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Nervous System, Focus, Acupuncture, and Herbs

Entries in emotional heart (1)


Intermediate Series cleanses Nervous System

Each morning I practice most or all of the Ashtanga Primary (First) Series: Yoga Chikista, followed by the Intermediate (Second) Series. Ashtanga Second Series: Nadi Shodhana is Nervous System cleansing. Everyone goes through their own personal version of its effects in the middle of the series while it’s still challenging, especially while learning it and repeating each day while it's still new. Experiencing discomfort indicates it's working correctly, dissolving bad holding patterns in the Nervous System.

Dissolve bad holding patterns

As  I learned the postures, my Nervous System came into a state of balance over the challenges (backbending, forward bending, foot behind head, inversions); after I acclimated to the work, I was taught the remainder of the series. The idea is to eventually remove some of the Primary Series warm-up when practicing the full Intermediate Series. Over time, the initial poses in the Advanced A (Third) Series were added on. Ashtanga Third Series: Sthira Bhaga is the merging of strength and grace. I continued to practice full Intermediate plus beginning of Advanced A four days per week, only Intermediate once per week, only Primary once per week, with one day rest per week.

Self-love matters

During the most challenging days, it's most important to stay emotionally warm and nutritionally healthy. This includes alone time, rest time and self-love. Everything inside me is tested, not just my physiology. 

When I first began the Second Series cleansing, emotions arose immediately in backbends (and now I feel love and intuition), anger came up with foot-behind-head poses because I wasn't calm enough (and now I'm able to drop in to the extreme state of calm), fear came up during deep spine stretches (and now its blocks are released and I’m free, resulting in euphoric feelings as Prana moves through).

Allow anger and fear to move through you

For a good few months after maintaining a daily practice of the full Second Series, I would have a great yoga class yet feel my Nervous System elevated (like I was stuck on the inhale) for hours after class. It was necessary to calm myself so that I could sit still and didn't feel a constant electrical feeling pulsing through me. During the days I focused on:

  • Feeling my emotional heart
  • Using my bandhas
  • Remembering that stress recruits my body’s energy stores to overcome imbalance
  • Paying attention to my Ayurvedic Vata dosha (grounding, warming)
  • Doing headstands
  • Deeply breathing, especially exhales into my lower belly (Qi center)