Anxiety is at an all time high right now. So I sat down with Sandra Boozer, a yoga instructor, healer, and health coach, to talk about the ways the yoga can be a tool for anxiety and stress relief.
Could you tell a little bit about your background, like why and how you got into yoga?
Through the years I’ve enjoyed being an athlete and challenging my body along with my mind. When I was in my 20’s, I began participating in triathlons. As I entered my 30’s, I began noticing more soreness and stiffness following these activities. I had also had our daughter which had certainly altered my life in many ways including physically. My body seemed to want more recovery and balance, so I began taking yoga classes. At the time there weren’t many places that offered yoga but I enjoyed some wonderful classes with excellent teachers.
What has been your experience with anxiety both personally and in treating others?
I personally have experienced some performance anxiety throughout my life. But even more, I have family members and friends who have suffered from debilitating anxiety for many years. I became even more aware of the extent of anxiety in our culture while working with cancer patients. Frequently, they report symptoms of both pain and anxiety. In addition, about half of my coaching clients report having some degree of anxiety as well.
How does yoga help with anxiety? And do you know of any research or resources where people can learn more about how yoga helps anxiety?
By incorporating mindful breathing techniques (focus on Prana), yogis may experience relaxation, the ability to focus on the present moment, and a connection in mind, body, and spirit which all help in reducing anxiety.
Can you recommend any specific breathing practices, yoga poses, or types of yoga that could help someone experiencing panic attacks or other forms of anxiety?
Yes, some of my personal favorite breathing techniques are focused breathing or breath counting, the 4/7/8 breath, and diaphragmatic breathing. (click on the images below to learn how)
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
There are so many types, accessibility, and opportunities to enjoy yoga and the benefits of practicing now than ever before which is very exciting! I encourage everyone to try different yoga experiences until they find something that resonates with them. When they do, they also may find community with others, deeper understanding of themselves, and a mind, body, spirit well-being both on and off the mat.
Contact Sandra on her website at www.iamtempio.com