Nurture the Nervous System with two Yogic Keys!
Updated: Aug 5, 2021
In a world of unpredictability, constant fluctuation, and change, it's extremely valuable for us to learn how to harness our nervous system's strength and resiliency to adapt to continually changing circumstances quickly.
By harnessing the nervous system's strength, we can shift its expression from sensitive to stable, which is a key to physical health, mental equanimity, and peace!
When the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) is easily triggered, and we land in stress response, this indicates that the nervous system is sensitive, and its strength and resiliency are weak. The symptoms expressed are anxiety, panic, fear and worry, let alone physical health depletion. Relative to the elemental framework that plays a foundational role in yoga and Ayurveda, this weak nervous system reveals that the air element has manifested in the body and mind in an excessive expression. Thus, it fuels the triggered stress response and results in inner and outer disharmony.
What can we do to build our resiliency?
Holistic and traditional yoga emphasize this elemental harmony and its relationship with the subtle and physical nervous system's health. And because yoga works from the inside out, it promotes longer-lasting change and support.
1. Strengthen the subtle nervous system
In yoga, we have the physical body and the subtle (astral) body. The subtle body contains the nadis (energy channels) and chakras (energy vortexes). The subtle nervous system then relates to the system of nadis in the body, of which there are approx. 350,000. By strengthening the subtle nervous system, we indirectly strengthen the physical nervous system. This process regulates the nervous system. It awakens our ability to remain steady and resilient and to operate from a place of awareness, openness and balance even in times of tumult.
Though our overall yogic practice promotes this inner health, we can apply specific yogic techniques to strengthen the subtle body. A useful technique you can try out for yourself is stretch pose. (I have a great video for you here.) This technique and, of course, the result of subtle nervous system's health also amplifies our immunity, energy and mental health.
2. Nourish the nervous system
A great way to nourish the nervous system and increase our ability to remain stable yet flexible is to apply sesame oil to the soles of the feet, ideally before bed. Sesame oil is both warming and grounding, and by applying it to the soles of the feet, we support and nourish all of the nerve endings on the soles. The repeated application of this simple process builds our vitality, grounds the mind and reduces the expression of excess air, resulting in a sensitive nervous system inviting us to relax and maintain mental calmness.
These two techniques have been key players in my yogic practice and lifestyle, and time and time again have proven just how powerful they are!
Harnessing resiliency is vital in both our outer life and inner journey as we connect to the truth of ourselves. And by incorporating these small time-efficient tools, we can effectively embrace change, knowing that it's not going to pull us from centre, knowing that we can remain true to our nature and navigate the unpredictability of life with grace.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
If you've found these yogic teachings useful download my FREE Elemental Wisdom Workbook: A Journey through consciousness