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Yoga for Anxiety: Meditations and Practices for Calming the Body and Mind Paperback – February 2, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


"Feeling anxious is so much a part of modern life that we almost forget how limiting it can be. But not these authors. They offer us clear information and techniques for dealing with anxiety on a daily basis. They teach us what the brain does when we are anxious, and what we can do about it, by changing the focus of our thinking and getting us on the yoga mat and meditation cushion for time-honored practices. —But mostly they give us readers the confidence that we can transcend our anxiety and lead richer and more enjoyable lives. Highly recommended for yoga teachers and others interested in the whole picture of anxiety, including the spiritual angst that usually accompanies it. I especially enjoyed the personal stories scattered throughout the book."
—Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., PT, has been teaching yoga since 1971 and is author of eight books, including Yogabody

"Writing in a clear, step-by-step format, Mary and Rick NurrieStearns provide simple practices to help identify and counteract negative thoughts, induce relaxation, develop awareness, reduce stress, and heal anxiety. The authors create a connection with the reader by using images and examples from everyday life that resonate with everyone’s experiences. Yoga for Anxiety integrates modern psychology with basic yoga practices, including postures, breathing, mindfulness, and meditation. In the early chapters, basic information suitable for beginners provides the foundation for more advanced material as the book progresses. For anyone suffering from anxiety, Yoga for Anxiety is a great place to begin the journey to recovery."
—Patricia L. Gerbarg, MD, and Richard P. Brown, MD, coauthors of How to Use Herbs, Nutrients, and Yoga in Mental Health Care

"Yoga is one of the best-validated therapies in the entire field of integrative medicine. It is especially valuable because it addresses all we are: body, mind, and spirit. Yoga for Anxiety is an excellent guide for anyone seeking greater serenity, peace, and fulfillment, and who isn’t?"
—Larry Dossey, MD, author of Healing Words and The Power of Premonitions

"By combining traditional psychology with the deep teachings of yoga, Mary and Rick NurrieStearns help you move past anxiety in order to experience your true nature. Yoga for Anxiety clearly shows that when you are willing to mindfully face and release your anxiety, it actually becomes a doorway to deep inner freedom and happiness."
—Michael A. Singer, author of The Untethered Soul

From the Publisher

In Yoga for Anxiety, Mary NurrieStearns, a psychotherapist and yoga teacher, and Rick NurrieStearns, a meditation teacher, present self-healing techniques for generalized anxiety disorder drawn from the yogic tradition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications (February 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572246510
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572246515
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By D. millican Wynn on May 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is not a how to do Yoga Book, per se. There are hunderds of books on different types of Yoga and how to do yoga. This book is a lovely source of knowledge for anyone who wishes to take care of their physical, mental and spiritual health. It is also for anyone who has experienced anxiety. It is written in a style of loving kindness and by Mary and Rick's examples it teaches you to have compassion and patience with yourself. This book teaches you valuable tools that anyone can use to put themselves in charge of anxiety forever. The idea is that you can take charge of anxiety without medication, or ingesting alcohol or other substances. If this appeals to you, then this is well worth your time and money. This book is for you.

Rick and Mary have done extensive research into the latest findings of Neuroscience. They have explained it in easy to understand language, so you do not need to have a degree in science or biology to understand what is written in their book. A foundation key that Rick and Mary explain is that scientists have found, that the action of repeated firings of neurons changes the wiring of the brain. This simply means you can change your mental wiring by what you think, and how often you think it. This is crucial in understanding what Mary and Rick are teaching in this book. They explain that through the repetition of practice of Yoga techniques, and verbal mantra, the brain has the capacity to incorporate these into a healthy response style for responding to stress and anxiety.

Inorder to deal with fear/anxiety, Rick and Mary's book catogorizes this process of becoming aware of what you are unaware of, into "the five capacities of the mind". This is in keeping with Yoga tradition. 1.) Memory which involves the storing and remembering of information.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Bettiann on March 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
As a licensed psychotherapist who has read numerous articles and books about anxiety, I was pleased to find that Mary and Rick Nurrie Stearns have provided a fresh and comprehensive approach to helping calm the body/mind. In addition to the meditation and yoga practices outlined in their book, the authors share their personal experiences with anxiety. Reading these personal stories lets their readers know that the authors are not merely telling them what to do, but have "walked a mile in their shoes."

In addition to offering many practical exercises to heal anxiety, Mary and Rick have done an excellent job of explaining the ways in which thinking is often the root cause of anxiety.

Mindfulness techniques and breathing exercises are well-explained and easy to follow. Ditto for the yoga poses (which are clearly presented by a model). I do think it would be nice, for the book's second edition, to include a DVD of the yoga poses.

Professionals and non-professionals would do well to add this book to their library.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By E. Pineau on September 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
While I enjoyed the accessible layout and the wide variety of anxiety-taming exercises, I was a little put off by the heavily religious tone of the book. Throughout the authors invoke the notions of "higher powers", "God" and the "divine" as means to deal with anxiety and religion is quite deeply intertwined with the philosophy and approach the book takes. Thus, if you are not religious, you may find the constant religious references in this book distracting and not suitable for treating your anxiety. If it were not for the highly religious tone of Yoga for Anxiety, I would have found it much more enjoyable.

As an alternative, I would try Yoga as Medicine. It's a fantastic evidence-based reference book on yoga and the different ailments it can help with, including anxiety and panic attacks. While religion does come up occasionally, the author makes clear that if you are not religious you can disregard this aspect of treatment.
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Format: Paperback
NOTE: I received a free copy of this book to review for Metapsychology Online Reviews; you can read a more detailed version of my review on that site.

Yoga for Anxiety was written by husband and wife Rick NurrieStearns and Mary NurrieStearns. In approaching their subject, the authors pepper their book with many personal anecdotes, including Mary's own history of anxiety and panic attacks. This lends a personal, supportive feel to the work, and the authors take a very encouraging tone throughout.

The authors begin by distinguishing between fear and anxiety as well as providing some very basic neurological information about anxiety. They then move on to discussing how thought processes can influence anxiety, explaining how the increased awareness or consciousness developed through yoga can serve to heal anxious symptoms. Interspersed throughout, there are "practices," or brief exercises which apply the concepts being taught (each individual practice is listed separately in the Table of Contents, which serves as a nice reference). For example, in the very first chapter, there are three different breath exercises, including belly breathing (a.k.a. diaphragmatic or deep breathing), a vital skill for avoiding hyperventilation and reducing panic. The subsequent early chapters offer exercises which explore self-identity and self-worth, increase awareness of both external sensations and inner guidance, and assist in breaking free of attachments. Midway through the book, the authors shift to focusing more specifically on using yoga-based techniques for calming purposes. A section on physical yoga practices is included here, although readers may want to note that this chapter comprises only about 40 pages of this over 200 page total book.
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