By TNT Bureau
Dec 5, 2017: Due to our extremely busy lifestyle, we all have an over-active nervous system, as we live in a continual state of stress, tension and anxiety. The sympathetic nervous system, one branch of the nervous system, is the cause of our increased heart rate, blood pressure, cortisol levels, and muscle tension. On the other hand, parasympathetic nervous system, the other branch, lowers heart rate, blood pressure, cortisol and blood sugar levels, and muscle tension.
This explanation clearly indicates that our nervous system is at the center of our mind-body relationship, which affects our physical, emotional and mental health. All said, it is apparent how important it is to balance our nervous system for a healthy mind and body.
Yoga helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, thus strengthening and balancing our central nervous system. It is time to balance your nervous system with these 5 yoga poses.
Reclined bound angle pose
Also known as Supta baddha konasana, this is a wonderful pose for relieving tensions in the hips, and for improving digestion and circulation of blood to the abdomen.
Lie down on your back, with your legs extended and your arms at your sides, palms face up toward the ceiling. Now, bend your knees to bring the bottoms of your feet together to touch. The outer edges of your feet should be resting on the mat. The legs should fall open and allow gravity to support the weight of the legs.
If your hips and groin are feeling tight, you can take your feet further away from your body. If you’re feeling more open, you can bring your feet closer toward your body. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and allow your back body to sink more deeply into the mat. Stay in the pose anywhere from one to five minutes, depending on your level of comfort.
Remember to use a folded blanket at the top of the bolster so that your forehead is higher than your chin as this alignment allows for the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system.
Supported bridge pose
Lie down on your back, feet planted behind your hips, knees up. Lift your hips up to a comfortable level, and place a block under your sacrum.
Lying in a supine position with your head below your heart, such as in supported bridge pose, calms the nervous system. Furthermore, the connector nerve cells of the parasympathetic nervous system are located in the brainstem and the sacral section of the spinal cord.
Placing light pressure on your sacrum by releasing the weight of your front body onto the block stimulates the rest and digests response.
This pose is a softer variation of shoulder stand, and isn’t a full inversion since your uterus isn’t inverted is safe to do even in your menstrual cycle. Try to get your sitting bones against the wall, and you can use a belt on your upper thighs to hold your legs in internal rotation.
Lie on your back with your feet flat on the mat, and knees straight up toward the ceiling in preparation for bridge pose.Press down firmly into your feet, lift your hips up, and slide a block underneath your sacrum, fully supporting your pelvis.
Bound angle pose
Sitcomfortably with your sitz bones flat on the mat.Draw your heels toward your pelvis, and place the soles of the feet together. Now, clasp around your feet/toes with interlaced fingers.Relax your groin to open your knees. Now rotate your pelvis so that you rest on the top of your sitz bones, and extend through the spine.Actively ground down into the earth as you simultaneously extend out through the crown of your head.Hold for 3-5 minutes.
This have a deeply calming effect on the body and mind, turning you inward physically, mentally and emotionally. If flexibility permits, place a block under your forehead, releasing your jaw and neck muscles, and lightly stimulating the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to help balance your nervous system.
Supported child pose
Start on your knees, and sit back on your heels. Inhale lengthen through the spine. Exhale as you walk your arms in front of you, bringing your torso down so that you can rest your forehead on the mat. Rest your arms by your sides with your palms facing up near your feet. Breathe deeply for as long as you like.
This is a very comforting pose that tends to make us feel safe and protected, allowing us to let go fully and completely relax. Make sure to use more than one bolster, or stack blankets on your bolster if you feel like one bolster is not enough to support the entire front of your body.