Balanced hormones?

Surya namaskar

Sun seqence to benefit the nervous system and balance hormones.

Ever feel that your body is working against you?! You try your best to maintain your equilibrium, but sometimes you just lose your cool for no reason!? I’m going to guess that we can all answer yes to this and often we blame our hormones, and actually that often is the truth of it. In this blog I thought I’d explore a little how our bodies try to stay in healthy balance, whilst we get on with life!

The main systems of the body that maintain our homeostasis, and work closely together, are the nervous system and the endocrine system. The nervous system connects the brain with the rest of the body via nerve cells, which carry information to and instructions from the brain, as well as reporting back on pain, sensation and danger. The endocrine system produces hormones which are the body’s chemical messengers, controlling and affecting many body functions, organs and even behaviour.

Any imbalance in these systems will affect our balance generally, particularly our emotional balance.

The great news is that yoga is an amazing tool for supporting both these systems. Here’s an interesting little fact…the first hormone to be discovered was adrenaline in 1901, and yet the ancient rishis knew about hormones thousands of years ago!

So, if we are looking to use yoga to aid the nervous system and the endocrine system, consider the following:

  • Include postures and sequences that boost circulation. Use triangle poses, chair of the heart and sun sequences. The nervous system needs plenty of oxygen to function well and waste products collected efficiently, as it is particularly susceptible to damage from toxins, whilst hormones travel in blood, so good circulation is paramount.
  • Both of these systems work more efficiently when we are relaxed. Stress puts extra strain on every part of the body and in a desperate attempt to keep us alive, energy / blood supply is diverted away from certain parts of the body that are deemed non-essential at that time and chanelled into those systems that we need especially when we are in fight or flight mode. This is not good long term though for our health. Take time out to relax – it’s not selfish, it’s an essential part of staying healthy.
  • Sun sequence (surya namaskar) and Moon sequence (chandra namaskar) have both been used for thousands of years to balance the hormonal systems. Sun sequence is particulary beneficial to the thyroid and pancreas, whilst moon sequnce is amazing for balancing those sometimes challenging female hormones!
  • Use alternate nostil breath (nadi shodhanam) to balance the left & right hemispheres of the brain. It also has a particularly positive effect the pituitary gland (the master gland). This gland has endless links with the hypothalamus in the brain (part of the nervous system), and together they exert great control over the body.

Hope this has given you some ideas of things to practice to give your body the best chance to stay healthy, in that perfect state of homestasis. Ix

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