The age of anxiety
Anxiety seems to be an common experience in our modern age, and the number of people I treat with anxiety continues to grow with no end in sight. Popular approaches target the mind/brain (meditation apps, medication) but I believe it's equally important to release the body from tension and stress and not by over exercising to the point of exhaustion or injury. For me, yoga is an effective way to shift the body from an amped up, fight or flight response into a more restful and calm place. Having studied and practiced different kinds of yoga for many years, I'm able to pick a number of poses that I can easily do all at once or throughout my work day to achieve calm, and I can do them in place without props or a mat. If you haven't ventured into the world of yoga, it might be helpful to start with these five poses, which were highlighted in the NY Times wellness section on its subscriber website: Child's pose to relax the muscles of the neck, shoulders, back and hips; Plank pose to strengthen the abdominal muscles while also lengthening all areas of the spine; Cobra pose to stretch the low back (half Cobra modification for beginners), Down Dog pose to relieve back pain, release neck and shoulders and encourage deep breathing in the belly, and Tree pose to help with core strength and balance. Books and websites can provide instructions for how to enter and exit each pose and cautions for when to avoid these poses.
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An English major and former grant writer who loves reading and learning and sharing health tips.