An increase in the body’s normal reaction to stress, fear, or excitement is what causes panic attacks. The body, the psyche, and one’s general health can all be impacted by the symptoms of panic attacks. Negative thoughts and uncomfortable physical sensations, such as rapid heartbeat, perspiration, and heavy breathing, are frequently present during panic attacks. A person’s quality of life can be negatively impacted by panic attacks, even if some people are more prone to them than others.
Despite the difficulties caused by panic attacks, there are strategies to control the symptoms and lessen worry. Yoga is a centuries-old discipline that can aid in reducing anxiety and controlling panic attack symptoms. Additionally, yoga can improve mindfulness, lessen anxiety, and help with stress management.
How Yoga can help with Panic Disorder?
There are various symptoms associated with anxiety and panic like tightness, feelings of tension and pain sensitivity. Yoga asanas can help ease the physical discomfort that comes with anxiety and panic attacks. The practice works to lengthen, stretch and balance the muscles of the body. The asanas also assist in releasing stiffness and built-up muscle tension throughout the body. Additionally, by gradually modifying the posture of the body, asanas can also bring about a change in the mentality of a person. Yoga allows people to get to know their bodies. Therefore, if the teacher tells a student to “release the shoulder”, for example, he/she becomes aware of the posture and gradually learns to release the tension from their body. As a result, they also become less anxious and panicked in their day-to-day lives as they become aware of the tensions and how to let them go.
Another form of supplementary medicine for the mind-body system that has been around for centuries is meditation, which can help calm the mind and induce deep relaxation. A person can concentrate their attention and clear their mind of disorganised thoughts that may be stressing them out. As a result, both physical and emotional health are improved.
Pranayama Effect on Stress and Anxiety
One of the essential elements of yoga practise is pranayama, or the art of controlling breath. The breathing exercises and patterns known as pranayama involve deliberately timing one’s inhalations, exhalations, and breath holds. According to research, pranayama might enhance the stress response by soothing the neurological system.
People breathe too quickly when they are nervous. Fast breathing causes the blood to have an excessive amount of oxygen and less relative carbon dioxide, which affects the blood’s pH level. This may result in nauseousness, twitching muscles, irritation, dizziness, anxiety, and stress. The blood’s pH level, however, returns to normal with calm, controlled breathing. This slows down the heart rate and calms the body and mind.
Yoga and Pranayama to Combat Panic and Anxiety
How to do:
- Sit on the floor with your legs stretched to the sides Exhale while you bring the bottoms of your feet together
- Pull the feet toward the pelvis
- Drop your knees to the sides
- Continue to press your heels together while you take deep breaths
How to do:
- Lie face down on your mat with the arms by the sides
- Keep your knees hip-width apart as you bring your heels as close to your glutes as possible
- Grasp your ankles with the hands
- Inhale while simultaneously lifting the thighs, heels, head, and sternum away from the floor
- Pull your shoulders away from the ears and keep your shoulder blades against the back
- Hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds
How to do:
- Stand on the floor with your feet 6 inches apart
- Flex your quadriceps (front thigh muscles) to lift the kneecaps
- Exhale and fold from your waist
- Keep your back, neck, and head in a straight line
- Grab your big toes with your hands
- While inhaling, straighten the arms and raise the torso to release the hamstrings
- While exhaling, fold back down into the forward bend Continue this for several breaths
How to do:
- Sit comfortably with your legs crossed
- Place your left hand on the left knee
- Exhale and then use your right thumb to close the right nostril
- Inhale through the left nostril and then close the left nostril with your fingers
- Open the right nostril and exhale
- Inhale through the right nostril and then close
- Open the left nostril and exhale through the left side
- Consider this as one cycle
- Continue for up to 5 minutes
- Always complete your practice by finishing with an exhalation on the left side
Because we humans do not know how to release tension, it builds up in our bodies and causes discomfort on both a physical and emotional level. We can create a more balanced mental state and reduce stress, panic, and anxiety in our lives by engaging in the ancient practise of yoga, which consists of asanas, meditation, and pranayama.