At a time when I was highly stressed as well as feeling unfit, here’s how yoga helped me combat anxiety and reconnect with myself.
Stumbling and walking through an empty corridor, with my hand tightly clasping my chest, I struggled to catch my breath. I never had a panic attack before, but the pressure of work and tensions in my relationship eventually led to this difficult situation. And all I could think about was how to calm myself.
How your life turns out to be is in your hands. You are responsible for living a joyful and fulfilling life. And if things don’t always go your way, it’s time to take the first step towards finding inner peace.
Most of us go through rough patches in life. Similarly, there was a phase in my life when things were just too much to handle. I dreaded waking up every morning to face reality. A cloud of hopelessness took over, and I started feeling empty within. That was when I realized that I needed to fix this situation before it got worse.With work pressure and other emotional barriers, your mind can take you to a bad place. And it can slowly drag you down to depression.
The worst part is that there are no warning signs. When you gradually fall into depression, it starts affecting your mental health. This condition might worsen, and with increased levels of stress and anxiety, it is an open invite for a panic attack.
As much as I hated it, I wanted to make an effort to get out of this mess around me. So, as a friend suggested, I decided to try yoga. At this stage, I was ready to try anything to get some inner peace. I heard from many people that yoga is one of the best ways to lighten your mood and keep depression at bay. After some initial reluctance, I went for it, and ever since, I’ve been hooked.
Thanks to yoga, I found ways to tackle my emotional stress. It was the best decision of my life. Yoga helps balance not only your body but also your mind. There are many poses in yoga that can help relieve mental or physical strain.
Yoga teaches you that to find the ultimate happiness you need to be happy with yourself. Three major factors, awareness, acceptance, and love, play an important role in healing you from within. Once you attain these qualities, your practice of yoga will have a powerful impact on your mental stability.
Here are a few poses I followed with dedication that brought me back to my normal self.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
To perform the Downward Facing Dog Pose, you need to lie on your stomach with your palms on your side to your chest and your fingers spread well. Now, slowly rise onto your hands and knees. Keep your body upright. The action of the arms and legs will serve to stretch your spine. Raise your buttocks higher while moving your thighs up and behind. Hold the position for about a minute and breathe. This will combat anxiety and energize your body.
Sethu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
A tired back and weak muscles can add up to the stress and depression caused by work pressure. Sethu Bandhasana can relieve weak and tired back muscles.
To do this pose, first lie down on the floor on your back and keep your arms on either side, with the palms facing downward. Make sure that your thighs are parallel and your chin is not in contact with your chest. Now, gently lift your back off the floor and hold for a few seconds.
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
The Paschimottanasana made me feel more active and alive. This particular pose should be avoided during menstruation or if your blood pressure is high.
You can do this by simply sitting with your legs stretched out in front of you. Then, while breathing deeply, exhale and extend your torso over your legs. Rest your head just above your knees and lay your hands on the floor. This pose offers instant relief from despondency.
Halasana (Plough Pose)
Halasana is known to be one of most effective poses to improve your nervous system.
To perform this pose, you must lie flat on your back while firmly keeping your arms alongside your body. Now, slowly lift your legs off the ground at an angle of 90 degrees. Take support from your hips and move your legs over your head, touching the ground firmly beyond your head. The pose may be challenging, but it reduces the strain on your back and can even enhance your posture. It also calms your brain by reducing stress. This pose is known to keep those annoying headaches at bay.
Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
This is considered an advanced pose, but once you master it, you can find a lot of bliss. It balances the emotions by soothing the nervous system.
To do this pose, you must lie down while supporting your neck and shoulders with your arms stretched out by your body. Bend your knees and slowly start to raise your legs towards your chest. Supporting your back with your hands, raise your hips and straighten your legs as they come up. Keep your entire body straight and stretched out. This posture can relieve irritability and balance the endocrine system. However, you cannot practice this asana during menstruation or if you have high blood pressure.
Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Savasana is the perfect ending to a yoga session. It rejuvenates you and helps your body relax completely. It is said that this pose can let the effects of the previous poses settle better. All you have to do is lie on the floor on your back and let your arms rest alongside. Take this time to heal your body, let the stress leave, and relax your mind. Take deep breaths gently, stay in the moment, and grab all the rest your body needs.
In conclusion, I would like to stress on the fact that just by following a healthy lifestyle and relying on yoga, I could find myself again. I started feeling more calm and relaxed, which in turn improved my performance at the workplace. It also helped me balance my emotions and made me pleasant to be around. I could see a difference in my relationships as well. I found that I had become a better person, someone that I used to be, but I had lost touch with.
I owe it to yoga for helping me release my stress and find peace within me and beyond. Now that I look back, I am proud of myself for taking the step, for taking another chance. It’s never too late to heal yourself and get back on track.
Author: Aakash seth