With the World Mental Health Day earlier this month, and everything happening socially, politically and health-wise in the world right now, I thought it was the perfect time to dig in the power of yoga to support us through these times.
For this episode, I sat down with Amanda Whiting. Amanda is a yoga teacher specializing in yoga for emotional well-being. She is the creator of the online programs Yoga for stress and anxiety and Yoga for resiliency and self-compassion. Amanda is passionate about teaching and inspiring others to use postures, breath work, and meditation, to manage anxiety, become empowered, and cultivate a greater sense of well-being.
Listen to the full episode here:
MY 5 BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS EPISODE
- Yoga can help you change your relationship to your body and to your own mental illness. Instead of having the expectation of curing anything, create the intention of forming a more friendship based relationship with your own experience and your own life.
- Yoga can help manage anxiety because it’s balancing for the nervous system and is a tool of awareness. It gives us a sense of understanding what is happening in the body and facilitating a connection between the mind and the body which tunes us in more accurately to what is happening inside, so we can evaluate what is helping and what isn’t.
- Stress happens to every single person. Your body is overtaxed, unsure how to react and it’s can’t follow its natural rhythm. Anxiety is a significantly stronger sympathetic nervous response. Some signs include; thingness in the chest, increased heart rate, change in blood flow & tingling.
- With anxiety, your body is trying to help you. It’s trying to protect you. It’s not out to get you. The more you fight anxiety the more anxious you’ll get. Listen, practice acceptance, self-compassion, and gratitude instead. Once you get ok with your situation, things actually start to change.
- Repetition, rhythmic movement, and linking of breath with the movement are keys in your movement practice to help calm your sympathetic response. To choose the intensity of your practice, meet your nervous system where it is now.
QUESTIONS SHE ANSWERED DURING THIS EPISODE
- What in your life has led you to particularly want to help people deal with stress and anxiety?
- Why turn to yoga instead of other methods to deal with anxiety?
- How can yoga help?
- So we are all on the same page, can you define anxiety and how it’s different than stress?
- As we relate it to yoga, how does it look particularly from the standpoint of the nervous system?
- Are there misconceptions about anxiety? Or anything we need to understand better to be able to reduce it more effectively?
- What does a movement practice geared towards reducing stress and anxiety looks like?
- What else in the yoga tool kit can help alleviate anxiety?
- Other at-home small everyday tips/tools to help?
- What can people reflect on?
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ABOUT OUR GUEST
Amanda can say with certainty that teaching is her passion. Her desire to inspire others is apparent in her teaching where she brings together yogic philosophy, alignment principles, and a sense of “real”ness. Yoga has taught Amanda that through postures (asana), breath work (pranayama) and meditation, her anxiety becomes more manageable, strength becomes apparent, and an overall sense of wellbeing is inevitable.