twitter @yogarobin108

Nervous System, Focus, Acupuncture, and Herbs

Entries in nervous system (5)


Yoga attempts to balance out stress (Image source: the Total Body: Where Western Anatomy Meets Eastern Spiritual Science

Healing Series, part 8 

Table of Contents:

Attention, livelihood and emotions

Ashtanga Intermediate Series to cleanse Nervous System

Discomfort, unnecessary pain and karmic pain

Emotions elevate anxiety

Nervous System

Autonomic System and TCM

Sleep, herbs and balancing activities

(back to the Healing Series)


Attention, livelihood and emotions

I have come to the conclusion that my attention and livelihood are directly affected by my emotions, which all lead to my Nervous System. If I balance out my Nervous System through various means, my life is solid and vibrant—the person who I imagine myself to be! if it’s not balanced, I go into "fix it" mode. This is the nature of the Nervous System.

Nervous system cleansing

I know without thought that going to yoga each morning for two hours to practice Ashtanga yoga (going to my physical and emotional edge) is the innate key to solving the mystery to maintaining my true self. It works while I’m in my practice, there is a lingering effect throughout the days, and there is a burning of Samskaras which reconstruct my patterns over a course of time. Over time it keeps getting better and better.


Emotions elevate anxiety

Jill Bolte Taylor, neuroscientist and brain expert who experienced a stroke explains in My Stroke of Insight that the natural life span of an emotion—the average time it takes for it to move through the Nervous System and body—is only a minute and a half. After that we need thoughts to keep the emotion rolling. So, if we wonder why we lock into painful emotional states like anxiety, depression, or rage, we need look no further than our own endless stream of inner dialogue.

Calm excessive thoughts

Sometimes the nerves create excitation and happiness, and the desire to drift off into planning and fantasy and just plain happiness. I ask myself why I would want to make myself completely complacent (total calm) and do away with this wonderful part of me? I don't. It's my personality that I like. Kept in check, I keep who I am in balance.

Any activity that calms my emotions, which has a tendency to cause me to drift off into a story, calms my Nervous System and allows me to focus on the true essence of who I am. Emotions and stories are truly what get in the way and activate my Nervous System. When I am doing yoga, I am focused after about 10 minutes into it, and it keeps clarifying more and more.


Nervous System

The Nervous System directs complex processes (seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling, responding). It regulates the internal environment and links to external environment. It directs the organs in the body so that they don’t act independently of each other; without a Nervous System, there’d be chaos inside.

Central nervous system controls

The central nervous system (CNS - brain, spinal cord) controls the entire body. Neurons receive and transmit biochemical information, and are classified as either sensory or motor. Glial cells (or neuroglia) provide structural support for the neurons. One type of neuroglia, called astrocytes, helps form the blood-brain barrier which prevents or slows the flow of unwanted substances into the brain tissue. They also help seal off damaged nerve tissue. Smaller microglia in brain and spinal cord act during inflammation or injury.

The Nervous System coordinates the activities that bring about a response to stimulus with these activities:

  • Reception - information is gathered from external environment at receptors
  • Transmission - information is delivered by sensory neurons to the CNS
  • Integration - appropriate response is determined
  • Response - nerve impulse is dispatched via motor neurons to effectors (muscles, glands) that will regenerate a response to the stimulus

Spinal cord coordinates with brain

The spinal cord nerve coordination consists of coordinating reflexes and networking to the brain. The brain is the organizing and processing center of the Nervous System (consciousness, sensation, memory, coordination). The cerebral cortex (outer layer of brain), the highest order region of brain, controls speech and thought process, interprets information from senses, controls voluntary responses, reduces inhibitions and dulls senses.

The limbic system controls emotions and memory. The cerebellum controls movement (voluntary and involuntary muscles—balance). The hypothalamus controls sexual arousal and performance. The pituitary gland signals the kidneys to excrete more or less water, increasing or decreasing urination, dehydrating or hydrating the body. The brain stem / medulla controls what you don’t need to think about (breathing, heart rate, circulation). (Source: Anatomy and Physiology: The Easy Way, Alcamo & Krumhardt)


Sleep, herbs and balancing activities

This is a big factor in Nervous System balance. Lack of sleep wrecks my Nervous System. I’ve noticed that I need less sleep at night since I've done Mysore yoga. Not only do I go to bed earlier and wake earlier, if I wake in the night, I'm alert, and this doesn't disrupt my yoga energy in the morning.

Sleep maintains health

I do take daytime naps sometimes but there is a significant difference between now and pre-Mysore where I needed to sleep a deep 8 hours or else I wasn't as functionable, drank extra coffee, felt fatigue, etc. If I sleep in, skip yoga, thinking that I’m giving myself a needed break, I’m actually more tired during the day, less energetic and feel out of balance on many levels due to no yoga. It’s much better to just go to yoga regardless.

When my Nervous System is balanced, I can see my full potential as a person on many levels. My spirituality is most beaming like a light I cannot put out. All of my confidence to be who I want to be has no barriers.

Ashwagandha Ayurvedic herb
This is my favorite herb, and I take it daily. Its benefits include relief from anxiety, insomnia, backache, menstrual problems and liver problems. I love the immediate calming effect and take it directly after my yoga practice, first thing each morning. My Ayurvedic dosha type is Pitta-Vata, where the Vata needs attention as it gets away from itself, which this herb is known for treating.

Calm vata

"If Vata is disturbed at any karma, there will be severe pain not only at the karma site but in the entire body. Vata symptoms like fear, anxiety, nervous agitation will increase." (Source: Ayurveda and Marma Therapy, Frawley, Ranade & Lele)

I have experienced this karmic “pain” but Mysore yoga has helped me to send it on its way over time.

Valerian Root
This herb calms the Nervous System. It's best to take before bed, for deep sleep (but it’s not a drug). If I take too much, I have a hard time waking up early in the morning though. If taken during the day, I'm tired.

Friends or family
Meeting up with good friends (one at a time to really talk) is calming to the Nervous System. To talk about what really matters is an emotional release that otherwise affects the Nervous System.

Letting a kittie purr on me
My two cats know when I need them. Their instincts send them to lie on me and purr. If I close my eyes and make it a meditation, I feel their healing.

Listen to body's need for balance

Red wine
It calms the Nervous System. It's a sedative so inhibits excitatory nerve cells. It causes an increase in the inhibitory nerve pathway of the brain. Red wine is “neuro protective”. It protects the brain with Resveratrol.

Needs to be moderated. I have a little each morning (my ritual) which is warming for Vata and wakes me up for yoga. It's happiness and vibrancy. It activates the sympathetic nervous system if I have a certain amount, which is the opposite of my preferred state of calm.