By Faye Martins
Most of us would prefer to do something else, but worry is the most natural thing in the world. Our anxieties often shape our actions and help to improve our outcomes. When worry becomes overwhelming however, our ability to function is threatened. When speaking in terms of yogic science, it is often difficult to differentiate between the medicine and its benefit. These notions are so closely related in yoga, that it can be said performing any technique (asana, pranayama, meditation, mantra, etc.) is its own reward.
Fortunately, it isn’t necessary to completely understand the scope of yoga’s rewards to benefit from them. In the matter of relieving worry, simply practicing certain yogic techniques can immediately reduce anxiety and help to prevent its return. Worry can come upon a person at any time. When anxiety strikes, taking the time to perform an hour of Sun Salutations or Lunar Flows isn’t always an option. Thankfully, there are a number of yogic techniques that can be performed by anyone at any time.
Pranayama for Worry
At the first onset of worry, take several deep breaths. Inhaling and exhaling slowly, use your senses to examine your surroundings. This basic breathing technique will allow to perceive things as they truly are and not through the lens of your anxiety. Remind yourself to focus on your breathing throughout the rest of the day.
Another easy to perform yoga technique for reducing worry is alternate nostril breathing. Placing the ring finger of your right hand over your left nostril, inhale through your right nostril. Place your thumb over your right nostril and pause your breath for the count of five. Exhale through your left nostril and repeat this process several times before switching nostrils and beginning again. This exercise regulates breathing, blood flow and releases endorphins in the brain. Alternate nostril breathing is also said to be good for balancing the brain and clearing the nasal cavities as well as the sinuses.
Understanding the more advanced benefits of yoga training takes time and practice. The practical benefits of these and similar exercises are not hard to understand. On the surface, you are giving your body and mind something to do immediately as worrying begins. By training the mind and body to react to worry with deliberate action, you are working to prevent future worries from overwhelming you. Beneath the surface, something far more elaborate is happening.
Imagine a natural medicine so powerful that it immediately eliminates the symptoms of a condition while laying the permanent groundwork for its cure. This is the power of yogic science. Practiced regularly, yoga training can effectively remove worry from your life.
The Yogic Mindset
One last point about the yogic state of mind: When you feel like you are totally overwhelmed by anxiety, focus your entire mind only on a solution or many potential solutions. This is a technique I learned from Paul and it will serve you well. I asked him what he does if a problem cannot be resolved before bedtime. His answer was, “Write the problem on a piece of paper, leave it on the kitchen table, and you should have a solution in the morning.” As strange as it sounds, it works because your mind will work on it while you sleep.
© Copyright 2013 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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