A State of Calm

A state of calm opens avenues of solutions. When a state of calm is active logical thinking is able to take the lead bringing more clarity to the positions around you, understanding of positions available and the ability to make the best decision for yourself in that position. 

Staying Calm to Combat Triggers

Triggers are substances that can impact lives if not properly dealt with and it is important to face them head on as hiding from triggers is an unsustainable method. Taking triggers head on involves a calm, focused and determined state of mind. Easier said than done for sure but finding areas to focus on can lighten the task. Focusing on your breath is a highly effective form of staying calm during a trigger reaction. Counting up to your full inhale then counting down your exhale brings you to the present moment while calming the mind. Once a calm state is entered your next step can be taken with a logical frame of mind. Try recognizing that you are having an emotional response for your next step, identify the source of the trigger and separate your relationship. 

A Calm State and Your Nervous System 

The sympathetic nervous system is your fight or flight response, whereas your parasympathetic nervous system is often considered the rest and digest response. A calm state of mind allows the body to send an influx of feel-good hormones to your nervous system bringing you into a parasympathetic state. This position allows for healing, proper digestion, lower heart rate and basically keeps your body working as it should. Some ways you may be able to physically see/feel your body in a parasympathetic state is by an increase in salivation, Lacrimation (tears), urination, digestion & defecation. This state of being is found in our Yoga practice through every session we take. Meditation and Restorative Yoga are the greatest systems of achieving this state, but you will also find it at the end of each class when you lay in savasana, by taking a resting pose in the middle of the class, and anytime you regain connection with your breath you find a state of calm and allow your nervous system to rest. 

When it comes to your sympathetic nervous system, it’s not all fear and destruction based. This state of being allows for more oxygen to enter the body, sends extra blood to the muscles and introduces an infusion of glucose to the bloodstream. Exercise is a way to activate this system without being in danger. 

Through the practice of Asana we find ourselves in positions that are challenging enough to trigger the sympathetic nervous system then turn right around and reactivate the parasympathetic nervous system. Because both systems are detrimental to our survival keeping both active and balanced is essential to our health. So while the flight or fight response does serve its purpose it is important that we can actively turn that function off when it’s not needed and our Yoga practice gives us all the tools to do so. 

Reintroduce a Calm State to Bring You Back Into the Moment

In the life that we live stimuli are everywhere. We often have a list of tasks that “need” to be completed or a phone nearby with distractions beaming out of it. These distractions often show up demanding our attention when our attention is likely better elsewhere. Holding a baby, reading a book, lunch with a loved one are examples of times that your attention should not be pulled in different directions. Learning to come to a state of calm can bring you back to the moment you are in and redistribute your attention back to the opportunity at hand. 

Recap: How does yoga help with staying calm

  • breathing through difficult postures
  • a quiet space to just be
  • purposeful movements 
  • be in the moment
  • breathing techniques to take with you and use when needed