Stress and anxiety are wide-spread in our culture. We are tuned into a fast-pace way of life and have a drive to get results fast. Without any respite from this “go, go, go” culture, we can often feel stressed and burnt out as a result.
The words “stress” and “anxiety” are often used interchangeably, but bear different meanings in medical terms. Stress is caused by particular situations or events in one’s life that makes one feel frustrated, angry, worried or even anxious. The stress response is different for each individual such that the same event can often illicit disparate responses. For example, public speaking excites some people but terrifies others. The pressure of work deadlines increases productivity in some but overwhelms and burdens others. Stress inhibits the body’s natural healing abilities, over time stress creates tension in the body, creating physical imbalances.
Anxiety, on the other hand can be defined as persistent, excessive, and worries and concerns about the future. These worries present as a frequent pattern of constant worry over events and activities, which creating difficulties in everyday life.
If we find it challenging to ‘switch-off’ from a stress and anxiety pattern, our (sympathetic) nervous system moves into overdrive and we generate feelings of overwhelm and perhaps physical problems.
THE IMPACT OF YOGA
Many studies have shown the benefits of yoga for patients with anxiety (including PTSD), stress, depression, chronic illness and dementia. Yoga classes can be found not only in yoga studios but also in nursing homes, nurseries and schools. This most certainly shows that yoga’s benefits are widely recognised and accepted.
HOW CAN A YOGA PRACTICE HELP?
Yoga asanas (physical postures), pranayama (breath techniques) and meditation form a holistic approach to well-being. Yoga asanas help to gently release tension from the large muscle groups, circulate the body and brain with fresh blood, oxygen, and other nutrients, which help to generate feelings of well-being. Breathing practices and meditation help to relax the body and calm the mind. By committing to a practice we help to create space between our sometimes overwhelming thoughts and sometimes intense sensations in the body. These positive results can be transferred off the mat into our everyday life. Yoga can provide us with the strength to face situations and events, psychologists call this resilience.
HOW TO GET STARTED
These yoga for stress and anxiety workshops are open to everyone, whether you’re a seasoned practitioner, or whether you are completely new to yoga. The workshops can be taken individually or as a series.
If you feel that you would like to participate in a workshop but feel it might be a challenge getting into the studio please get in touch with Nic, as she also provides tailored 1-2-1 sessions.
Nic Hutchinson is a Yoga Teacher, Homeopath and Yoga Medicine Facilitator. She is passionate about the application of yoga and Yoga Medicine to health and well-being, having experienced periods of intense anxiety herself. She feels blessed to work doing what she loves, teaching yoga classes, facilitating workshops and working in her private clinic in Nailsworth, Stroud and Stonehouse. When she’s not teaching, she loves reading about all things yoga, hanging out with her partner and little boy, baking, strolling the local hills and painting.
Connect with Nic on Facebook and via her website www.yogatula.co.uk