Yoga for Tension and Anxiety

The beautiful thing about yoga is that it comes in many different forms. It truly does meet you where you are, if you allow it to. I always kind of naturally gravitated to the more athletic styles of yoga but with the often seemingly insurmountable stress that medical school can impose I have come to deeply appreciate the powers of the more subtle practices. While I was studying for my first set of boards last year, I found myself getting odd aches and pains in my body that were coming out of nowhere. I soon realized that what I was experiencing was the physical manifestations of a sympathetic nervous system on overdrive. It’s subtle and it can sneak up on you because the body is really good at maintaining homeostasis up to a certain point. I had clearly exceeded that point and in order to balance it I had to become very diligent about incorporating practices in my day that would allow me to release the tension and anxiety that I was building up from long hours of studying and a relentless exam schedule.

This is a simple routine that I found to be very beneficial. Rhythmic movement helps sooth the nervous system, deep breaths increase the parasympathetic tone and twisting and bending the spine helps to release the constrictions caused by anxiety. It begins with a short body scan meditation and is a wonderful addition to your day, added bonus is that it can be done at your desk in your work clothes 🙂 Namaste!