Overcome Fear and Anxiety with Yoga
Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia. In fact, one in three women experience anxiety at some stage in their lives (Beyond Blue 2016).. To live with anxiety is to live in fear, worry or concern for the future–that which has not yet occurred. It can be challenging to overcome fear and anxiety.
I suffered anxiety for several years and would experience debilitating panic attacks. I was put on antidepressants and other drugs to help manage the panic attacks. This for me wasn’t a long term solution. The drugs were just managing the symptoms, but the underlying problem was still there. I also didn’t feel right. I was living in a constant state of fog and sedation and didn’t feel like me.
Overcoming fear and anxiety was one reason I turned to yoga. I discovered incredible tools and techniques and my health began to change considerably. I also discovered how stress hormones contribute to anxiety and learnt ways in which to better manage my hormones.
Learning things like meditation, pranayama (breathing techniques) and yoga asana has helped me overcome my fear and anxiety. I’ve not had a panic attack in years, and I now know what to do when I feel the slightest bit stressed.
Yoga has taught me to observe. No longer trying to control, stop or manage my anxiety, but simply bringing awareness to my state of mind each and giving myself permission to be in whatever state that is. No judgement, no criticism. When we discover we are not permanently bound to anything; our emotions, our health, our status, we discover a true sense of liberation.
Natarajasana, Lord Of The Dance Pose.
Most women love to dance. It evokes a deep sense of joy, release, freedom and self expression. I find my yoga asana practice to be very similar to that of dancing, where I am no longer aware of the external world around me. I allow my body to move in a way it desires, and in doing so releasing me from that which has left me feeling constrained and bound.
I start to move and experience my body independent of thought.
Lord Shiva’s Dancer (Natarajasana) is the pose dedicated to Lord Shiva, also known as the ‘God of Dance’. Shiva represents our liberation from fear of change. In this graceful pose we learn to trust and let go of fear as we open the heart and develop a sense of trust in our balance. We no longer fear that edge of comfort, but begin to explore with a sense of curiosity as to what it might reveal about us. This pose helps to tone and make the legs supple.
Most importantly for those that suffer anxiety this pose helps to balance the central nervous system; calming and focussing the mind.