Anxiety is a normal response to life stress — until it isn’t. Today, host Rachel talks with Aisha Fakhro, a Bahrain-based UK-licensed psychotherapist and yoga teacher who specializes in working with anxiety, trauma, grief, stress management, and personal growth. In this episode, we learn more about anxiety and how yoga can help.
Aisha jokes that she could have a PhD in personal experience with anxiety. She shares how practicing and teaching yoga inspired her to study psychotherapy, by changing the way she, and her students, responded to stressors in their lives.
Aisha explains how the natural experience of anxiety can snowball, by both increasing our perception of danger in a given situation, and decreasing our belief in our capacity to handle it.
She unpacks a wide range of yoga tools and techniques that can help, and some of them may surprise you.
Listen in to learn what anxiety is, how the experience varies by person and situation, and the wide range of tools yoga practice offers to help us feel more empowered to manage it.
“Yoga empowers us to be be able to work with what shows up in our bodies and find a sense of ease and comfort there.” – Aisha Fakhro
“Playfulness enables us find the freedom to counter-act the tension and rigidity that come with anxiety.” – Aisha Fakhro
- What initially drew Aisha to the field of psychotherapy [3:25]
- Aisha’s journey from “chasing shapes” to teaching yoga [5:40]
- Defining anxiety [11:56]
- Aisha’s personal experience of anxiety, including prenatal trauma [17:26]
- Mindfulness breaks the negative feedback loop anxiety can create [18:34]
- The role of psychotherapy versus other mental health professions [23:42]
- Play as an antidote to anxiety [26:18]
- Pranayama and tactile feedback for anxiety [31:29]
- Movement as an outlet for anxiety [39:46]
- Empowering students to take charge of their practice [42:07]
- Balance poses and the capacity to handle wobbles in life [47:51]
- Varied mindfulness techniques for anxiety [49:59]
- Completing the stress cycle [54:41]
- Aisha’s fake yawn trick [56:53]
- Philosophical antidotes to anxiety [58:16]
“Imagination is powerful gateway to resilience.” – Aisha Fakhro