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 directs a flight or fight response in the body.
- The Parasympathetic Nervous System that stimulates rest and repair throughout 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.
At the moment I am not running this Stress and Anxiety class however i have been running it for charities and adhoc requirements. If you are interested in this class please do get in touch x
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Private One to One
If you have a busy lifestyle and are unable to commit to scheduled class times, a private class can be more flexible to suit. Ideal if you are a complete beginner to Yoga practice.
I’m currently teaching a program of live classes from my Exmouth Yoga Studio. Myself and two other teachers do a number of different types of classes to help men and women. Click on the link below to view our current class schedule