We are coming upon a year of living life in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. Unfortunately, the last year has proven that COVID concerns reach far beyond just our physical health. The mental health concerns, stemming from the anxieties created by the pandemic, are just as real. COVID-19 has created numerous uncertainties with previously routine aspects of our day—from school schedules to availability of goods like toilet paper. The financial impact of closed businesses and furloughed employees has created financial anxieties. Lastly, the loneliness created by social distancing and quarantining is sometimes itself described as a secondary pandemic. While the circumstances can seem overwhelming, it is important to find a path to cope with the stress and manage the anxiety.
Yoga has become a popular way to renew the body by increasing strength, improving balance and flexibility. Yet many dedicated to the yoga lifestyle experience benefits beyond the physical exercise and have found that regular yoga practice helps to calm a busy mind and reduce stress. Given these stress reduction benefits, it is not surprising that yoga can also help manage fears and cope with anxiety.
The immediate calming effects of yoga are usually felt through focused breathwork. While it may seem simple, do not take your breathing for granted. By learning to breathe deeply, you physically allow your muscles to relax. In addition, you are better equipped to connect with other relaxation techniques during your yoga practice, like meditation. In fact, shallow breathing is believed to contribute to stress responses, which can worsen anxiety.
The longer lasting impacts of practicing yoga builds a mind-body connection that emphasizes how much control we have over both. Anxieties, even coronavirus anxieties, thrive on you feeling out of control and helpless. With consistent practice, yoga can help you to regain that sense of control and allow your mind and your body to sharpen each other. This in turn will give you the tools needed to better manage those moments when you feel anxious over a situation you cannot control in everyday life.
With nearly a year of COVID anxieties behind us and unknown window in front of us, it is important to give yourself time to experience the positive effects of yoga. The length of time you are dealing with anxiety can impact how quickly you can feel the benefits of yoga. Most studies find that it can take two to three months of regular weekly yoga practice to yield notable improvements.
No matter your previous experience, Yoga Body Shop will offer the support and connection of a community that wants to help you return to daily life, off the mat, stronger and more at peace. Start your journey today with the Yoga Body Shop’s 2-Week Introductory Offer.