You want to go to Yoga classes in your local community. You have been told that it will really help to reduce your anxiety and stress levels, and God knows, you need that. Social anxiety is crippling you, it’s a huge task just to go to the local shop sometimes. You need to do something to make life easier. You like people, you just get so anxious at the thought of going into a room full of them that you just can’t get through the front door.

What is social anxiety?

Social anxiety is the fear of social situations, a fear of interactions with others. It is the 3rd largest mental health problem in the world, affecting approximately 7% of the population. It is a very distressing condition which impacts on almost every aspect of a person’s life.

It can lead to powerful stress responses, and cause symptoms such as sweating, fear, dry mouth and throat, racing heart, blushing and extreme nervousness. It can be a totally debilitating condition which prevents sufferers being able to develop or maintain relationships and take part in ‘normal’ day to day life.

How Yoga can help

Part of the problem of Social Anxiety Disorder is a fear of being watched and judged. The modern perception of Yoga, as something you need to look amazing when you practice, can cause some levels of anxiety in most beginners. This will be multiplied when Social Anxiety Disorder is present.

In reality, Yoga is not about how you look on the outside, or what other people are doing or thinking. It is, at its core, the exact opposite. Yoga teaches us that we are not how our bodies look, and that achievement of the posture is less important than the effort to get there, and the level of presence you bring. When you practice Yoga, all that really counts is that you are in the moment, that you are doing the best that you can, and that you are making the effort.

Yoga has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety in the body and mind. It increases levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter which creates feelings of wellbeing and peace. Low GABA can be a trigger for anxiety disorders, so increasing this can be a huge help in reducing social anxiety.

Yoga can help promote relaxation and improve sleep, leaving you in a far calmer and more resilient state to manage life and to control the anxiety you might feel. 

A regular Yoga practice can be of tremendous benefit to ease the symptoms of social anxiety, but there is a real dilemma.

The dilemma

Yes, the dilemma is glaringly obvious – Yoga can help reduce your social anxiety, but in order to get to a Yoga class, you need to overcome the social anxiety that prevents you going. It’s an agonising catch 22 situation.

Beginners Yoga Club was, to a very large extent, created for you, but even doing online classes through a webcam can be distressing. I have a solution that might help.

Practice Makes Progress

On July 16 I am beginning a 30 Day ‘Practice Makes Progress’ daily practice challenge which is perfect for beginners and for you.

You will receive a couple of videos with short daily practices that will enable you to release tension and stress in your body and mind, improve your level of flexibility and learn to relax.

You will receive daily emails from me to keep you motivated, and a 30 day practice planner where you can write your experience, thoughts and observations as you progress.

There is a Facebook group where I will be delivering regular livestreams to answer your questions and share learning and experiences, so you can interact with me and your fellow participants from the safety of your keyboard.

At the end of the 30 days, you will have learned to release tension and stress, and have some tools in your toolbox to help you get through those moments of high anxiety. You might even find that you feel able to attend your local class!

Register now to access the resources and begin your 30 day journey to Yoga on the 16th July

Yoga can be a powerful tool to fight the stress and unhappiness caused by social anxiety disorder, but how do you overcome the disorder to allow yourself to go to a class?