There’s a wide range of anxieties that unpleasant situations can cast, starting from butterflies in the stomach to can’t-sit-still nerves. And no matter what the category, yoga works like a natural pacifier for anxiety. Not only does it have multiple effects on the body, it also heals the central nervous system, thus helping to induce a relaxed feeling in the body and mind. Certified yoga expert Nishtha Bijlani shares ways in which you can apply the practice of yoga to your life, on and off the mat.
Balasana or child’s pose is a very relaxing pose that soothes the nervous tension in the stomach caused as a result of anxiety. It also helps slowing down the racing thoughts in one’s mind.
Method: Get on your knees on your yoga mat. Rest your hips on the heels and bend forward to bring the head down to the yoga mat. Let your hands be dropped to the sides. If you find it difficult to bring the head down to the mat, use a bolster and place it between the legs. Now, rest your torso on it. Stay here for as long as it feels good.
Also known as the Humming Bee Breath, this breathing technique has a very tranquilizing effect on the mind. Additionally, it promotes better sleep and slows down the thoughts.
Method: Get in a comfortably seated position on the mat or chair. Use your thumbs to close the opening of the ears. Spread the rest of the four fingers across your face to make the Shanmukhi Mudra. Close your eyes, and take a deep breath. Now release the breath making a ‘hmmm’ sound through pressed lips. Do 5–10 rounds of this.
This pose is literally like giving a hug to yourself and helps in releasing the jittery feeling in the body.
Method: Lie down on the back and bring your knees to the chest. Hug your arms around the legs. Lift your head up for a few seconds and then drop it back. You could stay here for as long as you like.
Maintaining a gratitude journal is considered a very good practice.
Method: You may do this at the end of the day before going to bed. Think of how your day went by and find three things to express gratitude for. Write these down. Do this as a daily practice to see a remarkable positive difference in you. Watch your worries soon convert into happy vibes.
Deep Belly Breaths
The effects of deep conscious breathing cannot be stressed enough. It directly soothes the nervous system, helping to bring about a calm relaxed state.
Method: Lie down on your back. Use a bolster under the legs or back to feel more rested. Place your palms on the abdomen, one above the navel and other below it. Start by breathing deep into the belly — inhaling and exhaling deeply. Slowly watch the breath become more natural and slow. Enjoy the process of relaxation.
Practicing meditation regularly can do wonders. It helps us slow down, reduces stress-response and connects with the inner self. Meditation can feel difficult to do at first. Hence, choosing to meditate with help of a guided audio, easily available online, can be a great start. Build a practice of at least 5 minutes every day to see the difference.
This can be done anytime of the day, even in the middle of work. Similarly place palms in a seated position and breathe into the belly.