The Lovely Catalyst
by Elena Consoli
As someone who struggles with anxiety and the occasional full blown anxiety attack, I was eager to find yoga techniques that could help. I don’t know about my fellow anxious friends but when someone tells me to take ten deep breaths it makes me frustrated on top of anxious! There are however two breathing techniques I’ve found that do help:
1. Interlace your fingers (thumbs released) and place the palms of the hands over your chest. With the hands gently resting here on your body, simply tune in to your breath. As you inhale you can feel the chest rising into the hands, as you exhale feel the hands sink into the chest. This simple connection, feeling the weight of the hands on the heart and the body’s subtle movement as you breathe, is a lovely way to get grounded.
2. A ten count breath, inhaling for four counts, exhaling for six counts. Breathe in this cycle for about three breathes then return to your normal breathing and repeat two or three times with about a minute of normal breathing between each set. This ten count breath assists anxiety by shifting us from our overactive sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) into our calmer parasympathetic nervous system (rest & digest). When we are anxious, scared, upset we tend to inhale sharply; when we are calm, contented, relieved we tend to release an or sigh.
Hopefully these two little tricks may help the next time you feel your anxiety start to rise.
🖋️Written by Elena Consoli founder of @the_lovely_catalyst