Obsession, phobia or post traumatic stress disorder may cause anxiety. Yoga may prove helpful for mild anxiety disorders. Acute anxiety disorders resulting in fatigue, restlessness, nausea, breathing trouble or palpitation need medical aid along with Yoga.
Yoga unifies mind, body and soul hence it is a healthy alternative for treating disorders related to anxiety, which is more of a mental illness.
The breathing exercises and two key Yogasanas recommended for curing anxiety disorders are explained below.
1. Pranayama is a breathing exercise which controls the prana, the vital force of life. The two pranayamas; Ujjayi and Anuloma-Viloma are panacea for healing anxiety disorders. For practicing a pranayama sit erect, in comfortable cross-legged padmasana (lotus pose), (or another) meditative pose. Initially do the breathing exercise for two to three minutes and later stretch it up to fifteen minutes daily, for best results.
* Ujjayi pranayama (hissing or ocean breath) First exhale out all the air from body. Next inhale through both nostrils with partially closed glottis. Hold your breath, controlling the abdomen muscles, then exhale out. A peculiar sound comes out while performing ujjayi pranayama. This is a tough breathing exercise, should be practiced under the supervision of trained Yoga guru.
* Anuloma-Viloma pranayama (alternate-nostril breathing) – Inhale through left nostril pressing the right nostril closed; then exhale through the right nostril keeping the left nostril closed. Repeat the process alternating the functionality of each nostril.
2. Corpse pose (Shavasana) marks the beginning and end of any Yoga session. It is indeed very relaxing pose and easy to accomplish. Lie down straight on your back, hands on either side at a small distance from the body. Leave your entire body loose, eyes remaining close. Breathe slowly, concentrate and keep mind away from all wild thoughts. Be still in the posture for ten to fifteen minutes and you will feel totally rejuvenated both mentally and physically.
3. Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana) is very helpful in controlling anger and reducing migraine pain. Basically in this posture the head rests firmly on the ground while the entire body is lifted up, exerting pressure on the shoulder. Again a word of caution, it is a difficult posture, needs to be done under guidance.
For Sarvangasana, lie down straight on your back, feet together, hands on either side. Raise your legs vertically above. Slowly lift hips off the ground, try to bring the torso close to the shoulder. Keep hands along the legs to give support to the body.
*Yoga should be practiced in well lit, airy room with abundant sunshine.
*Wear comfortable loose clothing, preferably made of cotton fabric for doing Yoga.
*Refrain from eating, two to three hours, prior and after Yoga.
Yoga requires discipline and regularity. Yoga has a therapeutic effect and no side effects. If you are suffering from any disease, consult the doctor prior to starting any kind of Yogasana. Yoga does help in relaxing and stress relieving; strengthens body and mind. Yogasanas (poses) tone internal muscles, increase blood supply to all vital organs and rejuvenate body as a whole, bringing about total wellness and happiness.
Source: Written by Tanu Bhandari for helium.com