How Yoga Helps with Chronic Anxiety and Stress Attacks

July 2nd, 2018   •   no comments   
How Yoga Helps with Chronic Anxiety and Stress Attacks



Chronic anxiety and stress attacks are debilitating but yoga can help. If you are currently living with anxiety that exists daily, know that there is a way to manage it holistically. The symptoms of chronic anxiety directly affect your mind and body. It’s challenging to be mindful and experience any semblance of well-being.


Stress attacks may feel like they aren’t in your control but they actually can be. Typically, they will occur when you are experiencing negative run-away thoughts. Physical symptoms arise, you start to feel worse, and all of a sudden, you’re in the midst of panic.


The self-help strategies that exist include relaxation techniques that help keep you calm and in control. They reduce cortisol levels that arise from chronic anxiety. These strategies include breathing, relaxing your muscles, mindfulness, and visualization. Strategies like this have been proven to reduce anxiety and help you deal with stress attacks when they arise.


Yoga Strategies that Help with Chronic Anxiety and Stress Attacks


Yoga fits into the relaxation strategy because the practice includes all the relaxation techniques mentioned above. It has been shown that yoga eases stress and reduces feelings of nervousness that can bring on attacks. As yoga is a practice that was designed to put us in alignment with getting into a meditative state, it allows us to be more mindful. When you’re more able to control what you think, you are more likely to get on top of your anxiety and manage it.


Yoga Helps Physical Symptoms


Physical symptoms that come with chronic anxiety and stress attacks include tension, tightness in various areas of the body and sensitivity to pain. Postures in yoga help to ease the physical manifestations of anxiety. Poses work to stretch, lengthen, and balance muscles.


Child’s Pose is a great beginner’s pose that helps you to relax and feel safe. It releases tension in your neck, back, and shoulders. This is where most of our stress sites. It calms the nervous system, which is where our fight/flight response lives in the body. You will also find that the pose encourages steady, deep breathing.



Start on your hands and knees. Your hands should be under your shoulders and your knees should be under your hips. As you exhale, bow forward so your torso rest on your thighs and your forehead on the mat. Extend your arms out long and keep your buttocks on your heels. Feel free to breathe into this pose for as long as you feel comfortable.


Cat/Cow Pose stimulates the kidneys and adrenal glands. As you do the movement, you are using your breath consciously throughout which calms the mind and rids stress in the body.


cat cow pose adrenal fatigue


  • Again, go on your hands and knees with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Knees should be hip-width apart.


  • Put your head in a neutral position. Start with a straight back.


Start with Cow Pose by inhaling and dropping your belly down. Your back will arch as you lift your chin and chest. Look up to the ceiling.


  • Draw your shoulders down


  • Moving with the breath, exhale and round your back


  • Allow your head to go downward toward the floor


  • Go back to Cow Pose as you exhale


  • Repeat this as many times as you feel necessary


Breathing in Yoga to Help with Chronic Anxiety and Stress Attacks


When you suffer from anxiety, it’s most likely that you are taking shallow, rapid breaths. You don’t take advantage of all the air you can get into your body by breathing deeper into the lower lungs. When you do yoga, you will also focus on breathing deeply into the belly (and into the lungs). This can help keep you calmer throughout your life. It is also a good tool if you do experience a stress attack.


Deep Belly Breathing


  • Take a long, slow breath in through your nose


  • Put your hand on your belly and breathe into it so the belly expands


  • Hold your breath for a count of three


  • Exhale slowly through your mouth and be mindful about relaxing your muscles, jaw, shoulders, and belly. Repeat as many times as necessary. You can learn the yogic breathing here from this video


The Four Noble Truths of the Buddha


Healing through yoga when it comes to chronic anxiety and stress attacks includes the Four Noble Truths of the Buddha. This is a bit of a complex philosophy but it comes down to healing through four questions:


  • What is the nature of the pain that all humans experience?


  • What is the cause of that pain?


  • What will be experienced when the pain is removed?


  • How can the pain be removed?



As we move through yoga, we are naturally willing to look more deeply into the causes of why we feel the way we do. Your yoga instructor will usually prompt you to do this during certain parts of your yoga practice. Getting rid of anxiety isn’t what the aim is, it’s about being able to manage the anxious feelings that do come up. If the four questions were designed for anxiety, it might look like:



  • What is anxiety?


  • What causes it?


  • What would life be like if I could overcome stress attacks?


  • How is it possible to accomplish this?



These are the mindful questions that are attached to the four noble truths of the Buddha.


Yoga helps with chronic anxiety and stress attacks when you commit to practicing often. It is a good part of your anxiety management. You ease the physical body of the stress that comes from anxious thought but also help reduce the thoughts. Meditation, visualization, and conscious breathing also help you to let go of worrying and negative thoughts that may cause anxiety.


You may also find that you meet wonderful people in your yoga classes. It’s important for us to have support in our lives. There are like-minded people in the classes that may be going through what you’re going through. All of these aspects can help you better manage your chronic anxiety and reduce the occurrences of stress attacks.



About the Author


Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founder and owner of, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali). You can take a look at her website here.


Follow Meera Watss on Social Media here:






Are You Suffering From Adrenal Fatigue?

Have you been through a very stressful event or period? Do you have trouble getting out of bed or even if you just woke up, you still feel tired? If so, chances are, you are experiencing symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue.


The Adrenal Fatigue Recovery Package is written and created by Jorden Immanuel. It contains ALL the information and the tools that you need to get MORE energy and to fight off your fatigue.



This is what you will receive:

  • Adrenal Fatigue Recovery Workbook
  • Health Inventory Questionnaire
  • Adrenal Fatigue Coach Diet Plan
  • 14 Day Adrenal Fatigue Coach Mealplan
  • Shopping List That Goes With the 14 Day Mealplan


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Download Your Free Stress Management Workbook Now!

Get our free Stress Management Workbook to help you identify and track your stress, and provide you with a variety of proven techniques that you can use to counteract stress. It helps you:

  • Set stress management goals
  • Identify your stressors
  • Learn 5 key steps to managing your stress
  • and more!
Close this popup