Yoga Teacher Training: Panic Attacks

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Yoga Teacher Training: Panic Attacks

yoga trainingBy Faye Martins

Jen has successfully completed her Yoga instructor training and has decided to teach sessions in a loft attached to her home. She and her husband launch her web site and begin to receive inquiries from the local community. Most of her prospective students are seeking Yoga for relief from chronic stress.

In every society since the beginning of time, there has been anxiety. Whether concerns about health care and job security today outweigh worries about finding food supplies and fending off wild animals in the past remains uncertain. Yoga teachers often say it depends on our own attitudes and perspectives.  Among Yoga instructors there is a common belief, that we create our own realities. “Good” stress spurs us into action. “Bad” stress revs up our nervous system and leads to mental and physical illnesses.

While it is normal to feel anxiety before a test, or maybe even before an airline flight, the situation gets out of hand when it prevents us from accomplishing what we want to do. Once we experience one panic attack, we are more prone to future episodes. Some people find the fear of chronic stress is immobilizing, a condition that can lead to agoraphobia, or a fear of leaving the safety of home.

What characterizes a panic attack?

• Rapid onset of overwhelming anxiety

• Shortness of breath or feelings of choking

• Heart palpitations, rapid heart rate or chest pain

• Trembling or sweating

• Nausea or dizziness

• Fear, especially of dying or a feeling like one is having a heart attack

Can Yoga prevent chronic stress?

• People who have panic attacks walk on eggshells. Episodes escalate quickly and unexpectedly. Yoga training puts us in touch with early sensations that may otherwise go unnoticed.

• When we experience negative feelings, we tense our bodies. On the other hand, our breathing grows fast and shallow when our muscles are tight and rigid. Controlled breathing techniques (pranayama) prevent the spiral from escalating, regardless of the cause.

• To soothe our nervous systems, we need to sense warning signals in their early stages. Yogic awareness techniques teach us to interpret the communication between our bodies and our brains.

• Meditation quiets the mind and increases awareness of unconscious, negative emotions and memories. It also soothes the neural pathways, increases feelings of well-being and refreshes the body and mind.

• Asanas work in conjunction with breathing and mediation to release pent-up emotions and energetic blockages in our physical bodies and our consciousness. Postures also prepare the body for deep meditation, relax constricted muscles and restore vitality.

While best results come from a regular practice of Yoga, including emphasis on poses, breathing, meditation and life style, there are specific poses that work to calm the mind and body. There is also the option of adding vigorous asanas to a restorative practice to bring back a sense of balance, empowerment, and eliminate old traumas.

Here are some suggestions those who are inspired to become a Yoga teacher.  Although some of us have a vision of what our students should be, we don’t know what their needs will be.  Once you begin teaching Yoga to the public, you’ll get a feel for what your student’s needs are.  This is why a Yoga certification course should enable you to be able to teach the largest audience.

© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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2 Comments

  1. Masud Parvez November 14, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Once we experience one panic attack, we are more prone to future episodes. Some people find the fear of chronic stress is immobilizing, a condition that can lead to a fear of leaving the safety of home.

  2. Marry Wilson November 14, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Most of the students are seeking Yoga for relief from chronic stress. Thanks for s haring this type of valuable article.

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