans tend to make everything so personal. You assume that this happened because of something lacking or wrong in you. You think it would have never happened if you were just "not so this", or "better at that"..... This simply is not true. This is a lie you are telling yourself. You convince yourself of this because it keeps you safe and protected. As soon as you begin a journey of leaning into your fears, your discomforts, your worries. As soon as you begin to see that fear there, you become aware that this isn't you, it is a message telling you "hey, here's a little something where you can show up for yourself". An opportunity to meet your own needs for safety, nourishment, joy. You begin to see that there is separation between who you are, and what you are doing. It isn't about stopping all of the crazy from happening in your life. It is about developing the resilience to ride the wave straight through the crazy without getting knocked down.

2) You begin to notice the infinite amount of abundance that surrounds you in all forms. Abundance of love, success, happiness, contentment. There are only two states you can be functioning from, fear or love. When you shift into living a love based life, all you see and experience is love and success. The mind has the ability to ruin anything it wants. It does this because it is seeking control. We cannot control the world around us, so we control our thoughts. If your thoughts are fear based, how do you think the world around you will be and feel? If your thoughts are love based how do you think your world will be and feel? Mmm hmm! Establishing new thought patterns is merely creating a new habit. One that is easy to establish with the right and appropriate force and in the right conditions.

3) Success begins to chase you! Financial success, relationship success, personal success, family success, successes of all kinds will begin leaping at you. Living a love based life instead of a fear based life brings you into alignment with the universal principle of your unique soul purposes. It is from this state that literally anything is possible, anything! We are all energy (vibrating particles) like energy seeks like energy, it is a law of physics. If you can imagine it, you can have it......but only when you're aligned with the universal principle of your unique soul purpose.

4) Life becomes easy. You step into the flow of life. This chanel of positive and vibrant energy that carries you through life peacefully, establishes deep resilience within you. Your moments are pure and full of good, instead of stressful, tough or scary. Life lifts you up and doesn't knock you down. Things that were once scary or hard for you, you will now see as amazing opportunities.

Don't ever allow yourself to be intimidated by what you don't know. When you move past fear you begin to see who you are, and that is your super power. I promise you, you can only imagine the creations that will explode from you when you step away from fear and into love.
By Yoga Studio Calgary 13 Nov, 2017
While the 60 to 90 minutes you spend on your yoga mat a few days a week certainly helps, it is no match for the chronic stress and tension you place on your body during the rest of the day in your desk job.
 
Sitting at a desk for hours on end places unnecessary strain on the lumbar spine, overstretches the mid to upper back, and shortens the chest and hips—leading to neck, shoulder, and low back pain. Try this simple office yoga  sequence when you cannot get to your favorite class.
By Yoga Studio Calgary 07 Nov, 2017
Negativity does not naturally dwell in your body, yet you have a bias for it. When is enters your thought patterns and your cellular consciousness, it sticks to you like Superglue. This negativity bias affects much of your life. Impacting your choices, creating a lens through which you see your world, and ultimately weaken your ability to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions - the weakening of your resilience. This is merely a habit and habits can be changed under the right conditions and forces. In other words a practice of inquiry and mindfulness will allow you to bounce back far faster than before.

1) You are tossing away your power like it were confetti! You go on throughout your day spreading and depositing your energy wherever you go. Driving your kids to sports practice, rushing to get a project in before the deadline, doing the grocery shopping, laundry and house cleaning. Every time depleting your own source of life, what you rely on to power you through the day. Spreading and sharing your energy is great, it is needed, you most likely care for a number of people in your life. Never forget to replenish it. The best ways to do so are through a yoga practice....not just attending a yoga class or two, but actually committing to a yoga practice (a few classes a week). Yoga has been proven to increase energy (prana or qi) in the body and remove stagnant or blocked energy.

2) Doubt infects you like the plague. When we hold a thought pattern in your mind, your thoughts, you hold it in your cellular body. This thought
pattern cripples your ability to have any hope (the number one sensation to hold in life) that your life is in fact not happening to you, but
around you. Doubt clouds your viewpoint. In reality, something may be wonderful and good, but you can't see that, you have the lens of doubt on. If you are doubting the outcome of something you would really like to be positive, ask yourself, what percentage of certainty do you have
that the doubtful outcome will actually happen.

