Yoga for Anxiety

Gentle yoga one big issue the workaholic life created was a constant state of anxiety tight chest racing mind shallow breathing I’ve planned a series of yoga moves that can bring relief to many Zoomers living with anxiety caused by years of stress. And you don’t have to be flexible or in good shape to do this it’s all about taking breath deeper into our bodies we’ll start with a relaxing warm-up that focuses attention and grounds us in the moment. And then we’ll calm the nervous system relieve the adrenal glands and still the mind with a series of mat poses healing breath will flow to areas long dominated by unpleasant emotions the poses are very easy.

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But don’t be fooled they will change how you feel and bring you into harmony with the universe let’s start the healing joining me today Debbie Isabel and Cheryl and all of us would like to release symptoms of anxiety. So we’re going to come into a warm-up pose tree pose rich Asana. So we take the left foot. And we spread the toes out nice and wide this is the pose that’s going to help us focus all of our attention when we’re feeling anxious we got a lot of energy out here and we’re gonna bring all of that energy inside of ourselves with this active warmup we’re gonna take the right leg and turn the toes out turn the knee out. And we’ll just rest here for a moment now we’ll draw awareness to the ball of the big toe on the left foot. And the ball of the baby toe on the left foot. And the heel on the left foot. And just imagine that tap roots are growing out of those points in the foot down 10 20 30 40 50 feet. So we’re really connected to the earth everybody’s roots are interconnected it’s like rebar so when we begin to lift the leg up we’re gonna feel very secure. And then begin to draw the foot up rest your toe pads on the ground and press your heel against the ankle of the grounded leg bring your foot up to butt calf height maybe the knee. But we don’t want to jam into the knee here, if you’re very flexible in your hip maybe you bring your foot all the way up into the groin. And then we’re going to press the leg into the foot. And the foot into the leg in a very gentle way at the same time that we’re pressing down and engaging the leg muscle here of the rounded leg. So we’re gonna take a couple of long slow smooth and complete in-and-out breaths allowing this energy to come up the grounded leg and loop around the bent knee so after a couple of runs around this loop it’s like a particle accelerator we’ve got all of this energy that’s been looping around. And then it comes up the front of the spine we grow up branches maybe the branches are low, if you’ve got heart things going on just keep your arms low you could also be reaching your arms up and out or bringing your hands together maybe the elbows would like to bend bring the shoulder blades down the back squeeze them together as you squeeze the leg into the foot. And the foot into the leg drop the bent knee side of the hip and squeeze in the long leg side of the hip.

And then inhaling feeling your branches bursting open with leaves flowers fruit. And then come back down and here we are until Asana now notice the difference between the. And the left sides. And then we’ll firm up the right side coming into this idea this concept of tap roots going down really deep. And you know, if you’ve got some balance issues just hold onto a chair hold on to the kitchen counter maybe a wall will be helpful for you. And then pressing the foot into the leg. And the leg into the foot pressing down with the feet now just notice your breaths take your breath deep into the low belly the breath is what saves us when we’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety we follow the breath we see where it’s breathing into the body we create spaciousness and openness in the areas that are feeling very tense and we’re dropping tension and gripping on the out breaths let your heart open as your shoulder blades come back and down lifting the arms up feeling your branches bursting with life leaves blossoms flowers and fruit. And then coming back to Tad Asana now, if you’d like to continue a couple more repetitions of tree pose on the left. And the right side we will be back in just a few moments working more with symptoms of anxiety healing yoga yoga for real people with real problems for more yoga go to one TV dot see a slash healing yoga you healing yoga yoga for real people with real problems my name is Debbie I have suffered from anxiety for about five years it got quite bad it makes my mind race I can’t focus on anything I can can’t really find any peace. So I went to try out some yoga to see, if that would help so when I I leave yoga I feel very calm and, if as my day goes on my mind starts to race again I try and get back to the state I was in when I was doing yoga welcome back we’re working with a very gentle yoga practice to help us with symptoms of anxiety so Debbie what are some of the triggers that you have to watch out for that will get your anxiety going well I live on my own with three boys and they can get my anxiety going in an instant. So that’s when I that’s when I practice the breathing it’s wonderful well this next series of poses is going to be wonderful for calming the nervous system for getting us out of this thinking this repetitive thinking this ruminating we’re just going to be coming into the breath coming into crocodile pose now you can just lie down on your belly and cross your arms and rest your forehead on your arms or we could use a bolster to help us support. So let’s go into that pose now we’re going to take the knees either side of this bolster.

