Yoga for Stress and Anxiety
What is the cause of Stress and Anxiety?
The Autonomic Nervous System is a control system that regulates bodily functions such as heart rate, respiratory systems, and digestion. Two parts of this system are:
- The Sympathetic Nervous System that directs a flight or fight response in the body.
- The Parasympathetic Nervous System that stimulates rest and repair through the body.
When we are unable to solve or resolve stress in the body, the release of hormones from the adrenal gland sends signals of the fight or flight mode by pumping adrenaline into the bloodstream. The results of this are an increase of the heart rate and blood pressure, a decrease of the digestion system and thus we remain in a stressed state. This causes an in-balance in the Sympathetic Nervous System which eventually can lead to an increased risk of illness and disease.
Unfortunately, modern life has a lot more tendency to cause fight or flight responses with not much calming to balance us. If we do not deal with this situation it can result in health issues including, high blood pressure, raised heart rate, muscle tension, digestive issues, headaches, and disrupted sleep patterns.
What happens to the body when we stimulate the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS)
By stimulating the Parasympathetic Nervous System, we can counter stress by, amongst other things, slowing the heart rate, relaxing the muscles to release tension, increasing our digestive system, and thus restoring balance to our body.
How can Yoga help?
Yoga stimulates the PNS using controlled breathing techniques and postures, as a result you will feel calmer, less stressed, or anxious, with improved sleep and thus improved general health and well-being.
Example poses that stimulate the PNS
This pose helps release tension, specifically in the upper areas including shoulders, upper back, and neck. This is where we often hold our stress. Using a bolster to support your head allows the release all your weight onto the bolster to relieve tension in these areas. This pose will activate the relaxation response of the PNS system
A restorative bridge pose can be performed with a yoga block under the sacrum. This is an inverted posture, which helps to carry oxygen infused blood to the brain. Inversions help decrease levels of stress, relax the body and mind, and contribute to a greater sense of well-being.
The Cat/Cow posture nourishes the nervous system and relaxes the body immediately, releasing stress lodged in the spinal cord. With wonderful benefits, it is a calming and enjoyable pose.
One of the best things we can do for our nervous system is to have a healthy spine.
I am currently running this Stress and Anxiety class online once a week, every Thursday at 20:00 – 21:00. It would be great if you could join me to start the journey into self-care, by reducing stress, to live a better life.
How to book
Choose one of the package options below by clicking on the link, click on purchase, then either login (if already a client) or register (if not). Once registered you will be able to pay for the pass and once the purchase is complete you will be able to book any of the classes in the schedule
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