Teaching Yoga for Anxiety and Stress - Yoga Practice Blog

Teaching Yoga for Anxiety and Stress

teaching yoga for anxiety and stressBy Faye Martins

How should we begin teaching yoga for anxiety and stress? Once again, a potential student approaches you about private lessons. Additionally, she is experiencing chronic stress, but she’s not sure why or how Yoga works. Did your Yoga instructor training course prepare you for this? Maybe not, but you can make a difference by sharing your knowledge during class time or any other convenient time.


What’s the Cost?

We often hear Yoga is good for stress, but now we have scientific research to back up the claims. According to the Anxiety and Depression Organization of America, anxiety disorders affect approximately 40 million adults in the U. S. each year. Although highly treatable, only about one-third of those 40 million receive medical care, and costs range about $42 billion for those who do seek help.


Research Says Yoga Helps Fight Anxiety

• In March 2012, the Boston University School of Medicine and the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons published the results of a study. The conclusion suggests that Yoga is an effective means of treating people with psychological and medical conditions related to stress. Among these illnesses are high blood pressure, cardiac problems, depression, and anxiety.


Medicine and Yoga – Together

Alternative treatment like Yogic exercise seems like the perfect complement to standard medicine. Furthermore, this is based on the theory that stress creates an imbalance in the autonomic nervous system and lowers levels of neurotransmitters. After all, Yogic techniques balance the nervous system and raise the levels of neurotransmitters. As a result, all of this information creates the need for instructors who are capable of teaching yoga for anxiety and stress.


What About Research?

Now, we have solid research for the skeptics in your life. Related resources and research will follow this article. On that note, additional research was completed in 2012 by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In addition, the researchers examined the possibility that Yoga training might prevent anxiety in teens.


Comparative Study

Students were given psychological tests for issues like resilience, anger, mood swings, anxiety, and mindfulness at the beginning of the study. At the end of the study, students were tested again. Researchers found that some students who took regular PE classes did not score as well after 10 weeks. At the same time, some of those who practiced Yogic techniques scored higher than they did initially. Consequently, the remainder of the students’ scores remained the same before and after the study.


Outlook is Bright

Firstly, teens who took Yoga also reported fewer negative feelings and reported liking the classes. Secondly, around seventy-five percent said they would like to continue taking classes, giving hope to the chance that Yoga may be used to prevent anxiety and depression in adolescents. Thirdly, in today’s world, more and more people are discovering the benefits of practicing yoga on a regular basis. Finally, yoga helps people suffering from stress and anxiety by providing them with the tools needed to keep their symptoms in check.


More Research

In 2010, the “Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences” published research showing that female patients with PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, showed significant improvement in symptoms after taking a series of eight Hatha-based classes. The women reported fewer disruptive thoughts and calmer nerves. Their heart-rate variability, a key indicator of the capacity to self-soothe, also improved.


At-Risk Care and Prevention

Teaching yoga for anxiety and stress is not isolated to one specific group. Due to the growing number of suicides among adolescents and military veterans, the need for affordable alternative treatment is apparent.  For the purpose of saving lives, this situation should encourage scientists to continue their research. Stress and anxiety are two of the most common health issues in society today.


Be Prepared

If a student has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, they will likely be referred to you. Of course, yoga is often recommended by many doctors as a way to reduce stress and anxiety. Indeed, some yoga teachers run regular workshops for stress management. In fact, workshops for managing stress and anxiety are structured as pilot programs or weekly classes.


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Related Research

Tayyebi A, Babahaji M, Sadeghisherme M, Ebadi A, Eynollahi B. Study of the effect of Hatha Yoga exercises on stress, anxiety, and depression among hemodialysis patients. IJCCN. 2011;4:67–72.

Javnbakht M, Hejazi Kenari R, Ghasemi M. Effects of yoga on depression and anxiety of women. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2009;15:102–4.

Oken BS, Kishiyama S, Zajdel D, Bourdette D, Carlsen J, Haas M, et al. Randomized controlled trial of yoga and exercise in multiple sclerosis. Neurology. 2004;62:2058–64.

Rahnama N, Bambaeichi E, Arbabzadeh S, Sadeghipour H, Etemadifar M, Namazizadeh M. Effects of yoga on depression in women with multiple sclerosis. J Isfahan Med Sch. 2011;29:483–90.

Related Studies

Streeter CC, Whitfield TH, Owen L, Rein T, Karri SK, Yakhkind A, et al. Effects of yoga versus walking on mood, anxiety, and brain GABA levels: A randomized controlled MRS study. J Altern Complement Med. 2010;16:1145–52.

Garfinkel MS, Schumacher HR, Jr, Husain A, Levy M, Reshetar RA. Evaluation of a yoga-based regimen for treatment of osteoarthritis of the hands. J Rheumatol. 1994;21:2341–3.

Duan-Porter W, Coeytaux RR, McDuffie JR, Goode AP, Sharma P, Mennella H, et al. Evidence map of yoga for depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder. J Phys Act Health. 2016;13:281–8.


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