And then the sternum is going to come to the top of the yoga bolster. So just where the ribs come together and rest the forehead down. So we’re getting this wonderful compression of the belly we’re starting to find new territory in the lungs to bring oxygen into the system you may be feeling like your adrenal glands have been active for a long time maybe there’s a sense of tiredness a sense of fatigue back here in the kidney is the adrenal glands live right on top of the kidneys. And when we’re dealing with anxiety the adrenals are going. So this is a wonderful pose when we bring breath and awareness deep into the lower part of the back where the ribs come down towards the waist we take a long slow smooth in breath breathing in light and spaciousness. And then a long slow smooth and complete out-breath dropping tension dropping gripping down into the ground. And then we’re going to take one of our legs we’re going into a modified version of bow pose. So we bend the knee and, if you don’t have the flexibility in the front of the hip that is what we use the belt for and we’d like to get a little bit of an inward spiral going on here. So we’re creating a little bit more room in the SI joint and we’re just going to release through the front of the hip we take a long slow smooth and breath and a long slow smooth and complete out-breath. And then we release. And we let go. And come on to the opposite side so bending the opposite knee taking the belt in the opposite hand in giving the leg a bit of an inner spiral again to create a little bit more space in the SI joint we’re also getting some tension out of the glutes. And when we’re in an anxious state we have a lot of tension deep in the pelvis in the hip rotators let the in and out breath expand and lengthen through the front of the hip you may even want to squeeze the glute and resist the foot against the belt. And the belt against the foot maybe engaging dorsiflexion heel strong toe spread wide apart yes releasing when the psoas muscles are tight as they always are when we’re dealing with anxiety then the muscles of the diaphragm also tight the roots of the diaphragm are also tight so when we release the so as we release the diaphragm all of a sudden our breasts become longer our breasts become more sadist and we’re getting out of this idea of breathing up into the upper collarbones and breathing down into the lower part of the belly down into the lower part of the back. And now we’re moving into Child’s Pose another wonderful gentle version of this pose is to either support the forehead with the short edge of the bolster or your rolled up blanket or you could be using the bolster to have some compression on the belly resting the forehead on the short edge of the bolster is a wonderfully cooling practice we start to think when we’re feeling anxious and we’re thinking all kinds of different thoughts. And we just support the forehead put a little bit of weight on the forehead all of a sudden we start to clear the mind all of a sudden we are grounding and we’re starting to feel connected to the earth there are ways to work with the breath that are really helpful to calm anxious Minds completing the out-breath is a very important way to turn off the fight flight aspect of a nervous system we are working with the breath to change our brain chemistry and once we shift out of the stress response and move more into the relaxation response the mind begins to slow down our thinking becomes a little bit more clear our breath becomes a little bit more deep and our entire body chemistry is changed Child’s Pose is about creating extension through the spine creating a sense of compression and safety through the front of the body we’re protected here and, if we can take our sit bones and tailbone back deepening the creases of the hips creating more space between the bottom of the ribs. And the top of the hips the diaphragm begins to have more freedom as well please continue to take child’s pose for the next few minutes. And enjoy this quietude we’ll be back in a few moments to work with some other poses and breath techniques to help with anxiety healing yoga yoga for real people with real problems for more yoga go to one TV dot see a slash healing yoga you healing yoga yoga for real people with real problems practicing meditative mindfulness is the best way to counteract anxiety every day come into awareness of your breath and let your out-breath be complete welcome back we’re working with symptoms of anxiety. And now we’re gonna be going into a wonderful opening pose to give us lots of breath lots of prana a side bend supported with either a yoga bolster or a rolled up blanket or towel. So we bring our bolster right up to the hip taking the knees bending them maybe wide knees maybe the knees come closer together see what would feel best.

