Learn to build Nerves of Steel.
Stress is, without a doubt, a major player in a variety of health problems—including anxiety, depression, to cardiovascular disease to IBS or even Tinnitus. So what’s the best approach to combat the epidemic of chronic stress?
Here’s where Heart Rate Variability (HRV) comes into play. Heart rate variability (HRV) is the beat-to-beat change of the heart and a measure of the Autonomous Nervous System (ANS). The ANS has two main branches. The sympathetic nervous system that controls fight or flight. Think of this as the gas pedal in your car. It will speed up your heart rate or increase sweat. The parasympathetic nervous system is the brake. It helps you to rest and digest or feed and breed. It will slow down your heart rate. If you are hunting, for example, the sympathetic nervous system permits you to be attentive and focused. But when eating, you want to turn that off so that the nutrients can be absorbed. The parasympathetic nervous system helps you do that and also sleep, so you can recharge your batteries.
Imagine for a moment that instead of the PNS spending most of the time in the body’s driver’s seat, the SNS were running the show. Instead of a body in a generally relaxed state; digesting well, pumping blood via low pressure, with a heart rate that only speeds up when needed, you have a body existing in a perpetually hyper-aroused state. Always exhausted but never able to sleep. Heart racing, but unable to physically exert. Wanting to have an orgasm, but unable to become sexually aroused. Such is the nature of SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE.
Most people in the West are too revved up. There is too much gas or sympathetic nervous system. It is part of the reason that we have trouble sleeping and stress-related health issues. It also explains digestive issues as the SNS is still active when we eat and digest.
A low HRV represents too much stress in the system. A high HRV, a flexibility of the nervous system and a potentially optimal response to stress. Our emotional state impacts HRV. HRV patterns shift with different emotions. Positive emotions show a smooth pattern in heart rate. Stress or frustration show a more choppy pattern.
When we inhale, we increase the sympathetic activity in the body. When we exhale, we increase parasympathetic activity. If we are trying to relax, the simplest thing is to exhale for longer than we inhale. This can be further trained to the point where the ANS becomes flexible, resilient, able to respond to stress and the overall health and sleep are improved.
PNS Yoga incorporates a variety of breathing techniques, yoga asanas, tapping, shaking, laughing, mantras to help to bring the nervous system into overall balance again. I specifically developed this very special yoga to help people lower stress, achieve coherence between heart and brain, reduce SNS activation and as a result heal a variety of stress-related diseases. I personally suffered from a debilitating tinnitus and resulting insomnia. With help of PNS activation and Ayurvedic techniques, I was able to reduce tinnitus and improve sleep over the course of a few months. I found that tinnitus (in my case anyway), was very much stress-related and with the lowering of stress levels, the ringing decreased. I want to share this specific program with others to help them heal. Private Skype, in-person or group sessions .
The Heartmath Institute has done groundbreaking research on the intelligence of the heart, the importance of heart-focused breathing and offer a variety of devices to track the HRV. Heartmath video
PNS (parasympathetic nervous system) can be activated with specific pranayama (breathwork), mantras (sound), mudras (hand gestures), yoga asanas (poses) and a few tricks.