Yoga drawing in people battling anxiety

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) – Yoga is becoming a more popular way to ease anxiety.

The World Health Organization says during the pandemic it is seeing a sharp increase of people battling anxiety.

Some people in the Midlands area are using yoga to help take some of the stress out of their lives. It’s taking over as a way for people to rid themselves of stress and anxiety.

Heidi Darr-Hope says it’s how she connects with herself and becomes one with her body.

“We travel around our world being in our head and so to be present in your body brings a natural calmness and strength to how you navigate the chaotic crazy world we live in,” Darr-Hope said.

Techniques like circulating your legs around together near your chest are popular at Tribe Yoga and Wellness in Columbia. For about an hour a day, members practice several yoga techniques geared at slow deep breathing to decrease anxiety and stress.

“Another thing that’s really great for stress and anxiety is just legs up the wall, breathe and be in your body and you’re restored,” Darr-Hope said.

According to a scientific brief released by the World Health Organization in the first year of the covid pandemic anxiety and depression increased by 25 percent.

The study shows young people and women were more severely impacted. Pamela Merriweather is one of the yoga instructors teaching people how to focus while doing yoga.

“The focus is really central to the breath and when we change our breath, we change our lives, essentially, we can change our perspective, the way that we feel, and the way that we move through circumstances in life,” Merriweather said.

Merriweather hopes people find a connection with themselves, along with peace, love, and happiness. Tribe Yoga offers about 30 yoga and meditation classes a week and they offer virtual classes as well.

“It’s actually a great gift to teach, as well as practice yoga because it makes us more present and the more present moments we have in life, the happier we are, that’s been proven in science,” Merriweather said.

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