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Given that more than 40 million people suffer from anxiety in the US it is imperative to find a form of exercise that calms your body and allows your mind to recuperate

Luckily, practicing yoga is one of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety because it requires complete attention and focus on performing each pose. During yoga, breathing becomes increasingly important as you push yourself to twist farther or hold a pose longer.

According to a study at the St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, MA yoga is one of the best non-medicinal ways to eliminate stress and anxiety. According to the report, 25 out of 35 trials focusing on the effects of yoga on stress reported a reduction in stress when practicing yoga (1).

Below are the top 5 reasons why yoga is great for reducing anxiety.

1. Take Time for Yourself.

Despite yoga often being practiced in a class with others, yoga is much more about connecting with yourself then with those around you. During your yoga, your body is only limited by your mind and your imagination. Even an hour of yoga each day allows you an opportunity to leave the stresses of your busy life.

You won’t have to answer phones, talk with customers or deal with any other issues that are causing you stress. Instead, practicing yoga allows you to escape into a different world where you can forget the problems outside the studio’s walls and focus on being in the moment.

2. Clear your Mind.

From planning a dinner to driving a child to an after school activity to finishing a project at work, being a busy person can be both stressful and challenging. As the day progresses, our minds begin to become cramped with all the things we have yet to accomplish.

Often, this causes us to become stressed and to lash out in inappropriate manners. Practicing yoga reduces anxiety because it allows you to clear your mind by pushing away negative or stressful thoughts and focusing on your breath.

Yoga is as much physical as it is mental exercise 👏

3. Problem Solve.

Have you ever had so many thoughts running through your head that it is almost impossible to get any work done? I think we’ve all been there before and the best solution is to grab your yoga mat and work these issues out at the studio.

Not only does yoga allow your mind to rest, but also it releases more blood and oxygen to the brain giving you the energy necessary to solve even the most complicated of problems.

🔹 Aw, Li; “The Effects of Yoga on Anxiety and Stress,” St Elizabeth’s Medical Center, March, 17 2012.

🔸 Gregoire, Carolyn; “Yoga for Anxiety: 10 Poses To Reduce Stress and Support Mental Health,” The Huffington Post, May 19, 2013.

4. Improve your Overall Health and Physical Fitness.

Whether it be stretching your muscles or a run on the treadmill, your body is releasing endorphins that promote positive and happy thoughts.

Yoga is an excellent way of reducing endorphins that will boost your self-esteem and help mitigate any stresses in your life. 🌟

5. Give yourself Positive Reflection and Reinforcement.

It’s easy to become bogged down throughout the day with things that have yet to be accomplished or with negative thoughts.

Giving yourself a block of time everyday to practice yoga in a calm and relaxing atmosphere lets you think positively about your body and mind.

During yoga, you can thank yourself for all the positive things in your life and push yourself to try new and challenging poses.

Best Yoga Poses for Reducing Anxiety.

According to the Huffington Post, one of the best poses to reduce anxiety is Eagle (Garudasana).

Start this pose by placing your right arm under your left arm and your right leg twisted behind your left leg. Bend your knee and let your arms come out in front of you at a 90-degree angle. Balance on one leg and keep your gaze steady. Switch sides and repeat.

Any type of balancing requires immense focus and attention to maintaining a steady gaze and body

(2). For a full listing of these poses visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/19/yoga-for-anxiety-10-poses_n_3281986.html.

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