Reset your Nervous System with your Breath.
Updated: May 4
Science is finally catching up to what yogis and mystics have known for millenia. The Breath is the key to balancing our nervous system and creating harmony in our experience.
Welcome to the Prana Sanctuary. It is my pleasure and passion to share practices that will assist you to harness the power of your breath and your consciousness to guide the nervous system back to balance, creating ease and allowing the space for new experiences to enter one breath at a time.
“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts.” ~ Thich Naht Hahn
Why so nervous?
We are moving along at lightning speed across our world, each of us connected to more and more information and stimulation as the days go by. With all the digital innovations we are seeing much in terms of progress. We are, however, also seeing much more distress and illness of all kinds from physical to mental, emotional to spiritual. The world is rapidly growing and expanding and with it comes growing pains.
We have a marvellous human body designed to adapt to almost anything and with so many signals to help us manage and correct patterns of behavior in order to maintain balance. The key to our body mind connection is the central nervous system. The highway of nerves that make up this system is an intelligent bio computer that receives and responds to stimuli all day long, including when you sleep. What an incredible system of biofeedback, designed to keep us safe, in loving bonded relationships and inspired by our creativity.
The nervous system has two mechanisms that work in very different ways. We have the sympathetic nervous system which responds to danger and we have the parasympathetic nervous system which responds to rest and relaxation. Most of us have heard of the fight, flight or freeze response. This system is designed to keep us safe from outside threats and is part of our early limbic brain. It is only meant to be active for moments that need fast and speedy action. The problem today is no longer that a wild animal may jump out of the woods to attack us, or an enemy tribe may enter our village to destroy us. It is an all too common and pervasive stimuli the nervous system has not yet fully developed to understand. Yet. It is the low grade stress that occurs with having to take urban public transportation every day, or the receptors that are hit with dopamine every time we read a facebook post and mark like. It's the sound of sirens blaring through the streets or the constant background noise, whether from family, friends or even the music we choose to color our lives with. These triggers affect the fight or flight response in a different way than, say, an animal attack but they still keep the sympathetic nervous pumping norepinephrine through the system, which increases heart rate. This keeps the nervous system on alert far more of the day than our ancestors did, who knew how to move into rest and digest more quickly. The physical stressors were high but the natural world and lack of electricity meant more time to slow down.
Enter the breath. Deep Conscious Connected Breath has been shown to fill the body with acetylcholine that is manufactured by the vagus nerve which travels from the brain to the lower spine. This nerve pumps hormones that allow the nervous system to slow down and rest. 20 minutes to an hour of deep breathing per day can reset your entire nervous system to a slower and more integrated state. Rather than riding the fight or flight hormones, we return to the ones that flood the body with pleasure and presence. Ah, and it's just breathing.
Once the parasympathetic nervous system begins to activate, the oxygenation of the brain and body allows for mental, physical and emotional integration. This looks and feels different for each person depending on what the body is most in need of. And so the journey begins. The body is able to do a lot in a short period of time when we breathe in a conscious connected manner. This is the magic of Prana, the Lifeforce of our Breath breathing us.