How Meditation Supports Your Nervous System

How Meditation Supports Your Nervous System

If you’re searching for new ways to support your mental and emotional health this year, Selph Yoga & Meditation Teacher Amy G shares how having a regular meditation practice can restore balance to your nervous system. 

Meditation is a practice to bring you into the true essence of who you are, what you are about, and how you want to move forward in the world. From a yogic perspective meditation takes you from a state of duality; thoughts, feelings, knowing, not knowing, the paradox of life, into a space of oneness; connection, consciousness, unity and love. 

How to meditate for your nervous system by Amy Sgammotta Selph Health Studios Yoga and Meditation Director

The Nervous System. 

The nervous system is a diverse network of communication made up of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. We have the central nervous system which is made up of the brain and spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system which is all the nerves that go through the whole body. From there we have the autonomic nervous system that controls all the things you don’t have to think about, like breathing, digestion, sweating, and sleeping. 

The autonomic system has two parts. On one side we have the sympathetic nervous system which is what regulates our stress response, often called ‘fight or flight’. On the other side, the parasympathetic nervous system which regulates relaxation, referred to as ‘rest and digest’. 

Some stress is good, to get things done and to protect ourselves when needed, but in a busy world we are more often stressed and on high alert, and have an overproduction of cortisol (the stress response hormone), which can lead to adrenal fatigue, slow metabolism, hormonal imbalances and poor sleep. 

Our thoughts often contribute to a higher stress state, as it is common to ruminate in the past or worry about what is to come in the future. That’s why meditation is so important to increase the parasympathetic nervous system response at times when life is stressful, busy and emotional. 

Activating the parasympathetic response helps to regulate a healthy heart rate, better your digestive organs, relax the muscles, and create a sense of ease in the body and the mind. 

The Power of the Breath. 

The yogis use different breath techniques to balance the left and right side of the mind, which is the state of duality, in order to bring you back to a central focus and space of oneness. By focusing on the breath moving through the central nervous system, brain and spinal cord, you can easily come into a meditative state, rebalance the nervous system, and feel more in tune. 

There are many ways we can tap into the superpower of the breath, an untapped resource that brings you into the present moment, puts the ‘doing’ into perspective, and heals from the inside out. 

Try the below guided meditation to get you started. 

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