When the body is in stress mode, the hormones, adrenaline and cortisol are released in the body. When the body is functioning in stress or crisis mode, the sympathetic nervous system takes over and the body reacts in “fight or flight” mode. When in fight or flight mode the body is in overdrive, and the body is ready to approach danger in order to fight or flee. The heart starts to race, blood pressure rises, and the blood is constricted in some areas of the body, and simultaneously sent to others like the brain and the limbs. There are moments when these changes in the body will keep us safe, while in life-threatening situations.
Unfortunately, we can experience these symptoms on a daily basis when we are not in true “danger”. Yoga, breathing and meditation are a great way to relax the body, allowing the parasympathetic nervous system to take charge, where rest, digest, and recovery happen.
Begin by bringing more awareness to your state of mind and the sensations happening in the body. Allow the breath to be a pressure gauge to understand when you need to slow down. If the breath is smooth, steady and flowing, the mind and body will also be at ease. When the breath is choppy, shallow and rapid, the mind and mental state will follow. When we become more aware of the breath, and work to create more expansion and a smooth rhythm to each inhale and exhale, we allow more oxygen to enter into the body as well as bring the body back towards and balance.
Come into a mini-savasana: Come to laying down on the back. Allow the feet to fall open wide and the palms to fall open towards the ceiling, as a gesture to receive whatever your body needs towards health and healing. Option to use a bolster under the knees or bring the knees to a chair for added support in the low-back. Bringing the legs up the wall is good for the joints, helping to reduce inflammation and relief to tired feet, ankles and knees.
Take these little pauses whenever you feel that you need a little self-care and when the body is experiencing daily stress and symptoms of “fight or flight”. In addition to taking a mini-savasana for balance, do something that you love and are passionate about daily. Bring the body back into health and towards sustainable joy.
Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga and breathing techniques. Always honor your body. If a posture gives you pain, gently come out.
Christi Iacono, 500 hr. cert. yoga instructor and owner of In Rhythms Yoga
Christi Iacono is a 500 hour certified yoga instructor, kids yoga instructor, and owner of In Rhythms Yoga. IRY is a small neighborhood studio in Clairemont, S.D., located in the Mount Streets. She guides adults, kids and families in the ancient tradition of yoga. Christi has experienced many positive physical and mental transformations from her daily personal practice. She is passionate about sharing her experience, inspiration, and dedication with her students. She is committed to being a life-long student and teacher of the practice. Christi carefully works with each student in order to find the variation that best serves their body. Work to find the balance of effort and ease in every posture, “sthira sukham asanam.” Yoga is accessible to all.
IRY offers regularly scheduled vinyasa and yin-based classes on, Sat., Sun. (Yin-Yoga) and Wed. mornings as well as Tues. and Thurs. evening classes.
*Christi uses Young Living Oils at the studio to enhance yoga class, meditation and in her home. Visit http://www.apothecarysociety.com/ciacono to learn more.
*Go to www.inrhythmsyoga.com to see the full yoga schedule, instructors and for private lessons.