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Yoga Can Become a Lifeline for Anxiety Sufferers

Those that suffer from anxiety know all too well the feeling of inner turmoil and dread over anticipated events.

Those that suffer from anxiety know all too well the feeling of inner turmoil and dread over anticipated events. Often accompanied by muscular tension, restlessness, and trouble sleeping or concentrating, anxiety has also been linked with physical symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome, panic attacks, heart problems and other debilitating health issues. The good news is that there are many options to help anxiety sufferers—including yoga, meditation and reiki. Through the practice of these ancient arts, countless students have found respite from crippling panic attacks and sleepless nights, and have been able to stop agonizing over what might happen in the future. Yoga studios create a space where people can slow down, breathe and find a temporary sanctuary from their fast-paced, busy schedules—and to reconnect with their spirits. When people don’t take time for themselves, anxiety is much more likely to creep in and interfere with their everyday lives.

Many people cherish their yoga practice as a way of staying grounded, active, physically fit and emotionally balanced. Along with creating a stronger awareness of the body and mind, yoga also teaches us how to be in the moment as it links movements with breathing while helping students learn how to be more kind and compassionate toward themselves.

When practicing yoga, students are encouraged to become more aware of the thoughts that endlessly cycle through their minds while learning how to focus solely on breathing and their bodies. They are also encouraged to periodically check in and notice what’s happening within their bodies, whether its physical sensations or any shifts in energy or emotion. Because it focuses on building an awareness of what your body is experiencing, a successful yoga practice can be challenging to attain, especially during difficult poses—after all, it’s human nature to try to avoid situations that cause discomfort.

There are many lessons that can be learned through the practice of yoga, but learning to breathe through discomfort can help those with anxiety learn that they can indeed get through anything that might be weighing on their minds—which is an important life lesson for us all. Yoga is called a “practice” for a reason; it may take time, but for those with anxiety, learning how to live in the moment—and realize that they are okay—is how yoga has become their lifeline.

The Sanctuary for Yoga is located at 43 S. Main St., in Medford. For more information, call 609-953-7800 or visit TheSancuaryForYoga.com.

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