Are you teaching pranayama to students with anxiety? Stop! There may be a better way to help them.
Learning how to breathe deeply and smoothly will help people with anxiety, right? Not necessarily. For many anxious students, focusing on the breath triggers more anxiety. On paper, teaching pranayama to your shallow-breathing, anxious students seems to make sense. But for some students, it can be unbearable. I know, because I was that student freaking out during a pranayama session.
I have long history of anxiety and panic attacks. It's what brought me to yoga in the first place. When I first heard about pranayama, I decided it was just what I needed. It made perfect sense - regulating the breath would calm my nervous system and prevent anxiety. But that's not how it worked in practice...Read More