yoga teacher trainingBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Yoga is much more than an exercise. However, Yoga has gained mainstream popularity as the exercise of choice when it comes to relaxation for the mind and body.  With that said, many individuals, who are seeking relief from anxiety, feel intimidated at the prospect of being expected to twist into pretzel-like positions. For people who are coping with anxiety, Chair Yoga could be the answer.

Chair Yoga is completely approachable and immune to common Yoga stereotypes. The prospect of having the chair available for support gives even the most anxious of students the advantage of having a sense of control. The chair offers the promise of constant stability and grounding during the practice, which is exactly what someone with anxiety really needs.

The asanas and breathing learned, during Chair Yoga practice, can become powerful tools for warding off anxiety and stress outside of the classroom, as well. One of the most frightening things about a panic attack is feeling powerless to stop it. Many of the techniques that students learn during chair Yoga practice can be done at the onset of a panic attack, shortening both the duration and severity. This is particularly valuable since one of the most common triggers of anxiety attacks is the fear of having the attack itself.

Yoga in a chair is also the style of choice for lessening the anxiety levels of those with physical limitations and disabilities, as well. Those, who are wheelchair bound, will benefit from learning asanas that they can easily do in a seated position. For them, using a chair for the main Yoga prop offers a convenient method for expending excessive energy; and this, in turn, lowers anxiety levels dramatically.

Yoga in a chair is a safer and more practical option for individuals people who are suffering from the emotional damage that often accompanies anxiety. The breathing techniques (pranayama), and deep relaxation, alone, can move an individual toward a profound state of inner peace.

The bottom line is that most individuals feel good after exercise; it makes us feel alive. Nothing is better for one’s mood or mental health than making good use of our bodies. Chair Yoga offers a unique opportunity for people to boost their mood and brain function naturally. By practicing Yoga in this  way, practitioners can reduce or rid anxiety in the future.

© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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