How can we practice yoga for peace of mind? Yoga can make your mind become your greatest ally. The method is simple: To tame and train the mind, you need a tool, method, or system. Yogic techniques have been helping people train the mind since history was put into writing, most likely before that. The practical applications of yoga for humankind’s problems are infinite, but let’s look at a few of the most rampant mental health issues and look at practical yogic solutions.
Can Yoga Prevent Panic Attacks?
Some people have silly misconceptions about Yoga and make fun of mantras, the breathing exercises. and the meditation. Once people try yoga, they understand its importance and that it does more than improve flexibility, strength, and posture; it also reduces stress and anxiety. According to the National Institutes of Health, severe anxiety leads to panic disorders and attacks that affect more than six million people in a given year. With continuous practice, yoga for peace of mind calms anxious thoughts and reduces panic attacks.
What Causes Panic Attacks?
In most cases, a panic attack occurs due to mental or emotional stress. It comes on suddenly without any warning and without knowing the triggers. Anxiety exists naturally as a survival mechanism; however, some people suffer from extreme anxiety without any present danger.
Reactions to Panic Attacks
During high anxiety, the body releases excessive adrenaline, which stimulates the flight response. Without using adrenaline for fleeing, the buildup of this hormone causes a panic attack. Symptoms of panic attacks include a rapid heartbeat, perspiration, a nervous stomach, and irregular breathing.
Combating Panic Attacks
Asana, pranayama, and other yogic practices help with anxiety, stress, and panic attacks. Asana, or sitting posture, promotes stillness of the mind and focus on the body. It encourages a flow of energy and burns off anxious and nervous feelings. Asana consists of simple and complex postures that prove more beneficial with pranayama.
Pranayama as a Coping Method
Pranayama, or extension of the breath, leads to greater anxiety and stress release through breathing exercises. During a panic attack, a person takes shallow, quick breaths. Pranayama teaches abdominal breathing and lengthening the time of exhalation compared to inhalation. Other exercises, such as alternate-nostril breathing, reduce anxiety symptoms while calming the mind and body.
Managing and Coping
Yoga for peace of mind does not give a person absolute control over every situation. However, it does offer a method for dealing with situations in a calm, rational way. Use pranayama to focus the breath and calm the nervous body during anxious times. Learn to sit still and concentrate on the present moment, not on stressful thoughts plaguing the mind. Over time and with diligent practice, yoga reduces anxiety and prevents future panic attacks.
Living with anxiety can cause a person to miss out on job opportunities, lose touch with friends or family members and develop depression. Medications that are used to treat severe anxiety come with risks. Yoga students with severe anxiety can manage their condition to enjoy better mental health.
What Is Severe Anxiety?
Severe anxiety is a disorder that can significantly reduce the quality of life for sufferers, creating a cycle of suffering. People suffering from severe anxiety often experience panic attacks due to their condition. Symptoms of severe anxiety include:
Irregular or fast heartbeat
Tightness or pain in the chest
A dreamlike state
Yoga as an Adjunct Method
Professional counselors are the first line of protection for the public. They use a variety of approaches depending on the circumstances. While medications are available to help reduce the symptoms of severe anxiety, natural techniques, including practicing yoga for peace of mind, have been proven to lessen the severity of anxiety by allowing a yoga student to relax. Some people are even able to control their anxiety solely through the use of yoga.
The Prevalence of Anxiety
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reveals that anxiety is the most common mental health issue in the United States. Approximately 18 percent of adults suffer from the condition, and people without physical ailments can still develop severe anxiety.
The source of anxiety is different for everyone who suffers from the disorder. Some people develop anxiety because of a genetic predisposition. Other sufferers have a chemical imbalance in their brains that causes anxiety symptoms. Traumatic events or prolonged stress can even trigger the development of anxiety.
How Yoga Helps Calm Students
A 2009 study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research Center for Advanced Research in Yoga and Neurophysiology in Bangalore, India, showed that cyclic meditation and supine rest are two parts of practicing yoga that is particularly helpful for people who suffer from severe anxiety. Practicing yoga daily for between 20 and 30 minutes seems helpful for yoga students with the disorder.
Coping with Anxiety Attacks
Breathing exercises and chanting or meditation allow yoga students to shift focus when anxiety attacks strike. This practice allows students to let go of negative energy to regain control of the situation. One of the biggest triggers for anxiety attacks is a perceived lack of control over a situation. One of the most common methods people choose for dealing with negative energy is substance abuse.
Yoga for Substance Abuse
Yoga centers the body, calms the mind, and encourages positive healing and growth. People who abuse drugs and alcohol lack discipline and must develop new ways to cope. According to the National Institutes of Health, certain people have a genetic predisposition to alcoholism and drug abuse. With yoga therapy, addicts have a practical treatment option for improving their recovery and overcoming their habits.
What Yoga Does for Addiction
Yoga for peace of mind is a vessel for various exercises and techniques. Some yogic practices focus on sitting postures and meditation, whereas others consist of flowing poses that stretch the body and improve flexibility and strength. Yoga therapy promotes blood flow, improves concentration, and revitalizes the body with much-needed oxygen. Addicts require these things to help battle substance abuse.
Yoga for Drug Abuse
When people enter rehab facilities, they participate in various programs that improve their recovery. Yoga shares the same goals as a typical rehab program: it teaches self-discipline, encourages a spiritual connection, and creates inner peace and acceptance. Every yogic practice teaches controlled breathing and focused concentration on the present moment or a task. It centers the mind and grounds the body, giving a person a sense of control in an otherwise chaotic world.
Benefits of Yoga
During intense yoga stretching, the body sweats and detoxifies all the impurities within the muscles and the organs. The breathing exercises alleviate anger and hostility, and the meditative practices reduce anxiety, tension, and stress. Yoga therapy benefits substance abusers in other ways, from relieving depression and fatigue to calming impulsive behavior and confusion.
Yoga for peace of mind only works with consistent practice and a willingness to adopt new principles. It involves meditation, various poses, and attention to breathing. Yogic therapy connects substance abusers with their inner selves and gives them a sense of purpose. Once they develop self-worth and connectedness, they care more about eating the right foods, caring for their bodies, and resisting temptations that lead to drug abuse. With additional counseling, exercise, and support, yoga therapy improves people’s lives and helps them beat their addictions.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
Please visit the following link to see our online Yoga teacher training courses.
Are you interested in Meditation Teacher Training?
Click here to see our online Yoga Nidra teacher training course.
Are you an experienced teacher looking for YACEP credits or continuing education?
52 Essential Principles of Yoga Philosophy to Deepen your Practice
by Rina Jakubowicz
A Relaxing Way to De-stress, Re-energize, and Find Balance
by: Gail Boorstein Grossman
by B.K.S. Iyengar
See our selection of affordable yoga teacher certification courses.