When you learn how to breathe and slow yourself down, your body benefits in many ways. Bernie Clark in his book: The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga explains the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems in the body and how important it is to wake up the parasympathetic with some slow meaningful stretching such as in yin poses where you stay in the asana for around 5 minutes.
How to Quell that Stress
You want to get the sympathetic nervous system- the one with the fight or flight effect to slow down. Every time that you are feeling stress that SNS kicks in.
With the use of a yoga slow ocean breath, you can control yourself. Calmness and control is the response to slow breathing. The PNS likes this. When you enlist your PNS it is time for rest and digestion! When you enlist your SNS, you are ready for action- a fight or a flight!
Bringing in Ocean Breath
Begin to bring ocean breathing into your life. It is a very slow breath- inhale for the count of 5 and exhale for the count of 7.
And when you add a yin pose such as child’s pose or melting heart, you can give your body what it needs – rest and the relaxation response. You breath slows, your heart slows and you feel great.
So turn off the SNS and turn on the PNS for rest and relaxation.
Taken in part from: Clark, B. (2011) The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga, Ashland, OR, White Cloud Press