I was not the type of child who enjoyed staying up late. Whether I was at home or at a slumber party, when I began to feel the Sandman calling, off to bed I went. I knew the intense discomfort I’d experience the next day if I hadn’t slept enough. My eyes would be heavy; […]
by Amy Weintraub There are specific yoga practices that can help lift the mood and sustain a positive outlook. Here are two practices to balance mood. Smiling Heart Pose This simple restorative pose, recommended in my book Yoga for Depression, helps calm the nervous system and build energy. Place two folded blankets, a bolster, or […]
More is better—at least that’s what most Americans are brought up to believe. If we try harder, work faster, and expend more energy, we’ll achieve better results, more success, and greater satisfaction. I’ve bought into this notion just as much as anyone else. If I’m looking to take my game to the next level—whether I’m […]
Do you suffer from anxiety, poor digestion, or lack of focus? When life’s demands overwhelm us, Angela Wilson, Manager of Evidence-Based Yoga Curriculum for Kripalu’s Institute for Extraordinary Living, explains in her R&R retreat lecture Cultivating Inner Strength, our nervous system gets out of balance. Through the practices of yoga meditation, and mindfulness, however, we can build resilience in order to be fully aware of all our experiences.
As Angela explains, there are two main branches of the nervous system. There’s the sympathetic nervous system, which activates the fight-or-flight response in reaction to stressful situations. It’s a hot, reactive state, which increases heart rate and primes the body for action. The other branch is the parasympathetic nervous system, which is activated when the body is relaxed. The parasympathetic supports a cooling, restful and state. It soothes the system, aids in digestion, and can be fostered through yoga practice.