NEUROFEEDBACK AND YOGA
We Love Yoga
At Los Angeles neurofeedback Center, we love yoga. Some of us are yoga practitioners, some are even yoga teachers. It is effortless to find an overlap between neurofeedback and yoga. They share a common thread. Both neurofeedback and yoga can bring a client to a relaxed, focused state. Because yoga and neurofeedback both reduce stress, promote relaxation, and functioning at peak performance levels, it is important to understand how they work so you can make efficient choices about when to use them. Read on to learn more about the overlaps between direct neurofeedback and yoga, as well as when one might be more optimal than the other.
What Is a “Yoga Buzz”?
You know the “yoga buzz” you feel after a class. You feel one with yourself and one with the world! That “yoga buzz” feels like a clear-mind and a resilient appetite for life. At the Los Angeles Neurofeedback Center, we call the “yoga buzz” a “calm alert” state.
Our coaches are trained and motivated to connect our clients to that blissful “calm alert” state as easily and efficiently as possible. The best part? In a direct neurofeedback session, you can reach that “calm alert” state in very little time. Plus, you do not change clothes or break a sweat. Read on to learn about why you triggered a “yoga buzz.”
What Causes a “Yoga Buzz”?
Sometimes you enter a yoga class feeling like a harried wombat only to glide out after like a powerhouse queen or king. This shift in your experience is due to the poses and breathingbalancing your nervous system. We know you are not a “harried wombat,” but that awful feeling is a clue you are lingering too long in overdrive, or, the “fight or flight” response of your nervous system. Through the yoga class, you took the time and inward focus for your nervous system to shift into a different mode: rest and digest. A balance occurred.
Your Nervous System
Your nervous system uses your fingers, eyes, ears to relay information about your world to your brain. Just as there are two sides to a coin, there are two modes to your nervous system. When these modes are balanced, we feel clear headed and capable.
For all our yogi/yogini scientists out there, the relaxation mode is called your parasympathetic nervous system. The alert mode is your sympathetic nervous system. To remember the difference, think of a pair of cozy warm socks you pull on to relax. Pair of warm socks > relaxing > parasympathetic nervous system.
Parasympathetic Mode: Relaxation
Relaxation mode is when your body focuses on its internal work. You are being: resting, digesting, relaxing. Your body digests your food. It eliminates the waste. You do not “think” about how to digest food. You do not stand up and manually digest food like it’s your job. You sit back, don’t think, and let your body do its thing. But you know how your digestion can go wonky when you are anxious? It is because anxiety and racing thoughts are linked to the alert mode of your nervous system.
Sympathetic Mode: Alert
You enter alert mode when you’re stimulated and being pulled outwards to external events and people. We need our alert mode to walk, drive, cook, eat, work, solve problems. The alert mode is scientifically known as the sympathetic nervous system. To remember this, think of a time when you wanted someone to get you. You needed sympathy and you weren’t getting it and you wanted to pull your hair out! Emotional/alert > sympathy > sympathetic nervous system.
Beauty in Balance
One mode is calm, and one mode is alert. When they are work in unison you get “calm alert.” You get your “yoga buzz.” So at the Los Angeles Neurofeedback Center, by promptly shifting your nervous system into “calm alert,” we really are returning your nervous system to its optimal state. Just like a yoga class! A direct neurofeedback session reduces stress and strengthens your relaxation response. Read on to learn the dangers of becoming imbalanced.
Stuck in Overdrive
Whether it was stress at work or a social disappointment, your thoughts got tense, your body followed suit, and you became a contracted, anxious, perhaps even temperamental, version of your true self. Ugh. Get me off this crazy train! Right?
It’s okay. Going into “fight or flight” is part of being human. The problem is when you get stuck in overdrive. Imagine if a car was stuck in overdrive! That car would be destructive to its own machinery, as well as destructive to anyone in its path.
When you are stuck in overdrive it becomes your job to actively make a choice to reboot your nervous system and stop the madness. If you do not actively choose to address your nervous system, breakdowns in your body, mind and emotions will follow. These breakdowns can wreak havoc on your relationships and your livelihood.
Say you missed some sleep. At first it was fine because you had a great night out with friends. But the next day, you were distracted or spacey at work. That night you had to catch up on the work you didn’t really do during the day. Afterwards, you couldn’t chill out enough to fall asleep. So now you are more stressed and starting to get bloated or sick. Step by step you are heading to overdrive.
Another example: you have a great new opportunity at work. It means longer hours and you want to do it! You just have to make a trade on your downtime, your relaxation. If you cannot relax, your nervous system won’t shift gears, and you’ll start heading into overdrive. Overdrive leads you to a cycle of stress and anxiety. This doesn’t mean you stop working hard. It means you up your self care game. Do your nervous system a favor and read on to learn how to actively support it.
Up Your Game
You know your true self. You are not perfect, but you are capable. You like being you. It can feel really good to be you. But sometimes life knocks you off our sweet spot. That’s when you know you need to get to a yoga class.
Yet life gains momentum and you find yourself with less time to get to a class when juggling so many other responsibilities. Pulling on the yoga tights, facing down traffic, can turn the experience into 2.5 hours and leave you as stressed as when you started.
Or you are already so drained, the idea of holding Warrior II sends you for the hills.
How great would it be if you had another option? An option that was gentle, non-invasive, and a time-efficient way to get back to your optimal state of mind? Maybe one where you could sit passively and not have to do all the work for once?
There is. At the Los Angeles Neurofeedback Center, we want to help you get back to your true self. Not just your true self, your optimal self. Maybe even the self you thought you’d never get to see again.
We offer the $89 intro session so you can experience how quickly your nervous system can shift states. Allow yourself to experience calmer thoughts, relief from stress, and stopping disruptive thought patterns that might be circulating in and out of your head.
Best yet? You sit, eyes closed if you want, and relax while experiencing a session. You don’t have to change clothes. No spandex required. You don’t have to lift your knee to your nose. No flexibility required. And you have a skilled coach keeping track of your progress. Sound relieving?
The most significant benefit to choosing direct neurofeedback: the work is enduring. Each session moves you closer to a paradigm shift in your nervous system. And as your nervous system returns to its optimal state… it maintains its optimal state.
We Still Love Yoga
By all means, if you have a yoga practice, keep it up! We do! It’s amazing for your hips, your back, your circulation, your glands. Yoga is an amazing workout. You can do yogaon your own time, anywhere. But you need the discipline to keep it up… and when you are in overdrive, with distractions and the fight or flight response, that can seem a very hard choice. Successfully executing anything in overdrive can seem a hard choice!
Neurofeedback and Yoga work towards the same goal: stress reduction and peak performance. However, yoga and direct neurofeedbackuse different strategies. To keep it simple, consider this: yoga is like you turning the light switch on yourself. Direct neurofeedback is getting a direct connection to the power while you sit and relax. It’s time to get more by doing less. Come see us at the Los Angeles Neurofeedback Center and experience it for yourself!