Calm Mind Yoga Series
The Calm Mind Yoga Series is an ongoing, 90-minute therapeutic yoga class. This is a gentle yoga and ease-full movement experience. We explore all eight limbs of yoga, with the most familiar being yogic breath (pranayama), yogic postures (asana), and meditation (Dhyana and Dharana). These traditional yogic practices are supported with additional activities such Chakra balancing, five element meditation, mandala work, and other psychosocial explorations.
The goal of the Calm Mind yoga series is to reduce overall stress and anxiety by working to gain balance and equanimity within the nervous systems. A necessary path to a calm mind is through the heart. This is both a metaphorical and a physiological statement! The phrase “heart mind” refers to the real brains behind the operation, and to the ways in which we perceive the world.
Through the yoga practices in the Calm Mind series we explore the different ways in which we have adopted automatic responses to our environment and our world. The fast pace, fear, and unpredictability of our culture has amped up our society. The effect is a decline in health and well-being. Nearly every chronic disease or illness is either caused or prolonged by stress. It is imperative that we acquire the skills to control the body’s stress response.
Built around a series of themes, the Calm Mind sessions lead each participant through a personal experience. A few examples of the themes presented are: the five elements of the energy body where we tend to focus and store our experiences, the skill to tame the “monkey mind” to help control run away thoughts and emotions, and the use of mudras and mantras to withdraw deep into self-examination.
The nervous system has two main components that we can affect in Calm Mind yoga: the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). Sometimes referred to the gas and brake pedal, these two systems help us pour on energy, and pull back that energy in an equalizing manner.
One of the ways our body communicates the need for put on the gas (accelerate and take quick action) or to put on the brakes (slow down, rest and digest) is through the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the longest and arguably one of the most powerful nerves in the body. It’s a communication channel that sends and receives messages that drive the need for more gas or more brakes. The vagus nerve extends from the brain to the gut, running through the viscera, and nearly all systems and organs of the body. Using movement, breath, meditation, and awareness, we can join this communication chatter and modulate some of its more excitable conversations.
The Calm Mind yoga series uses “heart mind” and “brain gut” knowledge for a holistic approach to reduce stress and anxiety.