Anxiety served a purpose in the past- it protected our ancestors from dangerous predators (both animal and human). Humans have had to be hyper-vigilant and wary of being attacked. This kept people alive and allowed for survival of our species. However, over time, families spread out over the country, and even across the world. The village is no longer consistently available to raise the children, and the dangers have evolved over time. We are connected through the internet and social media, but it’s often almost impossible to reach a friend or family member in person or, sometimes, even on the phone.
Yoga connects us to others- reducing feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety. There are local classes everywhere in the city, and multiple types of yoga are available. Slow, Restorative, Yin Yoga and Hatha, individually paced Ashtanga, or the faster Vinyasa and Power Yoga are abundant. Most teachers will ask your name, if you have any injuries, and maybe introduce you to others in the class. You might make a friend on the mat next to you, or during partner poses, and if you attend the same class each week, you’ll get to know more people more quickly. There are also family yoga, kid yoga, and yoga workshops and longer weekend or weeklong retreats.
Yoga doesn’t just help connect us to others, it also helps to lower blood pressure, decrease unneeded weight, and improve self-image and body acceptance. Yoga is beneficial for recovery from cancer and chemo/radiation. It can help with focus, digestive issues, and “chemo brain.” Menopausal symptoms can decrease with yoga. Anxiety and stress related to trauma and medical issues can be decreased with yoga and meditation.