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A Yoga Practice to Calm Anxious Thoughts

Updated: Jul 11, 2020

By Allison Ray Jeraci

Photo by Andrea Killam

Yoga International

Anxiety is no longer my foe. I'd come to realize that the sleepless nights, restlessness, non-stop movement, and worrisome thoughts that consumed my mind and life just weren't working for me. And as a yoga teacher, I thought, What better place to turn to than my practice? This isn’t to say that I no longer have anxiety, but that the control it used to have over me has surely lessened. At those times when I can connect with my yoga practice in the midst of anxiety, I find refuge moving inward—into forward bends, inversions, and restorative poses that help to clear my mind and relieve my body of accumulated stress. I'm going to share with you the go-to sequence I use to calm my nerves and slow down my thoughts.

Anxiety is a normal reaction in a stressful situation. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety can be mild—generating worried thoughts over everyday responsibilities, which is a completely ordinary experience. However, about 6.8 million American adults suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), which can cause hours of worry and restlessness every day, and often interferes with the ability to perform daily responsibilities. Statistically, women are twice as likely as men to be affected by GAD.

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