Anxiety and stress are two common factors of a busy lifestyle that most of us could do without. With regular yoga practice, you can return your mind and body to a peaceful state.

Learn to focus on your breath

In the midst of anxiety, your breathing is shallow, which results in low energy levels, and sometimes in a lightheaded feeling. Yoga asanas, pranayama, and meditation teach you to take deep, slow breaths.

Using your breath is one of the most powerful skills in dealing with anxiety, as the practice stills thoughts and relaxes your body. Aside from your yoga asana practice, you can use breathing techniques to deal with everyday stress, simply by focussing on the breath.

Give your endorphins a boost

Endorphins are neurotransmitters in your brain that reduce anxiety and depression, therefore improving your mood. Yoga postures teach you to move your body in a controlled manner with an emphasis on the breath, encouraging the production of your natural ‘happy chemicals.’

As your mind calms and your mood rises you’re able to identify and control negative thinking patterns at the root, making it possible to switch negative thoughts to positive ones to help resolve issues.

Accept your situations

Often anxiety stems from thoughts about the future that have little to do with your present situation. These thoughts can make it hard to focus on challenges, leading to self-esteem issues, where you feel as if you can’t conquer your problems.

Yoga teaches you to breathe and accept discomfort, rather than fight it. The strengthening and lengthening of muscles release tension in your back, head, neck, and shoulders. Without this physical tension, it’s possible to be in the present moment, where anxiety can recede into peace and calm.