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For millennia, yogis have touted the benefits of pranayama (breathwork). One of the ways that this effective technology improves your health is via your nervous system. Within this guide, we will take a look at the amazing relationship between this tool and your health.
What is the Nervous System?
Before we go any further, you need to know what the nervous system is. This is divided into the central and peripheral nervous systems, both of which play vital roles in your health. These include 12 pairs of cranial and 31 pairs of spinal nerves that start in the brain, run down the spinal cord, and spread all throughout the body.
The nervous system is responsible for many of the core functions in the body. These include the secretion of digestive organs, the movement of the diaphragm, and the beating of the heart. Put simply, when your nervous system is out of whack, you will find that many of your primary functions start to become slow or underperform.
Luckily, there are ways that you can support your nervous system. One such option is to engage in pranayama on a regular basis. Taking the time to add this to your daily yoga routine could have a major influence on your nervous system and your overall wellness.
How Breathing Controls the Autonomic Nervous System
The truth of the matter is that pranayama is intimately connected to the autonomic nervous system. When you engage in breathwork, you will find that the functions of this system adapt more than you might imagine. Through the mastery of breathwork, you can bring your nervous system under your conscious control and manage it yourself.
To better understand this, you first need to know about the tenth cranial nerve. Also known as the vagus nerve or the ‘wandering’ nerve, this one travels down the spinal cord via the neck, chest, and abdomen. This remarkable nerve also branches out — much like a tree — to form a wide selection of plexuses with the sympathetic system.
Breathwork gives you the chance to override this system and take control of it. When you start to engage in pranayama on a daily basis, you will be able to take control over your heart rate and the function of your lungs. Since all of the above is connected via your nervous system, that can have a major impact on how your body naturally functions.
For that reason, students of Kundalini Yoga have the unique opportunity to take control of their nervous system. Once you have done that, the benefits of this transformation are almost limitless. Take the time to learn about this impactful and unique tool.
Now that you know how breathing impacts your nervous system, use this information to empower your journey. Including breathwork in your yoga practice could make a huge difference to how you feel on a day to day basis. Why not give it a go for yourself now?