Honestly you can't tell me even 0.1% because you can not see into the future and you do not know anything of this nature to be true or not....so stop worrying and feeling doubtful. Replace those feelings with love, breathe in say to yourself "love", breathe out say to yourself "love" or simply just take a mindful breath.

3) You are forgetting you already have everything you need. Really you do! Love, power, manifestation, resilience... these and much more are
all your birthright. You use negative thought patterns, internal criticism, judgement, rendered impressions of past experiences, and fear to
cloudy your innate and all mighty capability to understand that you don't need to earn anything, you don't need to attain any level of existence.
It's all already in you, you've already made it! You simply need to access it....how do you ask? by being aware that you are the being and
not the doing. Knowing you do not need to seek any form of approval, status, existence empowers you to know the feeling of resilience
through strength of identity in the being and not the doer.

4) You forgot to look for the good, look for the helpers. You can actually re-wire your brain for positivity by simply having that perspective. The
more you focus on the good, the more good there will be. It's the law of attraction through physics. Make this a fun challenge for yourself, when
you are hit by adversity in your day, intentionally find at least one good thing in it all. Even if it is something like being grateful this bad thing
happen so you have the chance to practice this method.

5) Your heart is closed. Your heart is closed because the emotion of fear has moved in and taken strong roots. Fear weakens your
resilience by blocking your intuition and knocks your consciousness off centre. Fear is where negativity, anger, sadness, frustration and scarcity all grow from. Your thought patterns based from fear (pretty much most of them) are merely a habit. If you want to experience a
different outcome, choose a different habit, choose LOVE! not in the romantic sense, but in the alignment with the universal principle you
operate from love sense. Self awareness through inquiry and mindfulness is the fastest way to begin opening your heart.
By Yoga Studio Calgary 30 Oct, 2017
Meditation may help reduce the risk of heart disease according to a first-ever statement on the practice from the American Heart Association. The statement was based on a review of 57 previously published studies by a group of cardiovascular experts who were tasked with evaluating whether meditation  has any impact on heart disease . The team excluded studies involving meditation practiced in conjunction with activities such as yoga and tai chi because it is already established that physical activities like these have positive effects on cardiovascular health. The investigators reported that while the research they reviewed suggests that meditation might benefit the heart, the overall quality and size of available studies is modest and did not lead to conclusive findings. As things now stand “meditation should be considered as a potential lifestyle modification” to help boost cardiovascular health, the team concluded. But Glenn N. Levine, M.D. who led the review warned that meditation shouldn’t be used to replace proven measures, such as smoking cessation, blood pressure control and treatment of high cholesterol  levels. Larger trials that follow patients for a longer time could help determine just how beneficial meditation can be for heart health, Dr. Levine said.
By Yoga Studio Calgary 23 Oct, 2017
Yoga is a powerful antidote for the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. With a regular practice of asana (poses) and pranayama (breathing) many of these symptoms can be alleviated and our lives can be brought back to a restorative place. Anxiety and Depression often leaves us unsettled, full of worry, fear and apprehension. The effects of these emotions have an impact on every part of our day.

So how does yoga help? In a nutshell, it heals our nervous system. The nervous system for those suffering from the effects of anxiety and depression is maxed out, fried up and struggling to find balance. These 2 forms of yoga have been proven time and again to have immense restorative benefits.
By Yoga Studio Calgary 16 Oct, 2017
What is an affirmation?.....{ af.firm.a.tion is a declaration, the action or process of affirming something}. Your brain doesn’t require that the information you are giving it to be completely accurate. It simply needs it to be certain in order to find the most optimal direction to reach out for the energy that will deliver you your desire, you vision, your goal. Affirmations centre your consciousness in order to increase intuition, intuition grants you confidence, when you advance confidently success will chase you.

1) All I need in life I already have.
2) I do not need to earn anything, I already am whole.
3) I live from love.
4) Only good comes to my life.
5) I am safe.
6) My potential is unlimited.
7) I look for and focus on the good in all things.
8) I don’t ever fail, I keep growing and learning.
9) I am enough...always.
10) I honour who I am...always.

These are thought patterns that will begin to replace out-dated, negative thought patterns each time you hear these words in your own head. These thought patterns will literally begin to create a positively wired brain, resilient of worries and stresses, anger or frustration.
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