with Rebecca Tung
Perhaps a more popular and recognizable concept used in rigorous activities and sports are ‘warm ups’ and ‘cool downs’, preparing the body to wind up and easing the body to cool down – all to prevent the ‘nasties’ – jarring, twisting, pulling and to the extreme breaking, tearing or shearing. Ooooohhhh. Never fun!
What perhaps doesn’t get as much radio time is the same concept for stress and adrenalin on our nervous system. In this example – the rigorous activity…over work, long nights, early starts and the London tube!
Perhaps our muscles get that little bit more care and attention because they are tangible – we can see them grow, see them shrink…see a result when they lengthen and feel it when they are too short. What is a mystery to many of us are the effects of our nervous systems – such an invisible yet strangely powerful system we are often a victim to it’s displeasures and unable to attribute associated pleasures. When we have ‘overworked it’, we are the first to know it – from the shooting pains of sciatica to the shooting pains of headaches, sudden numbness or uncontrollable jitters to the fogginess of lethargy or loosing our ability to sleep without interruptions (unless the little interruptions are our kids!)– You bet you will find an unhappy nervous system in there somewhere!
And what if our nervous systems were healthy? What if we could do things that assist our nervous system and its ‘eccentricities’, soothe it without popping a pill? Just like our muscles need a little TLC and ‘pumping’, lets learn to address the concerns of our nervous systems.
These are yoga approaches and are general recommendations – for specific issues or concerns, please contact our lovely ladies at reception.
Adhomukha Virasana (Childs pose)
Use support of blankets and bolsters allowing for the emphasis to rest and relax into your breathing patterns. Breathing patterns and the effect on the nervous system has been well studied by yogi’s. Kneeling on a padded floor, position your knees wider than your toes, then lean forward so that you lay out on top of your pile of pillows or bolster so your chest is well supported. Place a blanket between your heels and buttocks so you have a seat. Practice taking a few breaths extending your inhalations / exhalation cycles – also relaxing your shoulders / neck / back muscles – soothed muscles helps soothe your nervous system. 3-5 m
Viparita Korani (Legs up the wall)
Position yourself near a wall, slide your legs up the wall, place a bolster underneath your hips, and position your trunk and head laying on the floor (face up). Place a thin pillow underneath your head; cover your body for warmth and your eyes (light can often be irritating without us being aware of it). The legs being elevated encourages circulation, if your hamstrings are tight place your legs on a chair instead. 3-5 min.
Savasana (Corpse pose)
This can be set up in many variations to encourage better breathing patterns and better release of tight back muscles and unnecessary holding patterns in the abdomen. Lie on the floor as if you are aligning your body along a straight line, place a long blanket that is positioned at your lumber spine and runs all the way to support your head. In addition to this, place a small pillow underneath your head. Your trunk and chest will feel elevated and there will be a slight descending feeling at your legs. Again, cover your eyes, cover your body and ENJOY! 5 – 10 min