And then we take a long slow smooth in-breath and get long on the front of the spine. And then a long slow smooth out breath will drape us over the bolster. So we’re resting the head on the arm, if your head is having trouble reaching your arm you can always stick a towel rolled up towel or a blanket underneath your neck in your head now we’re gonna take a couple of breaths here. And just feel how things are starting to blossom open here on the top plane of the body three long slow smooth and complete in-and-out breaths allowing ourselves to open up the ribcage and expand through the bottom of the ribs. And the top of the hips this is a wonderful pose to open up and create room for the diaphragm the belly organs are in the way of the diaphragm on the in-breath so opening things up this way can allow us to get a lot more prana and oxygen into our system now at the end of the third out-breath take your top leg straighten it out and move it back behind you. So that we’re getting a little bit more into the psoas. And the quadratus lumborum here we’re making more space in between the hip. And the ribs creating this wonderful sense of openness this wonderful sense of expansion next time an out breath comes along let your top arm come down resting on your hip an in-breath comes along lift the arm up and over feel the ribs opening out and up exhale bring the arm back down now we’ll go to the opposite side. So we’ll just come up using our upper body strength we’ll swing the bolster over to the opposite side draping ourselves over the bolster lengthening the spine lengthening the low back the area that we’re stretching here. And then sorting up the legs where were the lakes like to be. And then taking the upper arm lifting it up and over inhaling exhaling the arm comes back down we’ve really created a lot of room and spaciousness deep in the belly we’ve released a lot of tension in the psoas that muscle the so as is the fight flight activator so when we’re stressed it’s always tense. And then anxiety this is a really important muscle to be focusing on now we’re gonna be moving into a reclining twist a supine twist.

So we’ll take our upper body strength and find a way to rise up. And we’ll just swing this support into a lengthwise position. And then we’re grounding on that right hip grounding on that hip that’s closest to the shortage of the bolster we take both hands on either side of the bolster. And we get ready to take a long slow smooth in-breath lengthening the front of the spine and a long slow smooth out breath going into the axis of the spine just rotating another in-breath lengthening and puffing up the discs like marshmallows. And then exhaling down and allowing your face to turn towards the knees after a couple of breath cycles the diaphragm will find a way to move things out of the way to create that vacuum that will bring more oxygen into the system this is a very soothing pose frans ayat e we’re wringing out all of the belly organs when we’re feeling anxious we sometimes have that feeling in the pit of our stomach is this feeling of tension. And this wringing action is really wonderful we’re moving out old blood old lymph old prana old emotions and we’re allowing cells to make room for being in the present moment we’re giving ourselves some space that’s safe to know that everything is alright let go of the jaws I go the eyes let the in-breath come and feel that wonderful sense of nourishment the oxygen is bringing you please continue on the other side I’m going to take a break. And when we come back we’ll be cooling down feeling Yoga Yoga for real people with real problems for more yoga go to one T V dot CA / healing yoga you healing yoga yoga for real people with real problems welcome back we’ve been dealing with anxiety through our gentle yoga poses and breath work Isabelle how have you learned how to deal with anxiety I use my deep inhalation breath and a slow exhalation breath and about 10 years ago I was experiencing dizzy spells and I was so fearful I was going to faint I started with the breathing and I know that’s what kept me there without fainting that’s so wonderful it’s amazing the magic of the breath now we’re going to warm down. And come into a supported legs position you can take your head onto the blanket and using a rolled-up towel rolled up blanket or yoga bolster we’ll just support the knees we’ll support the knees you can let the legs come long and by using the blanket to create a little bit of a cocoon we just take a moment to snug the blanket up across the forehead maybe onto the brow bone and around the ears. So we’re creating this wonderful safe space. So that we can withdraw from all of the thoughts that we’ve been creating we’re going to be taking a breath practice that is very effective for anxiety aloma to what we do in voluma to is we take a long slow smooth in-breath filling up the lungs pausing at the top of the in-breath. And then exhaling the bottom part of the lungs to about a third of the way. And we pause. And then we exhale the middle part of the lungs. And we pause.

And then we exhale the top of the lungs. And we get all of the breath out of the lungs. And we pause in that emptiness. And then the in-breath comes. And it feels fantastic. So let’s begin we’ll take a long slow smooth in-breath filling up from the bottom to the top of the lungs pausing at the top for just a moment. And then exhale exhale bottom part of the lungs and pots exhale exhale middle part of the lungs and pause. And then exhale exhale exhale all of the air out of the lungs pausing in that emptiness and stillness. And then let the in-breath come. And just see the effect that breath had on you now, if you want to take your tranquility pose a little bit deeper you could take these eye bags and place one on each wrist maybe on the heel of the palm would feel good you could take a sock fill it up with rice or beans or lavender and that would help you feel more grounded help you feel like you could surrender a little bit more to the earth resting please continue to enjoy some Asana for at least another 20 minutes. And we’ll see you again next time on healing Luca namaste you.

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