Yogic Ways to Ease Anxiety | Yoga

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It comes as no surprise that most working Americans experience stress or anxiety in their daily lives. A certain amount of stress and anxiety is normal at work as well as at home. However, persistent, excessive, and irrational stress that interferes with everyday functioning is often an indication of more underlying anxiety. 

While it may seems uncontrollable at times, there are things we can do to ease the severity of anxiety in the body.

1. Breathe
Focus on elongating the exhale will calm the sympathetic nervous system, bringing a steadiness to your mind. Lengthening the out-breath will slow your heart rate, ease the “fight/flight” response, decrease respiration and blood pressure. This will allow your physical body to relax and put things back in perspective.

A simple breathing technique: breathe in as you silently count upwards to five, then breathe out, whilst counting from 10 back down to one. Focus on making each exhale slow, deep and complete.

2. Accept that you’re anxious 
Instead of frantically trying to fight the situation, remember that anxiety is just another feeling. Find a place where you can sit quietly and try to focus on the fact that this is just your mind being overactive, and it is giving you a physical response. 

3. Use asana to relieve anxiety 
One beneficial pose to ease stress, tension and anxiety right now, even after you read this, is legs up the wall pose (Viparita Karani)

Viparita Karani: Laying in fetal position with your hips against a wall and your head toward the centre of the room, roll over onto your back and lift your legs straight up to rest on the wall—soles of feet toward the ceiling. Gently slide a pillow or folded blanket under your hips for comfort and gentle elevation and allow your arms to open wide, palms up. Breathe, relax and rest in this position with eyes closed for 5-10 minutes. Gently slide knees back down towards your chest and roll to your right side back into fetal position for a few moments before slowly bringing yourself back into the day.

Sachi Doctor

Elemental Alchemy, 90 Rio Vista Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94611

Sachi Doctor is an Ayurvedic practitioner and holistic health coach who founded Elemental Alchemy with the mission to provide a resource for those navigating their way towards optimal mind-body health.

Diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at a young age, Sachi has spent over twenty years exploring different health modalities, treatment plans, diets and mindfulness practices to help alleviate chronic pain and restore balance.

After years of looking to others for a model of health with no relief, Sachi realized that the answers she sought were not hidden in someone else’s prescription for wellness but unique to her, and that the first step towards discovery was actually tuning out what was right for others and tuning into herself.

As she tapped into the wisdom of her own body, she discovered that the elements foundational for health  — the blueprint she so fervently sought — was within her, within each of us. Since then Sachi has been passionate about helping others also cultivate clarity and inner wisdom for vibrant health.

In addition to her Ayurvedic and nutrition education, Sachi has completed over 800 hours of yoga teacher training and continues to study with her mother, her first yoga teacher, for whom these practices are a way of life.

Sachi is a board member of the Prison Yoga Project at San Quentin State Prison and serves as an ambassador for Yoga Gives Back, a non-profit that raises funds within the US yoga community to support microcredit programs for women in India. She holds a Msc in Development from the London School of Economics.