Yoga, anxiety's antidote 07-06-2013 calm-stress

This week I write about the real experience that one of my students is having (with his permission, of course). I love testimonials that confirm the healing power of yoga classes.  He is a great guy, highly educated and has a very strong professional career. He shares his life with a wonderful woman and everything seemed to be going great until recently. All of the sudden he started to feel overwhelmed, with a heavy pressure over his chest and having difficulty breathing. It was a kind of distress that kept growing and he was scared. "Why feeling this way when everything is perfect in my life?" he often asked himself.

He decided to get in touch with a therapist/coach and started a series of sessions with the goal of organizing his mind and emotions. In the first session the therapist talked to him about breathing, acceptance and compassion to oneself.  He remembered that he had heard about those things years ago when he used to go to yoga class. So he thought that it was probably a good idea to start practicing again. He stopped by the studio one day and took a class with me. Since the first moment he felt awesome: happy, present and very positive. The level of anxiety and stress had dropped considerably. It seemed that he was himself again, but now with a deeper understanding of life. He continued coming to class twice a week and after a month or so the personal work that he was doing with the therapist/coach was successfully over.

Next, I am giving you a list of different things that are done during yoga class and that explain why it is so helpful in this kind of cases:

1. Yoga helps you to have a clearer and broader vision. When you stop and create space in your life to connect inwardly, you stop judging yourself and start loving fully.

2. Meditation brings you here & now in a very effective way.  We spend most of the time going over the same recurrent thoughts that are part of the past or of the future. This inner chat creates a lot of stress. However, during a yoga class it seems that past and future dissolve, you are totally centered in the present moment and enjoy just "being". Then the mind and the nervous system can relax and recover their natural state of balance.

3. Yoga postures (asanas) transform the excessive nervous energy that has accumulated within yourself and that is causing anxiety and general uneasiness. They also open and unlock the channels where vital force flows, reason why you feel replenished.

4. Yogic breathing refines your inner sensitivity. It works as the perfect guide, showing you when you are going too far, when you are honoring yourself or when you have to change what your are doing. By paying attention to the breath, you can prevent many stressful situations (and their effects) before they happen.

5. Conscious relaxation allows you to release and let go of all the thoughts and beliefs that are stopping you from being happy. It helps you to accept yourself just as you are and, with it, flows the most beautiful form of compassion.

As you can see, Yoga provides very valuable tools to cope with common health issues like stress, anxiety or feelings of panic. The times that we are living are quite complex for most of us, I hope that today's post has served you. Remember to share it if you liked it. Thanks!

Om shanti, shanti, shanti

(Much gratitude to my student for sharing his experience and allowing me to write about it.)

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