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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can yoga help anxiety?

    I tend to worry about small things- I feel as though I am constantly anxious! About deadlines, my relationship, about getting to places on time, etc. Yoga seems to be a growing trend among women these days… can it help with anxiety?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • WhatWorks4U.org aims to improve treatment for young people with mental health problems by gathering information about what works in the real world.Whatworks4u.org is run by … View Profile

    You can find out how young people rate the helpfulness of yoga for anxiety at whatworks4u.org/learn by selecting anxiety and then looking at complementary treatments - lifestyle interventions. 
    Hope this helps :)

  • 1

    Thanks

    Damien Haines

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Damien Haines is a registered Clinical Psychologist who brings a warm and empathetic approach to therapy. He emphasises engagement in the world and encourages clients … View Profile

    It is possible that yoga can be helpful with reducing anxiety. Yoga is a physical “mindfulness” activity - that is an activity that focusses your attention on body position, tension, relaxation etc. Mindfulness itself has been shown to reduce “worry” and mind chatter a large part of useless anxiety. And in that, Yoga, if generalised across yourlife - ie being able to focus on engaging with the world rather than your own suppositions - is very helpful from an evidence base.

    However, there are two imprtant caveats.

    1) If you do Yoga to reduce your anxiety - it won't help. If you engage in Yoga to learn from it - it will help.

    2) It will not help you to understand why you experience anxiety around these things, or what triggers it. To do this you may need Yoga and a psychologist.

  • Heidi Shannon

    HealthShare Member

    Hello…Yoga can most definitely aid in reducing anxiety significantly. There are many reasons why yoga helps with anxiety.

    Yoga offers a philosophy towards life that aids us in feeling empowered as an individual and helps us understand what we do and do not have control over. Yoga also helps us to understand the way our thoughts and emotions arise and how we can act or not react on those thoughts and emotions in a calm way. Breathing techniques that are specific to yoga can also offer immediate relief as can the knowledge of being able to listen to your body and begin to understand where the anxiety truly arises from and how to honour this ‘warning sign’ with compassion and gentleness.

    It certainly takes a little practice and as a teacher who only teaches those with anxiety and depression, in the beginning yoga can be a little challenging but from somebody who overcame chronic anxiety with Yoga, I can definitely reccomend it. I can also reccomend a holistic approach and a combination of therapies to dealing with anxiety to ensure you have a thorough understanding of  the mental, emotional, physical and energetic aspects of why we behave th way we do :)

    Feel free to contact me further for information.

    Warm wishes

    Heidi @ Alive Wellness

  • Fouz Fatima

    Counsellor

    Start from Within provides a safe and welcoming space for you to explore your thoughts and emotions. Dealing with the hardships of life is not … View Profile

    Thank you for your question and sharing. Yoga can be beneficial in calming your body and mind and having dedicated time focused on your self care. This can have a positive impact on your mental health and wellbeing.

    There are also different types of yoga such as iyengar, yin, ashtangha, hatha, vinyasa. You may wish to read about the different types and try them out to see what works for you. Its also a good idea to try classes with different teachers as they usually bring their own style to the class.

    And if something doesn't feel right during the practice, listen to your body and adjust yourself accordingly. Teachers usually offer modifications to suit different needs.

    Keep in mind that we are all unique individuals. What works for one person may not work for another. Be kind to yourself and have fun exploring yoga!

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