how to practice pranayama breathing in yoga to help relieve anxiety and stress

Pranayama is a beautiful practice of working with the flow of energy in our bodies. Most dissect the word pranayama as coming from the two roots “prana” and “yama.” Prana translates as “life-force energy” and yama translates as “control or restraint.” However, some scholars dissect the word as “prana” and “ayama.” In Sanskrit, the prefix typically negates the meaning of a word. So in this context, ayama translates as the opposite of control or restraint, roughly something along the lines of “total freedom.” 

Woman practicing yoga for winter blues in Supported Backbend pose

Fight the Winter Blues - Free Online Yoga Sequence to Lift Your Mood

This winter has been long, cold, and icy for us - and, frankly, we're getting a little tired of it! So, instead of sitting around beating our heads against the wall, waiting for elusive spring to arrive, we... Read more
Yoga class practicing to heal addiction in Child's Pose (Balasana)

Breaking the Cycle: How Yoga Can Help Heal Addiction

More than 24 million Americans struggle with either alcohol or drug abuse, according to a 2014 survey by The Substance Use and Mental Health Services. Chances are, someone you know and love is in that struggle... Read more
Teens practicing yoga for anxiety in Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

Yoga Can Be Helpful for Teens Suffering from Anxiety, Study Finds

A 14-year-old girl and her mother comes to see the family doctor, complaining about severe anxiety that is interfering with her ability to sleep, social interactions, and school. The mother explains that... Read more
Yoga woman for heart health in Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)

Yoga Boosts Cardiovascular Fitness and Psychological Health Study Shows

There has been an ongoing debate regarding yoga’s ability to improve cardiovascular and physical fitness. A new study suggests that, for sedentary college students, regular Vinyasa yoga practice may boost both fitness and mental health, and reduce stress. Read more
Yoga class to cope with anxiety in Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Looking for Ways to Cope with Anxiety? How Yoga May Help

In today’s hyper-competitive world, stress and competition in all facets of life have overtaken contentment and happiness, resulting in a myriad of health issues, all of which have alienated us from our own... Read more
Yoga woman to help anxiety and depression in Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana)

How Can Yoga Help Ease Mood Swings, Anxiety and Depression? An Interview with Linda Sparrowe

Linda Sparrowe is a renowned yoga instructor, and co-author with Patricia Walden of “The Woman’s Book of Yoga and Health: A Lifelong Guide to Wellness.” Linda was managing editor of Yoga Journal for numerous... Read more
Woman practicing yoga for depression in Side Plank Pose (Vasisthasana)

New Study Shows Yoga Offers Cumulative Benefits for Depression

Compelling research continues to mount showing the positive effects of yoga on depression. A randomized controlled study suggests that weekly hatha yoga classes could improve depression symptoms by over 50% in... Read more
Woman practicing yoga to help depression in Garland Pose (Malasana)

Yoga Relieves Symptoms and BioMarkers of Depression New Study Shows

Depression affects 17 million American adults each year, and is the most significant mental health risk for women. New research shows that yoga may help to alter several symptoms and biomarkers of depression. Read more
Woman practicing yoga in cross-legged seated pose to reduce stress

6 Ayurveda Tools to Reduce Stress, Depression and Anxiety

In spite of the many advances in the field of mental health, it is estimated that about 1/3 of our population is suffering from some form of diagnosable mental illness at any given time. The cost of mental... Read more
Yoga class for preventing chronic disease in Wind-Relieving Pose (Apanasana)

Preventing Chronic Disease: Yoga May Alter Gene Expression Linked to Inflammation

Chronic stress, and the resulting inflammatory response, is a known cause of numerous illnesses. Although yoga is found to reduce stress and increase wellbeing, we know little about the molecular mechanisms... Read more