Sunday, 20 September 2015

Stress, anxiety, depression and yoga

This coming weeks yoga poses have been selected and sequenced to help balance the mind and emotions.

We experience stress from the moment of birth, and spend our lives adjusting to it. Some of us manage stress better than others for a variety of reasons (including personality, environment, one's physical condition). But at some time in our lives, we have to deal with the effects of stress.

The practice of yoga asanas (poses) and pranyama (breathing techniques) can be an extremely effective (and natural) therapy for stress. Practised together, asanas and pranayama generate enormous amounts of energy in the body, stimulating the cells and relaxing tense muscles. The effect on the mind takes longer to register because yoga deals with the causes, and not just the symptoms of stress. Slow, effortless exhalation during the practice of an asana brings serenity to the body cells, relaxes the muscles and releases tension. The brain quietens and all thoughts are stilled. Then, invading fears and anxieties cannot penetrate  to the brain. When you develop this ability, you perform you daily activities with efficiency and economy, you generate energy rather than deplete your reserves and your mind is filled with calm and tranquility.

Some physical symptoms associated with stress and anxiety are nausea, hot flushes, dizziness, trembling, muscular tension, headaches, backache, or a tight feeling in the chest.

Depression can arouse feelings of not being in control, anger or frustration. Other symptoms include an increase or decrease in appetite, sleep disorders, low self-esteem, fatigue, irritability, restlessness, suicidal feelings and poor concentration.

If you think you may be suffering from anxiety and depression please contact your GP and also let me know, so I can help tailor your yoga practice to help alleviate your symptoms and harmonise your body and mind.

You can always email or ring me to talk about this or anything else, in complete confidence. I just want to help in any way I can, just as my yoga teachers have helped me.

Please note: If you are not suffering from stress, anxiety or depression, this weeks classes will still be relevant and challenging, so still come and practice!


(With thanks to BKS Iyengar for his wisdom and research into stress, anxiety, depression and yoga. I am simply passing on his wisdom and teaching, to the very best of my ability.)