Yoga in all it’s aspects teaches us to be balanced. What we do on the right side of the body, we do on the left. When we backbend, we counter the effects of that with a forward bend. This is a big reason on how yoga works. We also become more balanced in our moods, thoughts, and have better control with our emotions. Yoga also teaches us to stay in the middle.
As what we do on the right, we do on the left, this has a balancing effect on the central nervous system. And furthermore, yoga states that our central nervous system by our very birth is in a slight state of being unbalanced. We either tend to be excitable by nature, or more quiet and retrospective. By doing the poses on the right and left, and balancing them out with forward and backward bending we are having a great effect on the nervous system. Over time, it will become more balanced. When the central nervous system is balanced we are in a peak state of health.
“It’s like driving a car,” says De Blas, a professor of physiology and neurobiology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “You have to have a pedal for the gas and a pedal for the brake. In the same way, nerve cells can have excitatory or inhibitory effects.” If these two types of nerve impulses don’t balance each other, he says, it can cause neurological syndromes, such as epileptic seizures.
All the negative consequences of stress are really negative consequences of sympathetic nervous system. Think of it as adrenaline poisoning. A little bit can save your life. Too much and you’ll be exhausted, unsettled, with cognitive decline, poor sleep, a compromised immune system, and a body that cannot repair itself. When our parasympathetic nervous system is activated our heart slows. Our breathing calms. Because we don’t need to run, fight or hide, our body sends blood to our organs and away from skeletal muscles. We digest our food. We make hormones. We repair our muscles. We build strength. Our body is in a state of relaxation, and this relaxation breeds recovery. The more time we spend in PSNS the healthier we are.
That is why we always end each class in Savasana. The more relaxed we are, the better we can function. On a side note, the classes that I feel most balanced in my nervous system are the hammock classes.
See you on the mat,