The Stillness Within – Yoga to alleviate stress and anxiety
Monday evenings 6.25-7.25 pm Christchurch church hall
Six week course £42
These classes require no previous yoga experience. They will be a combination of specific breathwork and gentle floor based postures to create space in the body, simple standing balances to focus the mind and a blissful Yoga Nidra (guided meditation) to promoted relaxation.
Please bring a blanket and yoga mat (let me know if you need a mat)
What is yoga for anxiety?
Numerous reports show that the number of people seeking help for their anxiety disorders has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic for both children and adults so right now, the need for effective anxiety management is especially high.
If you live with anxiety, your nervous system — specifically your sympathetic nervous system, also known as the fight, flight, or freeze system — is operating in overdrive. This means your body has a heightened reaction to perceived threat, leading to anxiety responses such as agitation, stress, fear and heart palpitations. Needless to say it can be exasperatingly difficult to stay calm and grounded. When those feelings linger unaddressed, they eventually intensify and interfere with your ability to function in routine ways in life, work, and relationships.
As a consequence, you also have an underactive parasympathetic nervous system, or your rest-and-digest system. This system regulates your physiological functions, like heart rate and digestion.
According to research, stimulating the vagus nerve — a key part of the rest-and-digest system — is key to modulating the fight, flight, or freeze stress response and one way to stimulate the vagus nerve is through practicing yoga. This stimulation enhances interoception, or how we perceive sensations arising in the body. It is sensation in the body not necessarily worrying thoughts that trigger anxiety.
The self-awareness that happens with a regular yoga and meditation practice can help you develop the tools—including slowing your breath, becoming aware of tension, and quieting your thoughts, even remaining still through discomfort or uncertainty—that help you better cope with everyday stressors as well as panic attacks.