Here’s what happens when we get stressed. Our sympathetic nervous system leaps in—with the best of intentions, to help us out. Suddenly, our heart starts pounding to increase circulation, our muscles contract to get ready for action, our digestive system slows down, our awareness centres power up, and adrenaline and the stress hormone cortisol pump through our body. Among other symptoms, this collection of action-initiators is known as the fight-or-flight response. It’s a great tool for when we really need to get the heck out of harm’s way, but not so great when we need to get through a deadline-riddled day.
Luckily, there are yoga tools instantly available to us—to help calm us, and our sympathetic nervous system, down.