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.

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