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Carolina Carrasco @espacioerrebcn

Location: Espacio ERRE / Photography: Cristian Oliva

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How Yoga and Mindfulness can help with Anxiety

by Nicolas Massines

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Fear, anxiety, stress … We all live in difficult situations to face. If we start to list the sources that cause anxiety in our lives, we would lose count, especially in a complicated health context like the one we live in today. Anxiety involves a general feeling of uneasiness about possible future danger. Even if fear can be normal when facing certain situations, when this anxiety becomes persistent it becomes a problem, interfering in our daily lives. Excessive discomfort, fear of the unknown, and restlessness take over our existence; And it is at that precise moment when we most need the practice of Yoga.

 

What are signs and symptoms of anxiety?

You experience unhappiness and discomfort, racing thoughts or over-thinking. You have difficulties concentrating, feelings of dread or panic or sleeping problems. You suffer of extreme tiredness or lack of energy. Fast heartbeat, sweating and heavy and fast breathing can be other physical symptoms of anxiety.

 

How can Yoga help?

The regular practice of Yoga helps you stay calm and relaxed in difficult situations and provides strength to face all kind of events, accepting them as they come. Ideally, the practice of Yoga encompasses a set of postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayamas) and meditation, in addition to the study of the philosophy of Yoga itself.

 

 

1.Move your body and release stress and negativity with asanas.

All yoga postures (Asanas) help to relax tensions and to release the negative energy that we accumulate in our bodies and minds.

Examples of asanas: mountain pose (Tadasana), chair pose (Utkatasana), downward dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), and a long etcetera.

 

2. Breathe properly with pranayamas to relieve anxiety.

The teachings of yoga remind us not to dwell on the past and not to worry about the future. Focusing your attention on the breath helps to free the mind from useless and negative thoughts, focusing on atha (अथ): The Present Moment.

 

3. Meditate to experience peace of mind.

Meditation can be an excellent method to relax an anxious mind, providing a feeling of calm and peace in the face of an unknown future. Anxiety triggers a spike in the adrenaline hormone, tightening the muscles, increasing sweating, and shaking the mind to no avail. Various scientific investigations have shown that a regular practice of meditation significantly reduces this hormone, linked to the feeling of stress.

 

www.freepik.com/photos/people'>People photo created by pressfoto - www.freepik.com

 

4. Apply the philosophy of Yoga in your life, be happy and enjoy every moment.

Knowing the fundamental principles of Yoga helps to maintain a healthy and happy life. Adequate nutrition, small satisfactions, and a healthy and serene way of life help in the fight against stress and anxiety. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali expose in a clear and detailed way all the steps to follow.

 

5. Sing, smile and keep the faith.

The singing of yoga sutras attracts positive energy and liberates the mind. Smiling and laughing releases endorphins, inspires confidence, boosts your immune system and relieves stress. Keep the faith. Believe and expect that good things will happen, and they will. 

 

6. Think about what you can do for others.

If we are constantly focused on ourselves, we add stress and anxiety to our lives. Yoga helps to shift your attention so that you can be useful to others. Investing time in others will be a source of satisfaction and joy.

 

 

7. Understand the impermanence of the world.

When, thanks to Yoga, you realize that everything around you is temporary and changing, you will find yourself more relaxed and serene inside. A feeling of “all this will pass” settles in your mind and thus frees you from sorrow and distress.

 

8. Remember a similar time in your life when you had to deal with anxiety.

Think back to situations in the past when you made it through something you thought was insurmountable. A pillar of Yoga is to rely on previous experiences to face the day to day and not project your desires and fears in the future. 

 

9. Spend time in nature.

The next time you feel overwhelmed by your busy and excited mind, spend some time in nature! You can hike in the mountains, spend time by the ocean, take a stroll through a nearby nature reserve, sit by a river, or just watch a bird in your yard.

 

Through these simple and effective methods, Yoga and Mindfulness will help you to efficiently combat anxiety and stress.

 

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The Magic of Springtime

We found this beautiful article about the power of springtime on www.shamanism.com (https://www.shamanism.com/journal/power-of-springtime)

In the springtime, the Earth is waking up from her dream and everything bursts forth to grow. Think about the flowers and trees, how they awaken and come back to life in the spring. The rains fertilize Mother Earth and help the process of spring evolve. Water also fertilizes the hearts of humans causing the flower of the heart, the “tutu” to open, so we can become wiser and more beautiful. Our heart is dormant during the winter like everything in nature – resting. This is a good thing. It is being charged up to awaken and arise in the spring; as the earth is waking up, we too, wake up.

Spring brings back the power of light. Light, the relationship of the sun to the earth, is what helps define the seasons. Light has the effect of awakening both the Earth and people. The sun gives light to the earth. Light activates chemicals that promote love. Love is the power of springtime, and as Mother Earth wakes up, she exudes that love. The energy of love is thus reborn in the spring.

It is the same way with humans. The seasons affect us and we go through a major shift with the change of seasons. We are introspective in winter; energy goes inside. In the spring, we experience a rebirth – physically, spiritually, and emotionally – we gain new life.

Springtime affects your spirit; you are affected by Nature and the evolutionary processes that occur. Every spring you have a chance to be regenerated again, reborn from the stillness and quietness of winter. You have a chance to open up, just like everything around us. You can be reborn right here, on this Earth, by opening your heart to the process of regeneration. Feel the aliveness that comes into your own personal spirit, which is rooted in the spirit of nature.

We become part of the process of re-creation occurring during the springtime. We wake up, become more alert, our hearts are more open. It is a time of new beginnings; everything is fresh, clean and striving to grow upward toward the sun. In spring we transition from an introverted state to a state of physical and spiritual blossoming.

The light transforms us. It is a time of fertilizing, watering our spirits, and unfolding the pedals of our hearts. Honor the return of the light. Bring the light into your heart, your being. Look at the light in nature; become attuned to your environment. As we approach the Equinox, it is a time of balance between light and dark. By taking in the light we can achieve greater balance and harmony.

Walking on the earth is a good way to awaken your connection to the natural world. Feel Mother Earth waking up. Tune into nature and feel yourself becoming aware and alert during this season. Be aware of what’s happening around you and realize that same transition within yourself.

Approach spring as though it is the first time you ever experienced it – the first time you ever saw a flower, a tree growing, a bird flying. Open your heart to love, to beauty, to clarity. Leave the old behind and be reborn during the season of spring. East is representative of the spring season, the image of the sun peeking through the clouds. You are reborn as the sun is reborn each day. Each spring your spirit will burst out of the darkness of winter. Make your spirit bright like the colors of Nature. Feel the world through your heart. This is a time to leave behind old patterns, old ways of doing things, and embrace the power and beauty of new life.

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