The feeling of rejuvenation and refreshment from a GuavaPass yoga class is unlike any other.
If you’re yet to experience it, the feeling is similar to finishing 10 amazing workouts all at once. You are able to achieve a state of complete mental clarity and total body relaxation from just (usually) an hour of practice. The first breath taken into your lungs of a detoxified body, mind and soul is an experience everyone should frequently have.
Post–yoga, you feel incredible… but what is happening during the class to result in such a unique and unparalleled result?
1. Your brain functioning improves
Within the first 20 minutes of yoga, studies have shown your brain function improves greater than any aerobic exercise within the same time frame. The slow breathing, meditative state and deep stretching poses are doing far more than relieving your muscle or joint stress.
2. Your nervous system begins to relax
The nervous system is divided into the Sympathetic, Parasympathetic and Enteric nervous system. The Sympathetic, or “fight or flight” nervous system is activated during periods of high stress, emotional unrest or physical injury. Having this system consistently activated by daily stress can result in higher blood pressure, cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and risk of illness due to a stressed immune system. During the controlled movements of vinyasa and sun salutations, your parasympathetic nervous system is triggered. The result? Blood vessels increase in size, resulting in an increase in blood flow to the entire body. The improved circulation affects the intestinal tract, resulting in increased nutrient absorption and digestive efficiency.
3. You explore emotional issues
Yogas’ ability to trigger an emotional response is widely accepted by teachers and students alike. Whether it’s joy, exhilaration, acceptance or fear – yoga makes you feel. Ancient practices, traditional medicines and pillars in massage therapy all use deep joint openers similar to yoga to trigger an emotional release. This emotional exploration is encouraged throughout the session. It’s one of the many reasons why we feel so emotionally collected when it comes to a close.
4. Your body begins to detoxify itself
One of the body’s primary ways to flush toxins out is through the lymphatic system. Its main role is maintaining your body’s immunity against pathogens by circulating lymph – a mix of white blood cells and protein – around the body, simultaneously draining and flushing areas of the body with this elixir of immunity. Many of the poses in yoga – such as twists, inversions, backbends and handstands – are designed specifically to aid in lymphatic circulation. Even breathing exercises such as Pranayama stimulate lymphatic flow activating the chest and abdomen areas.
5. Your hormones regulate
Traditional yoga poses are often based on activating the chakra system, which unsurprisingly is closely aligned to the endocrine system – the regulatory system in our bodies. For example, backbends have been shown to activate the thyroid, assisting in metabolism regulation. Forward folds have also been linked to the regulation of insulin from the pancreas and resting poses help to calm the adrenal gland, regulating stress hormones.
6. Your confidence increases
Yoga is an extremely powerful practice. As a result, you’re often encouraged to take regular breaks because of its intensity. The strength required in the movements, holds and progressions are frequently complex. They require not only physical exertion but mental concentration to maintain balance and focus. In completing a challenging class, you are left with a sense of accomplishment and commitment to your body. The confidence gained gives you the skills to encourage, support and push yourself in all other areas of your life.
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