Monday, November 3, 2008

Panic Attack

In yoga teacher training this weekend, one activity explored Pranayama energy to powerful effect.

First we did 20 Sun Salutations - Kundalini style, very fast. Then we went flat on our back in Savasana and held our breath until the edge of panic. Getting high off motion, then plunging into the rapid heartbeat and compressed restraint of anxiety was very psychologically powerful. Because it felt like an adrenaline reaction, it was like experiencing pure anxiety without the thoughts or emotions that trigger it. It was emotion of the body, then the mind, then the heart.

The ability to play with panic reaction, to trigger it and observe it, fascinated me. I can't help but think that this could be a powerful, holistic type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for those troubled with anxiety. Or, you know, everyone who has to deal with life and its stressors.

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