Anxiety has been linked to stress and generally involves physical symptoms such as muscle tension. It can occur when a person fears that something bad is about to happen. It involves a fear or worry regarding a particular situation, issue or concern.
Prolonged anxiety includes symptoms such as restlessness, worry, possible physical symptoms such as knots in the stomach, increased heart rate, muscular tension and headaches.
An anxiety attack usually develops gradually as a person feels anxious about a specific issue like health, relationship, upcoming exam or interview etc. The slow build up can manifest in a full blown anxiety attack with chest pain, lightheadedness, racing heart, difficulty in breathing and irrational thoughts.
Yoga can help those with anxiety by quieting anxious thoughts. The practice of gentle yoga postures with deep breathing practices can help to reduce thoughts and relieve negative thinking patterns. Infact a consistent Yoga practice helps to relieve tension when anxiety causes one’s muscles to become tight or tense.
Deep Yogic breathing or deep belly based breathing is an incredibly effective tool to release anxiety and find calmness, in both body and mind. Though there are several breathing techniques In Yoga one of the easiest and most effective during an anxiety attack is the deep belly breathing.
To practice, one needs to sit comfortably with a straight spine, close the eyes and breathe evenly through both the nostrils, right into the abdomen, expanding it fully. Keep the breath in the expanded abdomen for a few seconds, then let go of the breath out through the nostrils slowly, emptying the abdomen completely, keeping the breath out for a few seconds before repeating the process again for atleast 10 -12 rounds till the mind slows down and the body relaxes.
This abdominal breathing is a simple but very effective technique in releasing anxiety and tension from both body and mind.