3 Steps to Combat Yoga Anxiety

3 Steps to Combat Yoga Anxiety

Anxiety is low-grade FEAR divvied out in doses – consistently if we let it. It seeps into our lives, our psyches. Media messages bombard us with political and environmental concerns, cancer and health scares, crime and terrorism—some real, some produced. Some of us don’t even fact-check or know why we choose to do something or avoid something. We just know  that “it’s bad for us.”

We worry about our lives, careers, families, relationships, how we handled certain situations, whether we’re making the “right” decisions, if we are prepared for the future, if we can break free from the real or imagined tragedies of our pasts. We must catch ourselves before we go too far down the rabbit hole by taking a good, hard look at our thoughts. What is simply mental babble? Take the time to fact-check and do research on the things that really matter to you in order to assess validity. Decide what action is necessary, if any, then let it go, my friends.

We’d like to think that our yoga class is our safe-haven, free from all of our earthly worries, but unfortunately anxiety can creep in here, too. Ever had these thoughts?

  • I can’t do this
  • I might fall or loose balance and make a fool of myself
  • I might hurt myself

So how do we combat anxiety in yoga class?

  1. Be fully willing to appear foolish. Know that everyone in class is not concerned with your performance or appearance. Actually, they are probably concerned with their own performance or appearance, or trying not to be concerned with their own as they work on guiding their mind.
  2. Be willing to try something and most likely fail many times before you get it down. Know that this is in no way representative of the quality of the person that you are.
  3. Have a practiced strategy for how to fall out of a pose. If you don’t know what the safe exit strategy is, ASK your yoga teacher. Practice it so many times that it becomes 2nd nature, ingrained. Once you know what to do, and practice it over and over, the fear goes away. The bonus is that sometimes as you practice exiting the pose, you actually hold the pose once the pressure to hold the pose is no longer there!!! Hahaha!

Remember to HAVE FUN! Don’t allow yourself to get so caught up in the real or imagined drama of your life. FUN negates all of that. Get messy, get dirty, get upside down. Try, fall, laugh your head off and try again.

Kelli Russell
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