As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) myself, I have, at times, recommended rather anxious clients to try yoga. It is, as the back cover describes,an excellent way of "healing to calm yourself and to reclaim your sense of innate goodness and well-being. For centuries, yoga has offered a quiet retreat away from life's pressures and has enabled us to reconnect to our inner wisdom and peace." For those suffering from heightened anxiety it is a most appropriate recommendation indeed.
I have read a number of books about yoga and practice it myself both in structured classes and individually in my home. I have never, however, read a better book about yoga then this one. Written by an LCSW and a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) and a meditation teacher it is an excellent work not only describing how deeply anxiety can affect an individual adversely but just how healing practicing yoga can be in dealing with it. The first two chapters, Chapter 1 Understanding Anxiety and Chapter 2 How Thinking Makes You Anxious are an excellent introduction to Chapter 3 How Yoga Heals Anxiety. My favorite chapter of the book, however, is Chapter 4 A Deeper Look at Anxiety which addresses attachment: "Attachment is so powerful that in the book Yoga and Psychotherapy: The Evolution of Consciousness
Swami Rama refers to it as the primary cause of anxiety...True healing from anxiety involves seeing and acknowledging our underlying attachment to control and certainty....Healing involves becoming able to deal with the inevitable anxiety that accompanies moving on and keeping our hearts open." Later in this same chapter the authors speak to Attachment to Being Perfect (including Perfectionism and Addiction and Perfectionism and Criticiam), Fear of Death, Fear of Loving and Fear of Abandonment.
Chapter 5 Practices for Calming Your Mind, 6 Practices for Comforting Your Body and 7 Meditation and Mindfulness for Anxiety describe specifically how yoga can be applied in the healing process. Chapter 6 includes a number of black-and-white photographs demonstrating a number of yoga postures. The book concludes with Chapter 8 Relieving Anxiety with Ethical Living.
After reading this book, if you are currently practicing yoga, it will confirm you are doing one of the best things you can to self nurture and take care of yourself. Not only is it a practice involving physical posturing but yoga promotes meditation and prayer. It is getting in touch with yourself and connecting with your Creator in a very special way that is caring and calming. If you have never practiced yoga, it will encourage you to begin either through carefully watching and following instruction on a yoga DVD or, better yet, attending an actual yoga class. Either way, as this book so excellently describes, it is an outstanding practice especially for those suffering from higher levels of anxiety.