Yoga is a powerful mental and physical practice which allows us to center and ground ourselves. When dealing with anxiety, it is essential to find different ways to increase your mind-body awareness and regulate stress levels. Yoga provides the perfect outlet to relax and reflect on the causes of your anxiety.
Yoga has long been practiced to create harmony between your mind, body, and soul. Already recognized for the many physical benefits, more recently the practice has been explored as a means to combating mental distress.
A 2007 study with 131 participants looked at yoga’s effectiveness in lowering levels of stress and anxiety. The participants completed a 10 week program. One group completed yoga practices while another group engaged in relaxation exercises. At the end of the 10 weeks, yoga resulted in significantly better reports than the relaxation group. Researchers noted the yoga participants reported lower levels of stress and anxiety as well as higher quality of life scores.
Another study observed a group of 24 mentally distressed women. For three months, the participants practiced intensive yoga twice a week for 90 minutes. The women reported increased energy levels and decreased levels of stress, depression, anxiety, and fatigue. Researchers also observed a significant decrease in the women’s cortisol levels. Yoga provided an effective proactive approach to finding relief from anxiety.
Learn relaxing yoga practices you can use to reconnect and alleviate anxiety. Click here to watch Caravan’s easy-to-follow Yoga Techniques practices.
Michalsen, A., Grossman, P., Acil, A., Langhorst, J., Lüdtke, R., Esch, T., Stefano, G. B., & Dobos, G. J. (2005). Rapid stress reduction and anxiolysis among distressed women as a consequence of a three-month intensive yoga program. Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research, 11(12), CR555–CR561.
Smith, C., Hancock, H., Blake-Mortimer, J., & Eckert, K. (2007). A randomised comparative trial of yoga and relaxation to reduce stress and anxiety. Complementary therapies in medicine, 15(2), 77-83