01 Feb February is (De)Stress Month
We’ve got to do this at some point, so I thought I’d pick the shortest month.😉
In February our goal is to gain awareness of your nervous system and practice practical application of this knowledge through our weekly yoga and movement classes.
Through this blog and by coming to class, you’ll learn about your body’s stress response, or what’s going on physiologically when you feel worked up or numbed out. You’ll use yoga and movement to tone your nervous system and find emotional balance.
How each week will go:
- Tuesdays’ Active classes will start with a 5-10 minute talk on the sciency stuff and then we’ll get into the movement portion of class.
- Wednesdays and Fridays are shorter classes so we skip the heady details and get right into an embodied practice.
How the month will build:
This coming week will lay the foundational understanding of what we’ll be working on all month.
Week 1 (This Week): Physiology of the Stress Response
What’s actually going on in your body when you get worked up.
This you probably already feel and know, at least to some degree, but I hope to add a few details about your autonomic nervous system that might make it easier to understand what’s happening when you feel threatened.
Your body’s job is to keep you alive. This means that from the perspective of your nervous system regular, every day, not-going-to-kill-you stress is approached in terms of survival. Yoga helps to smooth out the natural ebb-and-flow of stress and relaxation in life.
This Tuesday we’ll do a slow vinyasa flow class with pranayama (breathing technique), Wednesday we practice Yin, and Friday is embodied inquiry.
Heads up for your schedule for the rest of the month👇
Week 2: On Edge
What if I feel worked up a lot of the time? What’s going on in my body? What can I do about it?
Whether we’re talking about it or not, any balanced yoga practice calms the body and mind. Week 2 we’ll focus in on specific tools that elicit your body’s relaxation response.
It’s not uncommon for folks to have nervous systems that are running on overdrive. This is what I mean when I say that yoga tones the nervous system. A well-toned muscle knows when and how to relax and when and how to contract. That is, when to settle down and when to activate! Same with a well-toned nervous system.
Week 3: Numbing Out
What if I don’t feel much of anything? Where does feeling numb fit in? Is it safe to open up to the stress?
It’s normal to feel on edge, and it’s normal to feel numb. Each of us have different responses to the stressors in our lives because of our history, present environment, and the tools we have to deal with things. Feeling dissociated, out of body, or head-in-the-clouds is another of the body’s survival responses.
Feeling this way is close to home for me, which is why I love embodiment practices so much! This week we’ll work to feel that somatic (felt-sense) self. Get in your body, identify a physical part of you that feels confident, capable, alert, and strong. Grow from there.
Week 4: Bottoms Up Balance
Using your body to settle your mind.
The final week is a culmination of the rest of the month where you’ll continue to use your body to balance your emotions.
The truth is, the practice works whether you know what’s physiologically happening inside of you or not. All these same nervous system benefits occurred during spine week….we just had a different intellectual focus.
I teach this way because in my own practice I find it incredibly beneficial to understand the why…at the very least it keeps me interested and practicing! I hope it inspires the same from you.
I hope to see you in class soon!