anxiety attackBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP

What is an anxiety attack and can Yoga help reduce the symptoms at all. Let’s take a close look at both of these subjects and the practical application of Yogic methodology for improving the quality of one’s life. For someone suffering from an anxiety attack right now, he or she wants instant relief and a cure. As teachers, we offer a healthy lifestyle with coping solutions, but we do not offer “instant cures.”  From my point of view, I have seen pranayama work to relieve stress, anxiety, and attacks of all kinds, but try explaining this to someone who doesn’t believe you, won’t try, and is lost in the middle of sudden and overwhelming fear. Even better, try to explain how and why Yoga can help the millions of people worldwide who suffer from a variety of anxiety disorders, without scientific or medical studies, research, or trials. Anecdotal evidence is all the ancient sages had to make a case of how and why Yoga worked, but proof can now be summoned with an Internet connection.



Anxiety is nothing new. When people live in communities, the evidence of stress, anxiety, and depression are clear. An anxiety attack is a sudden and overwhelming episode (event) of fear. These episodes take place without warning or obvious cause, but there are times when they can also be linked to a direct cause or trigger. A person feels intense anxiety, fear, or physical symptoms, which are rooted in a perceived threat. There may be no external danger at all, except for what is going on inside one’s mind and body.


How Can Yoga Help?

The Yogic lifestyle occupies the mind and body with positive energy. This is not magic, but meditation, asana (Yoga postures), and pranayama (Yogic breathing) and many more methods within this health maintenance system, are like uploading good data into a computer. Will negative ideas stop coming? No, just like a computer needs an anti-virus, the mind and body need a dose of Yoga. Feelings of anxiety are normal and we are not made of stone. A trained mind and body are developed through practice. So, there is no big secret other than practice and incorporate Yoga into one’s lifestyle.


These days, we can use an electronic device to absorb a lesson, technique, practice along with a video, or just kick back and relax. The important part is to make a habit of being healthy. In the process, we stimulate the mind through self-education and by cultivating feelings of gratitude. In fact, it is common for Yoga teachers and students to wake up with positive feelings to start the day. The main objective is to keep moving forward with practice and realize that learning is a rewarding part of our journey through life.



But I Want an Instant Cure Now

If you are suffering from an anxiety attack this second, please get professional help right now.  An emergency situation requires an emergency response. This is why we have counselors, first responders, hospitals, and facilities.  The first step is to get help where you are at this moment. Overwhelming fear and anxiety is not easy to live with and is life threatening. Sometimes, taking medical prescriptions are the right solution at the time. This may be a bridge before moving onto adjunct therapies, such as Yoga. Sometimes, prescription medicine is needed throughout life.


Self-criticism is something we have to release from our lives. As humans we have negative feelings, such as: Hate, jealousy, greed, and anger.It never hurts to practice releasing the baggage that ties us down with pessimistic thoughts. Some people choose to avoid taking action or asking for help, but there are serious consequences. Sometimes, whole families are ruined by one or more family members who suffer from overwhelming stress and all the dark thoughts that plague them.


What If I Just Hold It Inside?

Holding emotions inside will still cause damage to your health. You cannot stop an earthquake with a land fill. People develop a variety of health problems when they hold anxiety in.  At the same time, this is not a permit to go around making rude gestures, telling everyone off, or an endorsement for fits of rage; but there are healthy ways to let off steam.  Pranayama, meditation, and asana are healthy methods for channeling negative emotions into positive energy. Some people walk, hit a heavy bag, or go to an aerobics class as methods to release stress and burn calories in the process.



Another method for coping with emotion