What if Yoga triggers anxiety?
Yoga will make you feel relaxed...at least that is what they say!
But what if it actually triggers your anxiety?
Let's start with the relaxed bit, the reason we can feel relaxed during or after a yoga practice is because our bodies nervous system may go into 'rest and digest' which means our body engages what is called the parasympathetic nervous system. It supports us to slow down and be within the present moment, in a yoga practice this supports us to have more awareness of the body and mind. This is an essential thing for us to have a healthy body and mind.
Sounds good right?
But what if your yoga practices makes you feel anxious and relaxation or savasana has you running a mile from your class.
the quietness of space often gives us time to think, to someone with repetitive anxious thoughts that can be triggering.
the type of yoga or class intention if there are backbends or hip releases can add to this.
lastly some phrases and direction like 'take a deep breath' may prove unhelpful to an individual that due to anxiety struggles to breath past their chest.
For some sitting with their thoughts regularly can over time reduce the impact but for chronic anxiety conditions where there are other factors we have to be mindful. Would a practice still potentially be beneficial yes BUT the type of class and environment must be considered.
This is why the YFL approach is trauma informed and mindful of the challenges that can be faced for those who suffer with anxiety. It is important to ensure that not only is a safe environment provided but sign posting must be available for those that might need additional support with their practice.
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