Chronic stress sends us into fight-or-flight mode, read more about it in my previous post. When we are in a fight-or-flight mode, the hormone cortisol and adrenaline flood our body. Heart rate, breath, and blood pressure increase and we get a surge of glucose into the bloodstream to use for energy. You feeling highly alerted and full of energy in that moment. Blood flow moves to our extremities (our arms and legs) so that we can flee danger. It flows away from the digestive system, which is not considered necessary for immediate survival and actually takes a lot of energy to run.
This response is great if we need to escape a dangerous situation being full of energy and ready to run away from the danger to save our lives. This well-designed response is not so great in modern society, if we’re simply stressed out about deadlines, finances, family situation, or other situations that make us feel stressed. Lack of blood flow (and therefore oxygen) to the digestive system slows function, which means poor digestion, nutrient absorption, and elimination (constipation). While hundreds of years ago, this process saved our life, in modern society it harms our bodies than saving it.
So why is Yoga so important and became ‘en vogue’ ?
“Again, it all starts in the mind and nourishing the mind with nutritional food can support the nervous system and reduce stress.”