The nervous system helps us to function optimally, handle challenges and navigate life. But when we are under constant or high stress, experiencing trauma or anxiety, then our hormones can go for a toss and impact the nervous system and overall wellbeing. It is important to calm your nervous system down otherwise it can show up as sleep issues, chronic pain, hormonal changes, digestive issues, cardiovascular changes and more. (Also read: Monsoon Yoga: 10 Yoga poses and breathing exercises to stay healthy )
According to Anna, an anxiety coach and therapist," When you experience stress & anxiety, your body works to protect you by activating the flight or fight response. In this system your body is alert, your heart rate & blood pressure increase, muscles get tensed and your digestive system goes into hibernation. This is a state of action and chaos, which is vital for your survival. You naturally move in & out of this system often. But when there are constant stressors, anxiety or past trauma present, this hightened state can impact the function of your nervous system, body and mind."
She also said "Regulation with the help of yoga poses is not a state of being calm all the time through, it is the ability to notice and recover from heightened or activated states over & over again. Yoga poses help in nurturing your nervous system which allows you to tune into the state of your body and build resistence, while also having tools that can help promote a sense of safety & calm within."
Here are yoga poses that will help you ease stress and calm your nervous system:
1. Child's pose
Physically, this pose helps release tension in the back, neck and shoulders, where many of us hold stress. It encourages a steady, even, and prolonged breathing pattern that has a calming, relaxing effect on the mind and emotions.
2. Legs up the wall
This is the best pose for restoring the body and mind. In addition to providing immediate lower back relief, this pose also successfully reduces anxiety symptoms. A calm area of your home with minimal distractions is the ideal setting for this pose.
3. Bridge pose
A mild inversion pose can be both energising and restorative, depending on how it is performed. When the sacrum is supported by a block, it is more therapeutic and revitalising.
4. Crocodile pose
This pose facilitates diaphragmatic breathing and relaxation. By inducing the relaxation response, it is also associated with calming the neurological system. The lower back and ribs expand because the abdomen is resting on the floor in this position. The tension in the shoulders and spine is released, and the pose also helps to correct bad posture patterns. It also helps regulate blood pressure and anxiety.