Sometimes I think that the Sympathetic Nervous System doesn’t live up to it’s given name. Instead of showing compassion, the SNS sometimes acts a little anxious, and with it’s own agenda, sends messages without much concern for the the well-being of the rest of the body. Do I hear a boy crying wolf? I guess you’d be on edge too if you were responsible for mobilizing the force of flight-or-fight response, an inherent tool needed for survival. Sometimes though, it seems like the SNS is just a little too trigger-happy, ready to jump into action when the body doesn’t necessarily need it to, which creates all sorts of problems.
Luckily, the Autonomic Nervous System has another subsystem, the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which balances and checks the SNS. The PNS takes care of the body’s “rest and digest” functions and regulates the internal organs. Lacrimation, Salivation, Urination….check, check, check. Take note though that the PNS and the SNS are not antagonistic; they work in opposition, but they really compliment each other, much like yin compliments yang, and vice versa.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly thankful for the unyielding vigilance of the SNS, because really, who knows when trouble might actually arise? But truth be told, it’s easy to rile up those flight-or-flight neurons without needing to tap into that resource. Over-thinking and stress takes a toll on the body and the mind, and especially on the nervous system, which often acts like it has a mind of its own. If it feels like its under attack, it will send for backup, and there’s a lot of power that’s jam-packed into hormones like adrenaline. If your body doesn’t actually need to kick into flight-or-fight mode, then all those recently released hormones are over-working and effecting your well-being without any reason.
It can be extremely difficult realize when your nervous system is over-reacting, because its regulates unconsciously. But if you are somewhat upset or stressed about a situation and feel like you might “fight or flight” and you just don’t know why, take a step back and remember there’s another side that’s ready to “rest and digest”. It’s important to respect and be aware of these two systems and their functions in order to maintain a healthy balance in your life.
The diverse family of DC yoga teachers at Yoga District are dedicated to making yoga accessible to everyone through a huge variety of yoga class types, from vinyasa flow to restorative and beyond. Most Yoga District teachers are graduates of Yoga District’s nationally-attended 200 hour teacher training program. All Yoga District classes focus on coordinating breath with body movement to promote flexibility, strength, and peace of mind. We strongly believe in yoga as therapy, so catch one of our classes whenever you need a healthy dose of self-care.
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The Yoga District 200 and 500 hour teacher training certification programs, registered by the Yoga Alliance are unique in their emphasis on diversity of teaching styles studied, personal attention, and trauma sensitive yoga. It's no coincidence that Yoga District is regularly voted the leading studio in the nation's capital, and that most of its classes are taught by graduates of its training program. As a full time yoga school, small group trainings are led up to eight times a year by a dedicated faculty including Jasmine Chehrazi, contributor to the Harvard Karma Yoga Project teacher training, teacher training faculty at George Washington University, Yoga Alliance Standards Committee Advisory Board Member, Yoga Activist Founder, and Yoga Service Council Advisory Board Member. So take your practice and community involvement to the next level by joining a training. There's a reason why our graduates call the training "transformative."
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