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Yoga Me Well Blog Archive

How to Manage Anxiety

By the time Anxiety has us in its grip, we’ve overlooked the signposts that, when heeded, might mitigate its debilitating effects. 

Yoga for Anxiety gives us practical tools for self-management.

Calming Troubled Waters

Yoga’s approach is to familiarise ourselves with old patterns and new habits that ward off Anxiety. We learn how to be Present on a moment to moment basis. This allows us to develop the essential habit of noticing strong feelings and thought patterns before they build up and overtake us.Yoga tools calm the nervous system

We establish deeper awareness  through embodied movement. This is not simply moving limbs around. It is movement that establishes intimate conversation with your body. 

Special breathing practices hone our focus and calm the nervous system.  

Sound therapy vibrates and lessens the grip of strong feelings such as trepidation and dread.

We practice until our body embeds these calmer rhythms. And learns to adopt them skilfully on request.

Once attuned to the body, we turn toward the mind. All Yogic practice is ultimately about mind management.  

We adopt simple, effective tools like self-awareness, self-questioning and mantra japa (centring thought) to reveal mental patternings. Slowly, we alter them.

The Research

Much research now validates the credibility of a yogic approach to Anxiety prevention. Professor Herbert Benson’s Relaxation Response  protocol is an assembly of yogic tools. The 2014 work of researchers at a Zurich science and technology University demonstrates how the body’s extensive vagus nerve can flood the brain with strong feeling signals that lead to anxious behaviour.

The Ancient Yogic Secret

We do, do, do until we are, are, are the new pattern our yoga practice embeds within our nervous system and mental landscape.

A step forward, two backwards and one forward again. Then, we note how remarkably different our response is to some situation we once handled poorly. This single incident of self-mastery ignites a fire to continue observations and counteractions.

Backslides are Blessings

Even backslides become “golden opportunities”, as the Dalai Lama says, “to practice patience and tolerance”. Yoga calls this “ahimsa” or non-harm to self. We choose to support ourselves, not to criticise.

Yoga for Anxiety Workship 

The Yoga for Anxiety Prevention 5-week workshop begins on Sunday 28 July.  It’s not rocket science, it’s ancient science. These self-management tools are effective when we are ready to welcome change. And you’ll enjoy the support of a motivated group over 5 weeks. Come along. You have nothing to lose except your angst.

Let’s chat to see if it’s right for you. Liv 0409 473 162 or email: livmitchell@ozemail.com.au

Yoga for Anxiety Prevention Workshop details

Liv Mitchell

Liv Mitchell is a hatha yoga teacher, relaxation instructor and freelance writer/editor who specialises in holistic wellbeing.

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Yoga for Anxiety Prevention

In the Grip 

It was a Winter’s night 20 years ago. I remember running. I was amazed at how well I could run. It had been years and yet I was so light, bounding on air. The exhilaration, the speed! Yet I was unaware I was in the steely grip of anxiety. 

Anxiety takes over

I was running from a nasty argument with my partner. Our relationship was over. We had known this for weeks. My nervous system was literally in full flight response. And I was barely eating or sleeping. Without the tools to navigate the end of this relationship and my other life circumstances, I bounced from feeling helpless to rage and despair. The alone-ness was inevitable (I was yet developed my stabilising centre). The looming of it filled me with dread. I was grieving over having no children in my waning child-bearing years. My father had recently died. My mother, my usual support, was lost in her own grief. My work life was a sunken mess. The present felt overwhelming and the future appeared bleak.

Immersed in the maelstrom, I lost my ability to function. My mind scattered in a thousand directions. Spells of tears consumed me with no notice. Mental paralysis gripped, depression dumps hit at a moment’s notice, followed by frenzied activity.

Anxiety is exhausting. Some of you know the experience intimately.

Yoga – it’s common sense

Yoga’s tools to address it are simple and effective. But they are not a quick fix. Yoga asks us to increase our sensitivity to become acutely aware of our mental and emotional patternings. When we are aware of our responses to life, we can choose differently. The Yogic approach is pure pragmatism and common sense.

These techniques have the capacity to reshape a life, but only if we commit to them. That is, if we commit to ourselves. We decide to say “Yes! I am worth the effort. I want to lead a stronger more resilient life.”

These tools carry us to groundedness again and again. At times they cradle us.

Truths long obscured, are revealed, allowing mind and body to recline into relaxed perspective. After periods of prolonged difficulty and applying the practices, overviews of life arrive. Ease, unparalleled, is resting in that expansive, accepting space. Grace is present.

How to change

If you yearn for Ease and dynamic, balancing perspective in your life, commit to 5-weeks of yogic practices. No prior yoga experience is necessary, but an interest in yoga is desirable. 

The Yoga for Anxiety Prevention workshop series begins Sunday 28 July. 

Are you done with anguish? Are ready for change? Then lead yourself gently forward. Perhaps it is time.

Call or email me if you have any queries. I’d love to hear from you. Liv 0409 473 162 livmitchell@ozemail.com.au

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Liv Mitchell

Liv Mitchell is a hatha yoga teacher, relaxation instructor and freelance writer/editor who specialises in holistic wellbeing.

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Autumn’s Big Ask

red autumn leaves

Last week in class we enjoyed a heart based practice to prepare ourselves for the energies of autumn.

It’s time to come to ground after the fullsome, heady expression of summer. The leaves are falling to Earth, to dry, curl, morph into organic mass and return to elemental form.

Autumn prepares us for the deep introspection of Winter, should we choose to go there. It gives us time to ask the question “What must I release?” as the trees surrender their shelter and the southern hemisphere begins its retreat from exuberance into golden hued afternoons.

So, we worked with breath and movement to open the heart space in practice, the heart being the esoteric place of deepest knowing in order that it might reveal the blueprint. It knows what we need to surrender to move more fully into our whole selves. Should you choose to believe in such things, you might find irrefutable guidance there. And a committed yoga practice will tempt you to believe. It helps to explain the equilibrium and expansiveness, the exquisite peace we sometimes experience in savasana (relaxation) post practice.

We stayed in our postures to build the autumnal strength and stability we need to receive Winter’s revelations. “What safe pattern, place, person, perspective, Belief, must I release to live from my most powerful Self?” It’s wise to prepare for a heart-to-heart. It takes courage to hear and act on those answers. Self-sabotage being the safer route.

Even if we don’t ask the question, its roots crawl beneath our skin, weaving and tangling in discomfort until it finds a way to break through, all gnarly and ready to trip us up as we walk on and stumble, righting ourselves self-consciously,  pretending not to notice.

Liv Mitchell

Liv Mitchell is a hatha yoga teacher, relaxation instructor and freelance writer/editor who specialises in holistic wellbeing.

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