I just can’t seem to think straight today.
I have too many irons in the fire.
I’m sorry I forgot; I was burning the midnight oil.
Her name is on the tip of my tongue; it’s there. Give me a second.
I can’t handle that right now; I have too many tabs opened in my brain.
Sound familiar? Your body runs involuntary processes all day long. These include memory, digestion, respiration, hormone regulation, and other processes that you don’t really see or think about unless something seems out of balance. But your body can also fall into “auto-pilot” with processes that you do see, such as waking up and walking straight to the sink to brush your teeth, walking in the front door and tossing your keys in the basket, or petting your dog when she brushes against your leg.
When our body experiences stress, it is designed to fight, flee, or freeze. The sympathetic nervous system takes the reigns. Our heartbeat might increase, our breathing might be come more rapid. Suddenly, we may experience stomach discomfort or tense muscles in our jaw, neck, and shoulders. Practicing yoga can help notice how our body feels, what it needs… or what it doesn’t. Through mindfulness, we can begin to see patterns between stimuli, what we think, and how we feel.
When we develop a habit of consistently functioning in the sympathetic nervous system, our bodies recalibrate to keep us alive. Signs that a person might be operating from the sympathetic nervous system can include:
- abundance of cortisol production, adrenal fatigue, and weight gain
- inability to down-regulate and fall asleep or stay asleep (insomnia)
- fatigue, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, or decreased ability to recall facts
Fortunately, our bodies are remarkable! Practicing yoga methods for just 8 weeks can help you achieve better sleep. Better sleep can help your body achieve the restoration it needs to move closer toward functioning from the parasympathetic nervous system.
Join me for a yoga class! We’ll practice
- yoga asanas (poses) and breathing to promote relaxation
- mindfulness meditation
- bringing awareness to our habits