It’s Easter today and we just went through a huge storm. The roads were flooded and a local bridge nearly washed away. We drove past this morning to find huge logs and tree stumps wedged into its railings.
When I see Nature like that, at its wildest, it puts my need to control even the smallest detail of my life into perspective. Something my partner John often says is, “ We have no idea why we are here, or what creation is up to. What we do know is that we exist and to exist and be able to explore and enjoy creation is a huge blast. The biggest blast we’ll ever get! ”
It’s easy to forget all those things when we get caught up in the small stuff. And hey, we all do it. Even the smallest things can set me off when I am stressed.
As Yoga teachers, when we go through our training, one of the most important lectures is about how Yoga benefits the Nervous System. Did you know that in our modern society we spend over 80% of our time in the fight or flight response? It’s supposed to be the exact opposite. We are designed to be in resting mode, able to perform detailed and focussed activity with the least amount of effort.
Back in the good old days the fight or flight mechanism was triggered when we had to make a sudden dash away from a Tiger. But now the Tiger is everywhere. It’s our health, relationship, job and more.
The fight or flight response relates to the Sympathetic Nervous System and its major trigger point is in the chest area. When we are calm, that’s the Parasympathetic Nervous System and its access points are the base of the neck and the base of the spine.
The best way to bring the nervous system and its components back into balance is through spinal movement. When we exercise the spine we bring more energy, blood and circulation into the body which in turn keeps the nervous system working at its optimum. And the two main actions which increase circulation to the spine are opening movements like back bending and closing movements like forward bending.
The best Yoga sequence for this is Moving Cat
For our practice this week join me in this short video below which demonstrates how to do Moving Cat and also Half Dog, which stretches the spine and is a great alternative for those who find they don’t have the arm strength or flexibility to do the Down Dog posture.
Wishing everyone a calm and relaxing Holiday season…with great respect Rachel