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Yoga and Pranayama may help ease panic attacks

Updated on: 15 December,2022 03:59 PM IST  |  New Delhi

Dr. Rajeev Rajesh, Chief Yoga Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute shares three yoga asanas to combat panic and anxiety

Yoga and Pranayama may help ease panic attacks

Representative Image. Pic/iStock

An increase in the body's normal reaction to stress, fear, or excitement is what causes panic attacks. The body, the psyche, and one's general health can all be impacted by the symptoms of panic attacks. Negative thoughts and uncomfortable physical sensations, such as rapid heartbeat, perspiration, and heavy breathing, are frequently present during panic attacks. A person's quality of life can be negatively impacted by panic attacks, even if some people are more prone to them than others.

Despite the difficulties caused by panic attacks, there are strategies to control the symptoms and lessen worry. Yoga is a centuries-old discipline that can aid in reducing anxiety and controlling panic attack symptoms. Additionally, yoga can improve mindfulness, lessen anxiety, and help with stress management.

How Yoga can help with Panic Disorder?

There are various symptoms associated with anxiety and panic like tightness, feelings of tension and pain sensitivity. Yoga asanas can help ease the physical discomfort that comes with anxiety and panic attacks. The practice works to lengthen, stretch and balance the muscles of the body. The asanas also assist in releasing stiffness and built-up muscle tension throughout the body. Additionally, by gradually modifying the posture of the body, asanas can also bring about a change in the mentality of a person. Yoga allows people to get to know their bodies. Therefore, if the teacher tells a student to "release the shoulder", for example, he/she becomes aware of the posture and gradually learns to release the tension from their body. As a result, they also become less anxious and panicked in their day-to-day lives as they become aware of the tensions and how to let them go.

Another form of supplementary medicine for the mind-body system that has been around for centuries is meditation, which can help calm the mind and induce deep relaxation. A person can concentrate their attention and clear their mind of disorganised thoughts that may be stressing them out. As a result, both physical and emotional health are improved.

Pranayama Effect on Stress and Anxiety

One of the essential elements of yoga practise is pranayama, or the art of controlling breath. The breathing exercises and patterns known as pranayama involve deliberately timing one's inhalations, exhalations, and breath holds. According to research, pranayama might enhance the stress response by soothing the neurological system.

People breathe too quickly when they are nervous. Fast breathing causes the blood to have an excessive amount of oxygen and less relative carbon dioxide, which affects the blood's pH level. This may result in nauseousness, twitching muscles, irritation, dizziness, anxiety, and stress. The blood's pH level, however, returns to normal with calm, controlled breathing. This slows down the heart rate and calms the body and mind.

Baddha Konasana

How to do:

Sit on the floor with your legs stretched to the sides Exhale while you bring the bottoms of your feet together

Pull the feet toward the pelvis

Drop your knees to the sides

Continue to press your heels together while you take deep breaths


How to do:

Lie face down on your mat with the arms by the sides

Keep your knees hip-width apart as you bring your heels as close to your glutes as possible

Grasp your ankles with the hands

Inhale while simultaneously lifting the thighs, heels, head, and sternum away from the floor

Pull your shoulders away from the ears and keep your shoulder blades against the back

Hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds


How to do:

Stand on the floor with your feet 6 inches apart

Flex your quadriceps (front thigh muscles) to lift the kneecaps

Exhale and fold from your waist

Keep your back, neck, and head in a straight line

Grab your big toes with your hands

While inhaling, straighten the arms and raise the torso to release the hamstrings

While exhaling, fold back down into the forward bend Continue this for several breaths

NadiShodhan Pranayama

How to do:

Sit comfortably with your legs crossed

Place your left hand on the left knee

Exhale and then use your right thumb to close the right nostril

Inhale through the left nostril and then close the left nostril with your fingers

Open the right nostril and exhale

Inhale through the right nostril and then close

Open the left nostril and exhale through the left side

Consider this as one cycle

Continue for up to 5 minutes

Always complete your practice by finishing with an exhalation on the left side

Because we humans do not know how to release tension, it builds up in our bodies and causes discomfort on both a physical and emotional level. We can create a more balanced mental state and reduce stress, panic, and anxiety in our lives by engaging in the ancient practise of yoga, which consists of asanas, meditation, and pranayama.

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