Vedic traditions and the nervous system

Our body has two main nervous systems :

  • Sympathetic nervous system, controls the “fight or flight” reactions in the body
  • Para Sympathetic nervous system, controls the “rest and digest” reactions in the body

The “fight or flight mode” will withdraw blood and energy from your vital organs, to focus on mobility, sending blood to your legs in case you had to flee a tiger attack, focusing on prefrontal cortex activity to take quick decisions.

But this mode goes against learning, creating, and on the long run exhausts your body, weakens your digestion and immune system as well as your hormonal system.

On the other hand, the “rest and digest” mode is responsible for all the seamless, vital actions in your body such as cleansing, defending your body, digesting food, processing information and learning.

In the modern world, we are often stuck in fight or flight mode throughout the day, which leads us to be weakened, exhausted, drained and over sensitive. To come back to a more sustainable nervous state, there sometimes needs to be deep changes in lifestyle and in our own perception of the world.

However, some “tools” developed in the Vedic science, some simple actions, can help you get back in a few minutes to para sympathetic mode.

  • Pranayama helps get you deeply relaxed
  • Yoga nidra is a fantastic tool and deeply restorative for your nervous system, it strengthens it
  • Yin/ restorative practices with soothing music are great approaches
  • Abyanga (self oil massage) also helps relax your entire body

Whenever you feel tired, irritated, stressed or drained, remember that you need to switch to parasympathetic mode to truly recover and start again. Use those tools. Chances are your anger and un-groundedness will transform into a deep but peaceful fatigue. After resting, you will feel fresh and full of energy again.