Generalized Anxiety Disorder
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Experiences with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Yoga

6 people have experienced Yoga. Have you?

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5 people have tried Yoga 1 person has prescribed Yoga
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Posted 8 years ago

A few years ago I worked at a very fast-paced and stressful job and I continually felt that I was being scrutinized by my supervisers. I began to have panic attacks occasionally and then at least once a day, every day. (These were characterized by shallow, short, difficult breathing and racing and fearful thoughts - general "fight or flight" symptoms.) I quit the job and still the panic attacks persisted. I tried many different things to calm down and nothing helped until in a moment of inspiration I tried using a breathing technique I had learned in yoga class called "ujjayi pranayama". As I sat still and breathed in this way, I felt my anxiety level go down and down until I felt.....calm. After that, I made a point of breathing that way for a few minutes each day, either sitting, lying down, or doing slow, gentle yoga poses and stretches, and whenever I felt my anxiety level rising, I would do my best to take a few minutes alone to breathe that way again.

More than any other thing, this is what healed me. Later, I became a yoga teacher myself, and whenever a student comes in and they are worried, or speaking rapidly, or seem generally anxious, I always teach them this breathing technique. We sit quietly and do gentle movement. By the end of class, they are invariably calmer and more relaxed than when they arrived.

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Posted 8 years ago

I have tried many things to help cope with my anxiety, and yoga has by far been the most effective. It's a great time to relax and clear your mind. Not only are you getting a workout and stretching out your body, but its a great time to meditate and relax. After each class, I come out feeling calm and collective. I would recommend practicing yoga daily to see the best results.

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Brianna
160
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Posted 8 years ago

Having anxiety myself, I have tried many different types of yoga to focus on my breathing and relaxation. I love Power/Vinyasa Yoga as well as Bikram yoga. Power Yoga involves a lot of movement and some very difficult postures whereas Bikram is always in a hot room and the classes last 90 minutes long with the same 27 postures in the same order each time. They're both amazing types of yoga and exercise and have helped me a lot with my anxiety.

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pigeonlizard 8 years ago

I have found that starting the Ujjayi breath in stressful situations outside yoga room is very calming -- and it is something you can bring with you anywhere.

DrAmyA
90
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Posted 8 years ago

As a clinical psychologist in-training, I have not only "prescribed" yoga to my patients as one additional way to manage their depression and/or anxiety, but have also engaged in Bikram's yoga myself to manage my own stresses as a graduate student and post-doc. For those who have made yoga a consistent practice, there is no doubt that the practice has helped them to regulate their emotions. Patients report that they feel more "calm," "grounded," and in control of their emotional life versus feeling "victim" to their depression or worries. Having used yoga myself to manage my own anxiety about studying for licensure, I also have first-hand knowledge of how beneficial this practice can be! I highly recommend yoga-- particularly Bikram's yoga-- for anyone who is trying to change a negative pattern be it in their emotional life, physical body, or thought processes.

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spechner 8 years ago

All this information is so helpful and insightful! I have practiced yoga and noticed a great shift in my anxiety and stress levels after each class. Why do you think bikram is the best type of yoga for anxiety out of all the different options?

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Posted 7 years ago

Yoga is a blissful activity to for anyone, especially people who suffer from any type of anxiety. The pranayamas (breathing techniques) are very calming and centering..the act of breathing deeply is relaxing and rejuvenating, as the act of release carbon dioxide and intaking oxygen promotes blood flow to your cells. Some therapies for GAD or other anxiety disorders can be too sedating and leave you feeling numb, but I'd always emerge from yoga class feeling calm, centered, and aware. I especially found the Hatha and Restorative yoga practices to be helpful.

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Posted 6 years ago

I'm proving it is self-sustaining - I started yoga classes in 1970, off and on, mostly on, and w/a current teacher ~7 years, who still comes up with variations in each class. Loved trying different styles - once in LA for a month I went to about 25 different classes/teachers. They all had something to offer unique along with in-common basics. Did some strenuous, but very basic ashtanga for a couple years, really would not have mastered the 1st series; now just doing a very good Viniyoga class 2x, with a methodical, anatomy-conscious teacher. It's nothing approaching aerobic but now I see it as self-physical-therapy with guidance. It does it great for me but not enough, I always need to find a third class or use a video. I usually crave the next class the day before. Just feels good - I'm 69 now and happily feel solid and agile in everyday life.

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