By Bertil Hjert
Times are hard and they just seem to be getting harder! Every day, we
hear more dire news about the economy, sinking stock prices, and
mounting job losses. Everyone is worried that they will be the next
victim. This stress can have damaging effects on your emotional and
physical well being.
Stress and worry can lead to more severe anxiety problems, even panic
attacks! It is important to keep your mind and body balanced and one
great way to do that is to learn yoga.
- Yoga is practiced by more than 6 million Americans and this
number is only on the rise. As more and more people are discovering the
amazing health and stress reduction effects of this ancient art, it is
becoming increasingly commonplace among both men and women. Yoga is not
just exercise and it´s not just relaxation; it is a combination of both
and it can be practiced by anyone, regardless of their age, gender,
flexibility, or weight.
- Yoga does incorporate some gymnastics into its movements. There
are twists and contortions that will increase your flexibility and help
you trim your weight and improve your appearance. To the untrained
observer, it might seem like you have to be a contortionist to practice
yoga. Nothing could be further from the truth. On the contrary, yoga is
all about accepting the limitations of your body in the moment and
working towards expanding those limitations to their fullest extent.
- Yoga also includes some meditative practices; a great way to
lessen anxiety and prevent panic attacks. Meditation is not just for
hippies, it is a way to let go some of the accumulated stresses that
build up in our lives and simply be at peace in the moment.
An important aspect of meditation and the more physical components of
yoga is the emphasis on the breath. It is so important to breathe
properly and too many of us forget how to breathe from our abdomen,
Without this deep breathing, we are denying our body the valuable oxygen
it needs to deal with the stress we encounter in our lives.
There are many different types of yoga and many different ways to engage
in the practice. As a beginner, I suggest you go to a yoga studio.
Studio teachers will be more likely to help you get into the position
(something you might need) and help you integrate the emotional part of
the yoga experience with the physical.
Yoga classes at gyms, tend to be more physical in nature and give short
shrift to the meditative component. Do not underestimate the power of
meditation or the way it can release muscle tension and provide you with
some inner peace. However, once you´ve learned the basics of yoga,
attending gym based classes or indulging on your own, will accomplish
the same purpose.
If neither of these options are available to you, there are a number of
videos and books available that can guide you through the yoga practice;
although nothing replaces just a few classes for the visual and
educational perspective they offer. The key to lower levels of anxiety
and even panic attack prevention lay in finding ways to achieve some
inner peace and some physical relief.
Bertil Hjert is a freelance writer. For information on his eBook, Stop Panic Attacks and Deal with Your Anxious Thoughts, visit: panicgoodbye.com.
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