In this week’s episode we talk about how we can work with our breath to make physiological changes within our bodies and deactivate that pesky fight-or-flight nervous system that wreaks so much havoc on our lives.
I start the podcast with my normal presentation of the ill effects of modern first world living. Not that I don’t love first world living because I do. But there’s also many elements of first world living that are not good for us and that we need to address in order to be our best selves.
This introduction ends on the point that we are all significantly over stressed and it causes a host of nasty problems. This leads me into a brief introduction to the autonomic nervous system (ANS), mainly concerned with the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). I explain the function of each of these systems and why we should strive to maintain a PNS activation whenever possible.
I present the app Welltory as a way to use heart rate variability (HRV) to gauge our levels of stress and SNS activation. This is a great way to know the condition of your body and nervous system and be able to take actions that serve you instead of hurt you.
Then we get into the kind of breath work that can instantly switch on the PNS. I include 3 breathing exercises as well as yoga.
In this week’s CTA we combine breath work with a daily HRV measurement as a way to maintain our health. We take a few minutes each day to do a few rounds of breathing exercises and relax ourselves. We do this whenever we feel a bit keyed up and we also do it right before we go to sleep. When we get more PNS activation we feel more relaxed, we have more energy, our sleep is more restful and restorative, our stress levels go down, and our overall health goes up.
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