Despite the difficulties caused by panic attacks, there are strategies for controlling symptoms and reducing anxiety. Yoga is an age-old discipline that can help reduce anxiety and control panic attack symptoms. Additionally, yoga can improve mindfulness, reduce anxiety, and help with stress management.
There are various symptoms associated with anxiety and nervousness such as tightness, a feeling of tension, and pain sensitivity.
The exercise works to lengthen, stretch and balance the muscles of the body. The asanas also help in releasing stiffness and built up muscle tension throughout the body. Also, by gradually changing the posture of the body, asanas can also bring changes in the mindset of the person.
Yoga allows people to know their bodies. So, if a teacher tells a student to “drop the shoulders,” for example, he becomes aware of the pose and gradually learns to release tension from his body. As a result, they also become less anxious and nervous in their day-to-day lives as they become aware of stressors and how to let them go.
Another form of complementary medicine to the mind-body system that has been around for centuries is meditation, which can help calm the mind and induce deep relaxation. A person can focus their attention and clear their mind of disorganized thoughts that may be stressing them. As a result, both physical and emotional health improves.
Effect of Pranayama on stress and anxiety
One of the essential elements of yoga practice is pranayama, or the art of controlling the breath. The breathing exercises and patterns known as pranayama involve the intentional inhalation, exhalation, and retention of one’s breath. According to research, pranayama can enhance the stress response by relaxing the neurological system.
People breathe very fast when they are nervous. Rapid breathing results in excessive amounts of oxygen and low relative carbon dioxide in the blood, which affects the pH level of the blood. This can result in nausea, muscle cramps, burning sensation, dizziness, anxiety and tension. However, with calm, controlled breathing the pH level of the blood returns to normal. It slows the heart rate and calms the body and mind.
Yoga and Pranayama for Anxiety and Panic Attacks
How to do:
- Sit on the floor with your legs spread out to the sides and exhale as you bring the soles of your feet together
- pull the legs towards the pelvis
- drop your knees to the side
- Taking deep breaths keep pressing your heels together.
How to do:
- Lie on your mat on your face and keep your hands by your sides
- Keep your knees hip-width apart as you bring your heels as close to your glutes as possible
- grasp ankles with hands
- Inhale while simultaneously lifting the thighs, heels, head and sternum off the floor
- Pull your shoulders away from the ears and roll your shoulder blades back
- Hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds.
How to do:
- Stand on the floor with your feet 6 inches apart
- Flex your quadriceps (front thigh muscles) to lift the kneecap.
- exhale and twist from the waist
- Keep your back, neck and head in a straight line
- grab your big toes with your hands
- Inhaling, straighten arms and lift torso to release hamstrings
- While exhaling bend forward while bending backward. Continue this for several breaths.
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
How to do:
- cross your legs and sit comfortably
- place your left hand on the left knee
- Exhale and then use the thumb of your right hand to close the right nostril
- Inhale through the left nostril and then close the left nostril with your fingers
- open the right nostril and exhale
- inhale through the right nostril and then close
- open the left nostril and exhale from the left side
- think of it as a cycle
- continue for 5 minutes
- Always end the exercise by exhaling to the left.
Because we humans do not know how to release stress, it builds up in our bodies and causes discomfort on both a physical and emotional level. By engaging in the ancient practice of yoga, which includes asana, meditation and pranayama, we can create a more balanced mental state and reduce stress, nervousness and anxiety in our lives.