Here we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and anxiety is through the roof. We’re surrounded by it in the media and in family and friends. It’s hard not to pick it up. And if we are anxious, our kids will pick it up too. Luckily, Yoga can help us understand anxiety, cope with it as it arises, and even learn to prevent the suffering of anxiety.
Like everyone else, I watch the news, and after a while, I start to feel like a kid cowering in my chair. My chest is tight, I’m wondering where I left my lamby. That’s when I TURN OFF the TV and pick up the tools of Yoga to kickstart my breathing again.
Anxiety is a normal reaction to the unknown. Anxiety has a job to do: to keep us safe by anticipating danger so we can prepare. The teachings of Yoga say that everything in nature is neutral, it can be good or bad depending on how we use it. So we can make good use of anxiety by taking the practical steps necessary to prevent infection (please sing along to the tune of I Wanna Hold Your Hand, “…to prevent Coronavirus, I’m gonna wash my haaaands!”).
But when we feel anxiety during much of the day it becomes a problem. Chronic anxiety weakens our immune system and makes us more vulnerable to the disease that seems to be lurking everywhere (particularly inside my TV). Chronic anxiety keeps us in a state of stress arousal, which is when the body thinks it needs to gear up for fight or flight. That’s the opposite of the relaxation response which engenders healing and repair and builds up immune cells to fight infections.
When we’re anxious, our breathing pattern changes. Instead of breathing slowly from our lower lungs, we begin to breathe rapidly and shallowly from our upper lungs. That’s the way we breathe when we need to sprint away from danger. Chronic anxiety creates a habit of restricting our breath to the upper chest which we may not even
By: Swami Vidyananda
Title: Reducing Anxiety Amidst a Pandemic
Sourced From: www.yogaville.org/2020/04/07/reducing-anxiety-in-the-midst-of-a-pandemic/
Published Date: Tue, 07 Apr 2020 14:34:36 +0000
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