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3 Anti-Anxiety Yoga Essentials

Research shows that the number of people taking medication to treat anxiety and depression has steadily increased. Studies have also shown that prescription medication can negatively impact sex drive, energy levels, weight, and even potentially play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, kidney damage, and more.

As North Americans, we are blessed with the opportunity of enjoying the benefits of both modern western science and ancient healing traditions. It doesn't have to be one or the other! Most people would agree that, whenever possible, "natural" is the preferred choice, but these methods often take time to take effect. In the meantime, these 3 tips can help ease a worried mind.

Breathe in Pure Lavender Oil

If you’re going somewhere that you know spikes your anxious Spidey senses, bring a bottle of lavender oil with you. Inhale the scent deeply, straight from the bottle. Repeat two or three times. You might also dab a drop under your nose, add a few drops to a diffuser bracelet, or rub 2-3 drops on your heels for good measure. The calming effect is remarkable!

Note: To enjoy the therapeutic benefit of essential oils, they must be certified as 100% pure plant-derived. Young Living is a credible company.

Strike a Yoga Pose

Forward-folding postures such as Balasana (Child’s Pose), Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend), and Prasarita Padottanasana (standing wide-legged forward fold) have a calming effect on the mind. These 3 postures alone could comprise your entire home practice! Note: If the seated position isn’t comfortable (that is, if you tend to lean back, with a rounded spine), sit on some height. A few pillows, folded blankets, or a bolster will ensure a calming effect.

Repeat a Mantra

Anxiety is often caused by a mind run wild. Our brain hooks into some unsettling thought, idea, or belief, and we can't escape its grasp. In psychology this is called “ruminating.” Challenging these thoughts with the intellect or trying NOT to THINK (good luck with that), isn't always a viable solution. Instead, swap thoughts!

Having a handful of affirmations ready for anxious times can provide instant relief. Here are some that I’ve personally used and benefitted from:

“I can’t wait to see what the future holds!”

“The universe always provides for me.”

“The best is yet to come.”

For optimum effect, each phrase should invoke a strong positive feeling. Note:Affirmations have an “inverted” effect. You don’t have to believethem in order for them to work. Often the opposite occurs! They work first, and then you are forced to change your truth.

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