Get on your mat before you go on holidays!
As we head towards Christmas and New Year, do you have a million things to get done, presents to buy, travel plans to be made, work to finish?
When we are coming up to a holiday we often find ourselves stressed, busy and overwhelmed by what needs to be done to enjoy a well deserved break. THEN disasters strikes: we go on holidays and we get SICK – either while on holidays or straight after.
Don’t let this be you next time you have a holiday! Sticking to a regular yoga schedule can help avoid this happening ….
When life is busy and we feel stressed, our nervous system runs on overdrive. Our body produces cortisol (stress hormones) and adrenalin (for the fight or flight response). Our sympathetic nervous system takes over. Whether it is running late for work/school drop off, a tight deadline, too much housework, or too many school / university assignments our body kicks into ‘Fight or Flight’ mode and ramps up our physiological reactions to try help us get everything done.
Back in our cave person days the actions of the parasympathetic nervous system were essential to our survival. If chased by a bear we needed a flood of adrenalin! Digesting food and other functions of the body weren’t important, we needed increased blood flow, the ability to make quick decisions and to be able to run faster. Our survival depended on it.
The problem these days is that our nervous system is flooded with stress hormones when we don’t actually need these hormones to get our tasks completed!
When we go on holidays, our body usually recognises that we are not under the same pressures, and our parasympathetic nervous system kicks in. This is the ‘rest and digest’ system. Finally, we let go, drop into the moment and start to have a good time. What we don’t realise is that during all that stress, our immune system was impacted. Then once we begin to relax sometimes we get sick!
The remedy is to actively find ways not be in fight or flight mode. Regular yoga practice can help us with this. Staying steady in our practice helps us to always return to a sense of homeostasis in the body. Yoga, when practiced correctly is an antidote to the fight or flight response, it gives us the time and space for our nervous system to calm down, for less adrenalin to be released. This in turn can help our digestion, improve our sleep and regulate our blood pressure.
It is the state of modern life that finding this balance can be elusive, and it is easy to forget as we approach the holiday season. But think of yoga as a preventative medicine, get on your mat regularly, then hopefully you can enjoy and settle more quickly into your holiday – without becoming sick!
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