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Increasing medical acceptance of yoga for anxiety

by Jackson
Increasing medical acceptance of yoga for anxiety

Yoga: Stress and anxiety can be healthy responses to life. The fast pace and uncertainty of modern culture can create debilitating stress and anxiety in individuals. Chronic, unmanaged stress reduces quality of life and increases global health problems and diseases.

COVID-19 has accelerated this psychosocial disaster. In the second quarter, anxiety in the US increased from 8.1% in 2019 to 25.5% in 2020. Negative emotions are traumatic and weaken our immune system. Coping with these exhausting emotions is difficult but possible.

Exercise, breathing, relaxation and meditation reduce anxiety. Traditional yoga, which integrates all four modalities, is increasingly popular for managing anxiety. Medical research has neglected yoga. That is changing. Health professionals and researchers like myself agree on why yoga is so effective at regulating emotions and reducing anxiety.

Yoga as mind-body therapy

Anxiety can interfere with daily life and well-being, which qualifies for an anxiety condition such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Mentally, this includes extreme worry and stress throughout the day, inability to relax, difficulty concentrating, anticipation of catastrophes, and excessive worry about life.


Even though they know their fears are excessive, patients cannot control them. Many of the symptoms of anxiety are physical, such as muscle tension, tremors, sweating, and insomnia. The fight-or-flight stress response is activated, causing major changes in the body, mind, and emotions to prepare for real or perceived threats.

Medications are used to relieve anxiety but may not address the underlying cause. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), the gold standard for behavioural treatment of GAD, addresses the underlying mechanisms of anxiety in many, but not all, individuals.

Both techniques emphasize the mental aspects of anxiety. Because fear causes physical symptoms, a comprehensive treatment for anxiety should focus on both the mind and the body, which is why yoga works so well. stretching helps manage anxiety and its causes by developing emotional regulation.

Anxiety can overwhelm us and cause automatic reactivity without limits or filters  Yoga breaks these natural habits with practice  Yoga meditation improves the self-regulation of the brain’s attention network  As you improve your regulation of thoughts and emotions, you become more sensitive and less negative about your thoughts and life.

The physical and mental benefits of yoga are linked by connecting the mind and body  These skills allow us to control our emotions and stress responses  This makes the mind-body practice of stretching powerful.

Evidence from scientists

Yoga reduces anxiety and anxiety disorders, according to new evidence  Recent meta-analyses of yoga for anxiety have found that it can be an effective and safe treatment for anxiety disorders or high anxiety  Other studies suggest that yoga for children and teens can reduce anxiety, which is encouraging because anxiety disorders are common in young people.

Most of my research has focused on kundalini yoga for emotional and physical well-being  Traditional Kundalini yoga involves movement, postures, dynamic breathing, deep relaxation, meditation and mantras.

It is a stretching technique that improves physical function, self-regulation, mind-body awareness, and good mental emotion . These include calmness, balance, well-being, gratitude, compassion, depth of self, transcendence, life purpose and meaning, and spirituality.

I studied the emotional benefits of kundalini yog . This work contributed to a study showing the benefits of kundalini yoga for PTS . I have also researched the benefits of adding kundalini yoga to CBT for GA . It showed statistically significant benefits in state and trait anxiety, sadness, panic, sleep, and quality of life, suggesting it could treat GAD.

Kundalini yoga

Following a promising early study of kundalini yoga alone for GAD[7], our largest research study was published in the respected Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry in Augus . This large, rigorous, randomized, controlled trial assigned patients with GAD to 12 weeks of kundalini yoga, CBT, or a stress control conditio . Participants exercised for 20 minutes at home each day and attended weekly group sessions.

Research shows the effectiveness of Kundalini yoga. It treated GAD better than stress education but less than CB . These findings support the use of stretching as an adjunctive treatment for anxiety and anxiety disorders, while conventional treatments for GAD are ineffective and unavailab e. [8]

These findings help prove that classical stretching — which involves physical movement, controlled breathing, relaxation and meditation — is good for managing stress and emotions.

Exercise at home

You can use stretching for self-care while researchers present stretching as a therapy option to the medical commun ty. You can practice Kundalini yoga in your living room as it does not require any specific equipment, however a yoga mat is benefic al. When you are afraid or anxious, try kundalini yoga or meditation at home.

We recommend learning Kundalini from a certified instructor to ensure proper practice, however there are many techniques you can do on your own during the pandemic while isolating yourself from society.

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