For students with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, simply lying down and being told to “relax and breathe” can trigger Relaxation Induced Anxiety. But deepening the breath is one of the best ways to calm the nervous system. Marisa notes: “What’s helped me a lot are the things that actually have nothing to do with asanas. I’m a pretty shallow breather. Now that I have a regular yoga practice, I find myself automatically breathing more deeply in stressful situations.” You can help students like Marisa connect with the breath by adding a physical movement to the breathing exercise, which will keep the brain busy while simultaneously facilitating deeper breathing. Try Yoga Tune Up® Bridge Lifts with especially anxious students (shown in the video below). They’ll get the benefits of more breath, without the stress of having to lie still.
Ariel Kiley is an NYC-based yoga and meditation teacher, teacher trainer, published author, and IAYT certified Yoga Therapist. Ariel is spokesperson and program designer for Equinox Fitness Clubs Regeneration classes. She created the 2018 "Yoga Fundamentals" program on DailyBurn.com. She is a lead teacher trainer for the fitness therapy system Yoga Tune Up®. Ariel also is co-creator and co-director of the Dou Yoga 200-hour teacher training. Ariel has published numerous posts and articles on the topics of yoga, meditation and yoga therapy. Additionally she co-authored the book Smitten: The Way of the Brilliant Flirt about self-realization and dating (Chronicle 2013). She has been featured on Extra!TV, CNN, NY Daily News and has worked as yoga consultant to the TV show The Affair. Ariel specializes in stress reduction and Somatic Experiencing® trauma resolution.