Healing Anxiety with Yoga

Is it the real deal?

Hands up, I have never really understood Yoga. 

I assumed to qualify for entry to classes, you have to be a certain type. Someone who embraces spiritual living, someone who enjoys living a slower-paced, earthy kind of life. 

Someone nothing like me. 

Me, a person who favours a sprint over endurance in every facet of life. Me, a person who suffers from IBS, anxiety and struggles to relax. How could I possibly carve out the time to relax and go slow in the middle of my day when I have so much to squeeze in to it?

Turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Yoga is the ultimate Ancient Anxiety Soother

The year before lockdown I became what you might call Yoga Curious. I tried different classes, asked questions to understand the difference between the practices, but in all honesty, I still didn’t get it. I now know I wasn’t ready to embrace this journey. 

Then COVID hit, I was forced to slow down, I found enjoyment in the small things, in noticing things I had always taken for granted, I felt physically lighter, so much more content and my anxiety disappeared in to the horizon. I was finally ready and open to this journey.

That’s when I found Gut Flow Yoga, a practice specifically designed to release any discomfort in the gut, and just as the title suggests, help improve flow and digestion. A total game changer for my IBS. This newly found freedom in my mind got rid of my anxiety, it gave me the space to get things done without the constant back chat and reasons why I shouldn’t. Consequently my IBS bloating episodes had disappeared, my diet became less of a focus and I found myself eating long forgotten foods like garlic.

Oh and no shock here, it began to improve my ridiculously poor posture I’d become accustomed too over the many months of being stuck at home, neck craned over a laptop whilst homeschooling my kids.

Yoga is more than just postures, its an entire body and mind workout

Practicing Yoga is so much more than just movement, using both muscle and brain strength it is a complete workout for our body and mind. A chance to reconnect with ourselves, to be still and present in the moment, think self compassion, self love and self care.

A mixture of movement and meditation, practicing yoga is both grounding and challenging at the same time. It is the perfect gut brain balance life skill anyone with or without IBS looking to improve gut health wants to acquire.

It is exactly for someone like me – and I’m assuming you if you’re still reading this!

So now I’ve convinced you it’s worth giving yoga a try for better gut and brain health, how do you go from zero yoga to getting started up?

Now is the perfect time to get started, there is no judgement practicing in front of a screen in your own home and no one to compare yourself too. Just pure freedom to move your body in whatever way feels right for you. Here are my top 4 tips for finding your perfect yoga flow.

Start Short

Find a short series of online yoga content to get you started, I recommend selecting videos no longer than 30 minutes. This length of time repeated regularly is enough to leave you wanting more. If you have a particular area of focus, stick this term in to google and see what comes up. I began by searching Gut Flow Yoga, then repeatedly watched the only two videos that came up in my search night after night for a few weeks before I was ready to move to 40 min-1 hour sessions.

Find Your Vibe

We’re all different right, so finding your perfect instructor is important, it’s enough to make or break your connection & concentration when you’re in your flow. I find the type of yoga instructor I gravitate to is someone who teaches more than just the postures, someone who brings the flow together by embracing focus, calm and kindness. Here in the UK outdoor classes are beginning to start back up so our choice is now beyond our screens. It’s exciting. lots of new classes are popping up in beautiful outdoor locations, it’s the perfect time to begin a weekly practice. Don’t be afraid to talk to an instructor in advance to understand how they teach, or better still most now have online content that you can try before you book allowing you to make sure it’s the perfect class for you. 

Commit

Yoga is called a practice for a reason, it takes commitment and practice to be able to fully get in to the flow. Find your golden window for your practice, I love a sunrise yoga to set my day and a shorter more focused gut flow session just before bed to set me for the best nights sleep. Once you find the vibe that suits you best – remember, it can take as little as 21 days to form a new habit – commit to that class on a weekly basis for a month.

Keep a Body & Mind Journal

It’s the perfect motivation – evidencing and tracking how your body and mind are feeling each step of the way on your journey in to practicing yoga.

I’d love to hear more about your experience with yoga and how it’s helped your anxiety. Please do get in touch with me [email protected] and share your stories, I love hearing from you.

If you’d like to dive deeper in to the world of mindfulness and learn more about the positive impact it can have on your gut health, sign up below to receive my FREE Mindfulness for Gut Health Guide where I share more about the benefits and how to get started.

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