You Are What You Do
For many of us, when we think of what we do, we immediately think of our job, what we do for a living. But doing is a lot more than that. Doing starts with ourselves. When we nourish our own growth and happiness, we create a space that allows us to be in a new place of positive well being.
Taking action to nourish this growth is key. This can be translated to both our professional and personal lives.
Nursesynthesis focuses on yoga, as a tool that enables us to still our minds and create a new space that allows us to move forward in our lives.
Depending on the types of postures and pace of the class, yoga can definitely be equated to good cardio activity. For example, Sun salutation is a well known basic sequence that can be tailored for beginners, intermediate or advanced students by just changing the length of time students hold the poses. Even at a slow pace this sequence includes standing poses, push ups and backbends. All of these poses increase the heart rate while strengthening the muscles, consequently burning fat.
Yoga and the body
Our bodies are made up of two nervous systems- The Central Nervous System (CNS) and the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS).
Our CNS consists of our brain and spinal cord.
Our PNS is divided into two smaller subsystems: The parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation) and sympathetic nervous system (excitability/fight or flight response).
Yoga stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation) in the brain, responsible for the “rest and digest” activities that occur in our body. It tells our bodies to slow down and relax. Once this system is triggered, for example through yoga, it redirects blood to our organs and glands, improving function, while normalizing your blood pressure and slowing down your heart rate.
Yoga is still early in its move into mainstream society. Although there are several articles out there claiming the positive effects of yoga, scientific research is still limited. Claims such as forward folds stimulating our thyroid and backbends reducing our levels of cortisol (stress hormone) are frequently made, however; direct user experience is currently our main source of evidence that yoga is effective. Speaking from personal experience, yoga has increased my energy levels, improved my mood and tuned me into a mind- body connection that I had not experienced before my practice.