Mindful Yoga for Anxiety

Mindful Yoga for Anxiety

As a survival mechanism, our brains are hard-wired to be alert to dangers.

However, with our mind’s over-vigilance to threats (that may never occur) we can become trapped in unpleasant cycles of worrying thoughts.

To get out of living too much in our heads, we can focus on physical sensations down in our bodies. Here are two techniques that may be of help in times of anxious overwhelm.

Mindful Foot Awareness: 

Whether sitting or standing, slowly guide yourself through the territory of your feet, noting physical sensations.

You could mentally say as you do this: “I am aware of my left foot – I can feel my big toe, my little toe, the toes in-between, the spaces between the toes, the tips of my toes, toenails, heel of the foot, instep, sole of the foot…”

Repeat with the other foot.

Following on from this foot scan, press your feet into the floor, shifting slowly from one foot to the other as if you are stepping in one place.

Try to notice the difference between muscle tension, pressure, and relaxation.

When you feel calmer, come to stillness and non-judgmentally check-in with your physical, mental, and emotional states.

Fist breathing: 

Breathe in for the count of four whilst making strong tight fists with your hands, then for the count of four breathe out allowing your hands to relax.

Again, notice the differing sensations, and when you feel calmer, check-in on how you are.

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