I often recommend yoga as a tool to help manage anxiety. We are fortunate to have several places to learn and practice yoga in Fredericksburg. There are classes for everyone; from the beginner to the advanced yoga. A good yoga teacher will accommodate you. As my favorite yoga teacher says; “It is your personal journey. Let go of expectations. Let go of competition.” That was particularly helpful for me when I started yoga classes because I was going through a rough patch and I spent a lot of time in Childs Pose. Child’s pose is a posture of being comfortably curled like a shell, in a way that feels good on the back. It was OK for me to stay curled up. There was no judgment. When I was ready to join the class and stretch I did.
Learning not to judge, particularly oneself is one of the great lessons of yoga. The classes will also help you hone relaxation breathing. It will improve your ability to release stress and muscle tension. It is a practice that will help you stay in the moment. The yoga poses help you stretch muscles and improve balance. Often I leave feeling like I just had a massage.
So if you have never tried yoga, where to start? The city and the county Parks and Recreation departments offer classes for every level. It cost $7.00 to drop in. No reservation required but you can also sign up for a series. Most gyms and the YMCA offer yoga classes. The Healing Arts Center has been around a long time and it offers yoga classes to fit anyone’s schedule. And finally, we have not one but two new yoga studios in town. I have been to classes at both and have felt welcomed when I arrived and I left afterwards feeling in a much better place physically and mentally.
Both studios are on Caroline Street. Dragonfly studio offers a range of classes from Gentle yoga for the beginner to Power yoga for folks who are all about fitness. They also offer Hot yoga. That is a class that had not been in town for awhile and had been sorely missed. Pitaiyo Studio also offers a range of classes. Pitaiyo means Pilates, Tai Chi and Yoga. The owner combines the three disciplines in a way that is accessible to everyone. The studio also offers a variety of classes including classes for children, plus sized women and couples. The various classes are explained on the web site and you can register on the website too.
I encourage you to try yoga. You can do it. It will improve your balance and flexibility. If you can’t get down on the floor there is chair yoga. Learning to follow your breath and stretch will help you feel calmer. Yoga is a wonderful adjunct for the treatment of anxiety. It has been helpful to me and to my clients as a tool to keep balanced when the terrain of life is rough.