Yoga is extremely beneficial for our body, because it balances our central nervous system. The central nervous system is made up of two parts: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for our fight or flight mode, which most of us tend to function in on a daily basis due to the tumult around us. The parasympathetic nervous system supports our autonomic functions such as breathing, heart and metabolic rates, and restores balance. When this part of our central nervous system turns on, blood is directed to our digestive organs, endocrine glands and lymphatic circulation, while blood pressure and hear rate are lowered.
Most of come to yoga with our nervous system in a state of unbalance. The stress of work, family, living, throws us in our sympathetic nervous system, throwing off our digestion, and rest and relax response. If we live too long in this sympathetic state, (fight or flight) our organs, the breath, and even our mental state begins to change. We become depressed. Studies show that depression leads to heart problems. Blood pressure begins to spike, and we think we can do nothing about it, other than take the pills prescribed by our doctor.
We can change our health very directly by the practice of yoga. Don’t think that easy yoga will be the best, if you are stuck in the fight or flight mode. For each person, the path of yoga they take is different. For some of us, a challenging hot practice will be the best to change. Yet others need the healing affects of inversions to bring us back into balance. And some of us, just need to learn to relax, let go, through the practices of yin yoga and restorative yoga. In all those paths, your yoga practice ends in meditation. Meditation gives us the tools, awareness to learn to balance ourselves. It’s a beautiful thing.
The more yoga we do, the better it is.
See you on the mat,