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  • Writer's pictureKyla Winlow, LCSW

Yoga For Nervous System Regulation

Updated: May 9

With so much happening in our daily lives, it's common to experience anxiety, stress, and overwhelm. These emotions can wreak havoc on our nervous system, leaving us feeling frazzled and exhausted. Fortunately, there are effective ways to soothe the nervous system and find some much-needed relaxation. Below we will explore three gentle yoga poses that can help regulate your nervous system and decrease anxiety.

Child's Pose (Balasana)

Child's Pose, or Balasana, is a deeply soothing yoga pose that allows you to surrender to the support of the earth. Here's how to do it:

  • Begin by kneeling on a yoga mat or your bed, with your big toes touching and knees apart, creating a V shape.

  • Place pillows or blankets in front of you using as many as you need to ensure comfort.

  • Slowly lower your upper body onto the pillows, extending your arms forward or alongside your body.

  • Rest your forehead or the side of your face on the pillows.

  • Take deep, slow breaths and allow your body to relax into the pose.

Child's Pose encourages a sense of surrender and can provide a feeling of safety and comfort. Stay in this pose for a few minutes, focusing on your breath and letting go of tension.

Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani)

Legs Up the Wall, or Viparita Karani, is a restorative pose that can help relieve tension and improve circulation. Follow these steps to

practice it:

  • Sit as close as you can to a wall.

  • Swing your legs up the wall as you lie down on your back, with your bottom touching the wall.

  • Your legs can be straight or bent, depending on your comfort.

  • Allow your arms to rest by your sides or in any comfortable position.

  • Take a few moments to adjust and ensure you're comfortable.

  • Gaze around the room, allowing your perspective to shift while you focus on your breath.

Viparita Karani is excellent for grounding and promoting relaxation. It can help reduce anxiety by encouraging blood flow to the brain and calming the nervous system. Spend a few minutes in this pose, allowing your body to unwind and your mind to find peace.

Hug the Earth

The "Hug the Earth" pose is a gentle way to open up the hips and connect with the earth's energy. Here's how to do it:

  • Begin by lying on your stomach, turning one cheek to the ground.

  • Bend one of your knees, bringing your knee to towards hip height while keeping your whole leg completely connected to the ground.

  • Adjust the bend in your knee to a level that feels comfortable for you, feeling a gently opening in your hip.

  • For additional support, you can place a pillow under your bent knee.

  • Close your eyes and visualize yourself hugging the earth, feeling supported and grounded.

  • After a few minutes in this position, switch to the other side, turning your head to the opposite cheek and bending the other knee.

"Hug the Earth" is a gentle pose that can help release tension in the lower back and hips, promoting a sense of security and stability.

Yoga offers a powerful tool for regulating the nervous system and finding calm in the midst of life's challenges. The poses mentioned above—Child's Pose, Legs Up the Wall, and Hug the Earth—are just a few examples of how yoga can help you relax, reduce anxiety, and restore balance to your nervous system.

Incorporating these gentle poses into your daily routine, especially during moments of anxiety or overwhelm, can make a significant difference in how you feel both mentally and physically. Remember, yoga is not about perfection but about finding comfort and ease in your body and mind.

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